Swimming And Diving Hosts The UMass Aquatics Alumni Reunion Weekend

Elizabeth Walsh, Karen Upperco, Reuben Rappe, and Andrew Willbrant share MVP award.

Christa Narus was this year's recipient of the Spike Award

May 5, 2008

AMHERST, Mass. - The men's and women's swimming and diving teams held the UMass Aquatics Alumni Reunion over this past weekend. During the end-of-the-season banquet, head coaches Russ Yarworth, Bob Newcomb, and Mandy Hixon gave out team awards, presented the team captains for next season and honored the departing senior class. Senior Elizabeth "Boopa" Walsh (Marshfield, Mass.), junior Karen Upperco (Titusville, N.J.), senior R.J. Rappe (Farmington, Minn.), and freshman Andrew Wilbrant (Londonderry, N.H.) were honored as this seasons Most Valuable Performers.

For Walsh, this year's MVP achievement comes after earning last year's Rookie of the Year award. This year's Rookie of the Year award went to freshman diver Anne Fogerty (Allentown, Pa.) for the women's team and freshman Brian Schmidt (Falmouth, Mass.) for the men's squad.

The Minuteman Award, which goes to those who exemplify the best qualities of a UMass swimmer, was given to senior Samantha Demty (Seekonk, Mass.) and senior John Weaver (E. Longmeadow, Mass.). For the second year in a row sophomore Juan Moliere (San Juan, Puerto Rico) received the Coaches Award for the men's team and senior Allison Volpe (Pottstown, Pa.) was honored with the Coaches Award for the women's team.



Junior Michael Prout (West Springfield, Mass.) was given the S.T.U.D award for the third consecutive year and junior Christa Narus (Stony Brook, N.Y.) was awarded the Spike Award for the women's team after both were recognized for their tremendous work ethic over the course of the season.

The men's team presented the Diver Dude Award to the entire men's diving squad. The men's diving team was made up of RJ Rappe, sophomore Byron Johnson (Taunton, Mass.), freshman Adam Duffield (Brookfield, Conn.), freshman John Clark (Westport, Conn.), and freshman Zach Lichter (Weston, Mass.). The men's team also presented the Iron Man Award to Justin Brooks after his outstanding performance in distance swimming this season. Brooks received the Most Improved Award at last year's banquet.

The captains for next year's women's team are Jackie Porter (Holliston, Mass.), Karen Upperco, Cecelia Jenkins (Acton, Mass.), and Christa Narus. For the men's squad, the team will be led by Nate Bromage (Three Rivers, Mass.) and Brad Sloan (Shrewsbury, Pa.).

The Minutewomen are coming off of a fourth place finish in the A-10 Championships. The Minutemen won their seventh A-10 Championship title in the last eight seasons and finished the season ranked No. 11 in the CollegeSwimming.com Mid-Major Poll.

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