UC Davis Claims Three Major Swim Awards; Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara Snag Remaining Honors
Files associated with this release:
Links associated with this release:
Big West Championships interviews on BigWest.TV
The 2009 edition of the Big West swimming & diving awards had a UC Davis flavor as the Aggies snagged three of the major honors, while Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara also picked up accolades.
UCD's haul saw it claim both the Male and Female Athletes of the Year as Scott Weltz and Heidi Kucera nabbed the awards, respectively. The Aggies also had one of the league's top coaches as Peter Motekaitis claimed the Men’s Coach of the Year honor. UCSB was the other school to collect multiple awards as Kevin Ferguson was named Men's Freshman of the Year, while head coach Gregg Wilson claimed his fourth straight Women's Coach of the Year honor. Cal Poly's award went to Lacey Buck who was named the Female Freshman of the Year.
Weltz, a junior from San Jose, Calif., was a one-man show at the Big West Championships, leading the Aggie men to a second place finish. Weltz won three individual championships, all in record setting fashion. He set meet, conference and school records in the 200 IM (1:44.34), a meet record in the 400 IM (3:46.02) and broke one of the oldest conference records in league history with his time of 1:54.91 in the 200 breast. Weltz becomes the first UCD swimmer to be named Athlete of the Year in program history and the first to earn two major awards in a career following his Freshman of the Year nod in 2006.
Ferguson, who hails from Sacramento, Calif., had an excellent Big West meet in his first year of competition. He took home the individual title in the 100 back (48.61), as well as swimming legs in the Gauchos' Big West champion 200 medley relay and 400 free relay contingents. Ferguson was the lone freshman to win an individual event at the league meet and swam the fastest 100 free split of any competitor in the 400 free relay.
Motekaitis won the men's Coach of the Year honor after leading the Aggies to one of their finest seasons at the Division I level. UCD was ranked among the top mid-major swim programs in the country by collegeswimming.com, finished fourth out of 10 teams in the tough Texas Invitational in December and posted a program-record 832.5 points at the Big West Championships.
Kucera, a junior from Atherton, Calif., was one of the brightest stars for the Aggies all year long. At the Big West Championships, Kucera set conference and meet records in the 200 IM (1:58.36) and 100 breast (1:00.38). Her time in the 200 breast (2:09.41) was an NCAA 'A' cut, while her 200 IM time made her the first swimmer in league history to swim the event in under two minutes. Kucera also swam the fastest split in the 800 free relay at 1:47.88, won one Big West Athlete of the Week honor and will swim in the 200 breast, 100 breast and 200 IM at the NCAA Championships.
Buck, a native of Long Beach, Calif., continued her fine freshman season with a stellar Big West championship meet. She won the individual title in the 1000 free (9:55.82), 1650 free (16:34.55) and finished in second in 500 free (4:54.75). Buck set school records with her victories in the 1000 and 1650, won two Big West Athlete of the Week awards and became the first Cal Poly female swimmer to win a Big West individual crown.
Wilson led the Gauchos to their fourth consecutive Big West title, matching the 1987-1990 Gaucho clubs for the most consecutive league titles in program history. UCSB won 11 titles at the Big West Championships, finished third at the Husky Invitational in December and had six Big West Athlete of the Week honors this season.
2009 Men's Athlete of the Year - Scott Weltz, UC Davis
2009 Men's Freshman of the Year - Kevin Ferguson, UC Santa Barbara
2009 Men's Coach of the Year - Peter Motekaitis, UC Davis
2009 Women's Athlete of the Year - Heidi Kucera, UC Davis
2009 Women's Freshman of the Year - Lacy Buck, Cal Poly
2009 Women's Coach of the Year - Gregg Wilson, UC Santa Barbara