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LSU Swimming & Diving Celebrates Season With End-of-Year Banquet

LSU Swimming & Diving Celebrates Season With End-of-Year Banquet

BATON ROUGE, La. – The LSU swimming and diving program celebrated the 2022-23 season on the porch of a local seafood establishment in Baton Rouge called Mike Anderson’s Tuesday night.

The program welcomed family and friends of the coaches and athletes of the swimming and diving team at LSU.

Head coach Rick Bishop, diving head coach Drew Livingston, associate head coaches Jon Sakovich and Leah Stancil, and assistant coaches Lyle Robelot and Rich Salhus presented the athletes with various awards for their efforts in the classroom, in the pool, and in the community.

The banquet led by the coaching staff began with a recap of the season from Bishop and Livingston speaking about the successes of their respective disciplines. From there, the ceremony moved on to the recognition of each All-American athlete. Combined the Tigers earned 12 All-American honors for their performances at the national meet. The women collected nine and the men earned three.

The first award of the night was entitled the Stripes Award. The recipients of this award exhibited a positive representation of the LSU program and university while promoting community service, high standards of academics, and positive leadership on a daily basis. For each award, the coaches handed out awards to a member of the women’s and men’s squads.

The Stripes Award winners were Spencer Adrian and Sarah Grace Thompson.

The second award presented was the Most Improved Award. The recipients of this acknowledgment performed with the most improvement among their peers with the qualities of getting better showcasing itself in time drops, competitive level, and standards met.

The winners of the Most Improved Award were Mitch Mason and Jenna Bridges. During the season, Mason improved both breaststroke school marks, and Bridges earned her first SEC Championship in the 200-fly at this year’s league meet.

The third award handed out on the night was the Hammer Award. The recipients of this award exhibited competitive greatness throughout the year and at a time when it really counted.

The winners of this award were Andrew Garon and Montserrat Gutierrez Lavenant. In the biggest moments, Garon and Lavenant stepped up and showed their resiliency for the team. Lavenant closed her sophomore season with a silver medal on platform and an SEC Championship to her name on the tower.

The fourth award given out was the Newcomer of the Year award. The recipients of this award were the freshmen or first-year athletes to contribute and compete at the highest level. The winners of the award were Ella Varga and Carson Paul.

Varga finished the season with the first SEC Championship in the 200-back in program history and holds the school record in the event with her winning time of 1:51.74. Paul now ranks No. 2 on platform in school history with a 448.70. He only sits behind the most-decorated diver in LSU’s storied history, Juan Celaya-Hernandez.

The fifth and final award was given out to the Most Valuable Athlete. The recipients of this award ended the season with the most combined points scored in dual meet, invitational, and championship settings and have scored and/or placed at the highest level. The winners of this award were Maggie MacNeil and Brooks Curry.

MacNeil won the 50-free national title to close out her collegiate career and broke the NCAA record in the process. Additionally, she holds four school records and earned the Commissioner’s Trophy at the conference meet for earning the most points individually with 96. On the international circuit, she broke two world records in December 2022.

Curry finished the season with three first-team All-American placements at NCAA’s and broke his 200-free school record with a time of 1:31.30.

The finale for the banquet included recognizing the LSU Swimming and Diving Support staff:

  • Rebecca Nation – Athletic Training
  • Maria Berthiaume – Athletic Training
  • Ellie Baldwin – Director of Ops
  • Jack Erickson – Strength and Conditioning
  • Nico Budde – Graphic Designer
  • Brandon Gallego – Photographer
  • Caleb Vedros – Videographer
  • Jason Shaw – Academic Advisor
  • Reana Weaver – Sports Nutrition

Full List of Award Recipients:

Stripes Award – Spencer Adrian & Sarah Grace Thompson

Most Improved Award – Mitch Mason & Jenna Bridges

Hammer Award – Andrew Garon & Montserrat Gutierrez Lavenant

Newcomer of the Year Award – Carson Paul & Ella Varga

Most Valuable Athlete Award – Brooks Curry & Maggie MacNeil