WINTHROP, Mass. - For the third time in the past four seasons, the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) women's swimming and diving team earned the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Women's Swimming & Diving Institutional Sportsmanship Award for the 2019-20 season, it was announced on Monday afternoon by the conference's front office in its annual year-end major awards release. The award and all the major award winners are voted on by the nine GNAC head coaches.
The Blue Jays have garnered the GNAC Institutional Sportsmanship Award three times since the league started honoring it following the 2014-15 season, earning the award in back-to-back seasons in 2016-17 and 2017-18 before claiming it again this season. No other GNAC institution has won the award more than once, while the Blue Jays have claimed the award three of the six years it has been awarded.
The Norwich University pair of Megan Duffy and Nicole Ansley were selected as the GNAC Women's Athlete and Rookie of the Year, respectively, while longtime Simmons University head coach Mindy Williams was named the GNAC Women's Coach of the Year after the Sharks won their 16th straight GNAC title, and 18th in 19 years, this past February at the GNAC Championships, to round out the three other GNAC Major Awards.
The top-three finishers in each event from February's GNAC Championship also earned All-Conference honors. USJ had two Blue Jays claim All-Conference accolades headlined by freshman Alexia Weir (Hebron, Conn.) who finished on the podium in a pair of individual events. In her first time competing at the GNAC Championships, Weir touched the wall runner-up in the 200 Backstroke and followed that up with a third-place swim in the 100 Individual Medley (IM) to grab All-GNAC honors in each event. Sophomore captain Alise Martel (Harwinton, Conn.) also swam onto an All-GNAC team registering a third-place result in the 50 Freestyle.
In addition to the GNAC Institutional Sportsmanship Award, sophomore Mackenzie Stotler (New Hartford, Conn.) was named to the GNAC All-Sportsmanship Team as the representative for the Blue Jays. A complete list of the GNAC Major Award Winners and All-Sportsmanship Team can be found below.
MAJOR AWARD WINNERS
ATHLETE OF THE YEAR – Megan Duffy, Norwich
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR – Nicole Ansley, Norwich
COACH OF THE YEAR – Mindy Williams, Simmons
INSTITUTIONAL SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD – Saint Joseph (Conn.)
Joselyn Streeto, Albertus Magnus
Kelsey Brown, Colby-Sawyer
Sarah Cotto, Elms
Abbie Howe, Husson
Keely Purington, Norwich
Thalia Bowie, Regis
Mackenzie Stotler, Saint Joseph (Conn.)
Madison Mills, Saint Joseph's (Maine)
Olivia Walz, Simmons
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