April 26, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State swimming and diving team celebrated its successful 2011-12 season on Sunday, April 22 with its annual year-end banquet at the Kellogg Center.
Head coach Matt Gianiodis and his staff handed out this year's top awards for the swimmer and diver of the year. These are awarded to those individuals who record the best season based on dual meet points, scoring at the Big Ten Championships, achieving NCAA standards, qualifying for the NCAA Championships and scoring at the NCAA Championships.
For the third consecutive year, junior Jacob Jarzen was named the Men's Swimmer of the Year following his third straight NCAA Championships appearance. Jarzen advanced to the finals and finished in the top sixteen in both the 100-yard butterfly and 200-yard backstroke, while also setting a new varsity record in the 200 back. His top performances at the Championships earned him honorable mention All-American status.
On the year, Jarzen led the team with top times in the 100-yard backstroke, 200-yard backstroke, 100-yard butterfly and 200 IM. He currently holds eight school records, including five individual and three relays.
For the women, junior Jenny Rusch was the recipient of the Women's Swimmer of the Year award. This year, Rusch led the women's team with season best times in the 50 and 100-yard freestyle. Rusch also broke the 50-freestyle record during her split in the 200-yard freestyle relay time trial at the Big Ten Championships. She clocked in with a 23.03 split.
Senior Sarah Clay also repeats as MSU's Women's Diver of the Year for the third straight time. Clay posted career bests in both the one-meter and three-meter springboards this season. Throughout the season, the senior picked up six first-place finishes on the one-meter and five on the three-meter. Clay posted a top-eight finish on the one-meter at the Big Ten Championships this season and was named the Big Ten Diver of the Week back on Nov. 22nd. During the Spartan's dual with Illinois, Clay posted the team's top one-meter mark of the season with a 338.99.
Brian Akers was named the Men's Diver of the Year. The senior posted individual season best scores of 277.65 on the one-meter and 318.45 on the three-meter board.
A complete list of all the award winners is below.
Jack Seibold Award for Leadership: Mark Schramm
Jennifer Parks Award for Leadership: Sarah Falconer
Women's Swimmer of the Year: Jenny Rusch
Men's Swimmer of the Year: Jacob Jarzen
Women's Diver of the Year: Sarah Clay
Men's Diver of the Year: Brian Akers
Women's Freshman-of-the-Year: Hannah Pugh
Men's Freshman-of-the-Year: Rob McGowan
Kevin Zielinski Heart Award: Jordan Jackson