Men's Swimming Banquet Awards
April 23, 2003
The University of California men's swimming and diving team announced its annual team awards at a banquet held Sunday, April 6 in Berkeley. Senior Anthony Ervin took home the Most Valuable Performer trophy.
Ervin, one of the world's top sprinters, finished his career at Cal as a seven-time national champion. He won the 100-yard freestyle three years in a row, and recently anchored the Golden Bears' 400 free relay team to an NCAA, U.S. Open and Cal school record (2:48.99). He also won the 50 (19.28) and 100 free (42.62) events at the Pac-10 Championships. Ervin was named the 2002 Pac-10 Swimmer of the Year.
The Most Inspirational Award went to senior captain Joe Bruckart. Bruckart was an NCAA Championships participant in each of his collegiate seasons. He had his best championships meet as a senior, placing second and rewriting his own Cal's school record in the 200 individual medley (1:44.30). He was also a member of Cal's victorious and record-setting 400 free relay. At the 2003 Pac-10 Championships, he garnered his first-ever conference titles winning the 200 IM (1:44.49) and 200 free (1:34.46).
The Coaches Award went to junior Alex Lim and sophomore Duje Draganja. Lim showed impressive stability throughout the season and served as one of Cal's team leaders. He set a new school record in the 200 backstroke this season (1:42.70) and also posted Cal's top time in the 100 back (46.41). Draganja improved on his 2002 national runner-up finish in the 100 free by winning the event in a personal-best time of 42.02 at the 2003 NCAA Championships. That time stands as the third fastest in Cal's history.
Senior Quentin Byma and freshman Matt Lyon shared the Most Improved Award. Byma scored points for the Bears at the NCAA Championships as a member of Cal's school record-breaking 400 medley relay team (3:08.68) and as a 200 medley relay squad swimmer. Posting Cal's second-fastest times of the season in the 100 (54.78) and 200 breaststroke (1:59.88), he significantly improved his previous career bests of 55.30 and 2:01.53, in those respective events. Lyon made impressive strides in his debut season. He helped Cal's 200 free relay (third leg) to a Pac-10 Championship title and a third-place finish (1:17.39) at the NCAA Championships. He also notched a runner-up finish in the consolation bracket of the 50 free (20.20) at the conference meet.
Sophomore Caleb Rowe earned the Best Recruiter Award, while sophomore diver Noah Chutz earned the Scholar Athlete Award. Rowe placed third in the 200 breast at the Pac-10 Championships and swam Cal's fastest time of the season in the event at 1:58.06. He is a two-time NCAA participant. Chutz performed well in the classroom and accumulated a 3.88 overall grade point average. He and Rowe were recently honored as Pac-10 first team all-academic selections.