February 24, 2012

Dix Named NEWMAC Swim Coach of the Year

WELLESLEY, Mass. – Wellesley College head swimming and diving coach Bonnie Dix earned New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Coach of the Year honors, as announced by the conference office on Friday. A vote of the league's coaches decides the award recipient.

Dix
, along with assistant coach, Carlos Vega, led the Blue to a third place finish at last weekend's Championship, Wellesley's best showing since 2007. Dix earns the fourth Coach of the Year nod of her career, previously winning the award in 1998, 1999, and 2004.

At the NEWMAC Championship, Wellesley ranked third out of ten schools, finishing behind only defending-champion, MIT, and Springfield who had a string of 10-straight titles snapped by MIT last season. The Blue moved up two spots from last year's performance.

Individually, Wellesley's Championship included a NEWMAC title from sophomore Keelin Nave, while Nave and sophomore Emma Mrkonic each earned second team All-Conference honors.

Nave won the 200-fly in a blistering time of 2:05.56. Her mark surpassed NCAA "B" cut standards, and broke her 2011 school record by over four seconds. The victory gave Nave the first NEWMAC title for the program since 2009 (Kate Sorenson - 1-meter diving, 3-meter diving) and the first title by a Blue swimmer since 2008 (Savanna Johnson - 50-free).

Nave also had strong swims in the 500-free, and the 100-fly. In the 500-free, she earned All-Conference honors with a second place finish, her school-record time of 5:04.33, missed an NCAA "B" cut by .01. In the 100-fly, Nave took third overall in an NCAA "B" cut time of 57.22.

Mrkonic used a record-setting swim in the 100-back to earn the first All-Conference honors of her career, while also taking third in the 200-back. In the 100-back, she swam a program record 57.98 in the preliminaries, and then swam a 58.25 in the finals, hitting an NCAA "B" cut and earning an All-Conference award. In the 200-back, her finals time of 2:07.03 broke an eight-year old school record by nearly three seconds (2:09.63 - Meredith Cowie - 2004).

Wellesley also had success on the diving end, as second-year head coach Aaron Paradis, guided sophomore Hayley Goydan to third place finishes on both the 1-meter and 3-meter boards. On the 3-meter board, she recorded a score of 487.65, while on the 1-meter board she hit a 448.10. Goydan surpassed NCAA consideration scores on both boards, and finished behind only Springfield's Jennifer Thompson and Clark's Eileen Garcia, both All-American performers at NCAA's last season.

Rick Echlov of Babson was voted as the Men's Swimming Coach of the Year, as his Beavers took fourth, the program's highest standing since 2004. Springfield's Peter Avdoulos was voted as the Men's and Women's Diving Coach of the Year, sweeping both awards. Babson and Smith were selected as the league's Men's and Women's Sportsmanship award recipients, respectively.

         
Keelin Nave           Emma Mrkonic
             
 
Hayley Goydan