Pac-12 announces women's swimming and diving awards

Tim Binning/TheSwimPictures.com

SAN FRANCISCO - The Pac-12 Conference named the recipients of the 2015 Women’s Swimming and Diving Awards today, as announced by commissioner Larry Scott. CALIFORNIA’s Missy Franklin was named the Women’s Swimmer of the Year, while STANFORD’s Simone Manuel was voted Women’s Swimming Freshman/Newcomer of the Year and Cal’s Teri McKeever was voted Women’s Swimming Coach of the Year. ARIZONA’s Samantha Pickens was named Women’s Diver of the Year, and UCLA’s Maria Polyakova was voted Women’s Diving Freshman/Newcomer of the Year while UA’s Omar Ojeda was voted Women’s Diving Coach of the Year. 

WOMEN’S SWIMMER OF THE YEAR – Missy Franklin, California – Franklin picks up Swimmer of the Year accolades after helping the Golden Bears to their fourth NCAA Championship in the past seven years. The NCAA Swimmer of the Year set an American record at the national meet in the 200 free, also earning individual titles in the 200 IM and 200 back. She was also a part of the NCAA-champion 200 free and 800 free relay teams. At the Pac-12 Championships, Franklin won the 200 IM, 200 free and 200 back crowns and anchored the 800 free relay to an American record time as Cal won its second-consecutive and fourth-overall Pac-12 crown. She is a 14-time All-American and a CSCAA Scholar All-American.

WOMEN’S SWIMMING FRESHMAN/NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR – Simone Manuel, Stanford – Manuel earns Swimming Freshman/Newcomer of the Year after winning national titles in the 50 and 100 free, becoming the first Cardinal swimmer to win both events in the same year since 1993. A member of two NCAA winning relay teams, she anchored the 400 free relay which set an American record. A seven-time All-American, she helped Stanford to third place overall at the NCAA Championships and also added two individual titles at the Pac-12 Championships. 

WOMEN’S SWIMMING COACH OF THE YEAR – Teri McKeever, California – McKeever’s Golden Bears won their fourth NCAA Championship, setting a school record with 513 points en route to the national title. All of Cal’s four titles have come within the past seven years. Nine different Golden Bear swimmers captured at least one race at the meet, either individually or on a relay. McKeever was also named the National Coach of the Year. At the Pac-12 Championships, the Bears picked up 1,629.50 points as Cal swimmers won 12 swimming events, breaking the previous school record of nine set in 2012. 

WOMEN’S DIVER OF THE YEAR – Samantha Pickens, Arizona – Pickens picks up her second-career Pac-12 Women’s Diver of the Year honor after earning her second-career NCAA title in the 1-meter dive. She finished the season undefeated in the 1-meter, winning every event she competed in through her last season at Arizona. Pickens also placed eighth at the national championships in the 3-meter. At the Pac-12 Championships, Pickens won the 1-meter title and finished second in the 3-meter final. The redshirt senior, who missed most of last season due to injury, was also named Diver of the Year in 2012-13. 

WOMEN’S DIVING FRESHMAN/NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR – Maria Polyakova, UCLA – Polyakova repeatedly broke the school record in the 3-meter for UCLA, first setting the record in December at the UGA Fall Invitational then resetting the mark at the NCAA Championships with a 380.60 score in the preliminaries. She finished fourth overall in the event after becoming the first Bruin to qualify for a Championship final since 2013. Polyakova also finished fourth in both the 1- and 3-meter events at the Pac-12 Championships. 

WOMEN’S DIVING COACH OF THE YEAR – Omar Ojeda, Arizona – Ojeda earns his second-career Diving Coach of the Year honor and first for Women’s Diving after coaching Samantha Pickens to Arizona’s second-ever women’s 1-meter victory at the NCAA Championships. Ojeda also helped sophomore Michal Bower to a 42nd-place finish in the 1-meter at NCAAs after finishing 12th at the Pac-12 Championships. The Wildcats had four top-16 finishes at the Pac-12 Championships in both the 1- and 3-meter events for the women. Ojeda was named Men’s Diving Coach of the Year in 2011. 

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