Kukors Named Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year
April 11, 2008
SEATTLE - Washington freshman swimmer Ariana Kukors has been named the Pac-10 Female Swimming Newcomer of the Year as announced by Commissioner Tom Hansen. She becomes the first UW male or female swimmer to win either the Newcomer of the Year Award or the Swimmer of the Year award.
In her first season swimming for the Huskies, Kukors rewrote the UW record books by setting six individual school records and having a hand in four new relay school-record times.
'I was definitely honored to get this award,' said Kukors, who is currently training for the US Olympic Trials, which run June 29 - July 6 in Omaha, Nebraska. 'There were a lot of great freshman in the Pac-10 this season and some really tough competition. I'm just excited to bring this award to the UW.'
Kukors, who trains locally with the King Aquatic Club, shined when it mattered most, winning two Pac-10 titles at the conference championships and placing in the top four of three events at the NCAA Championships.
At the Pac-10 Championships in late February, Kukors won the 200 and 400 individual medley and took fourth in the 200 breaststroke. She became just the second UW female to ever capture a Pac-10 title.
In March at the NCAA Championships, Kukors swam to a second-place finish in the 200 IM in a school-record time of 1:55.26, and then followed that up by placing third in the 400 IM. She also had a fourth-place finish in the 200 breaststroke, setting a new UW record in the process with a time of 2:09.78.
By finishing in the top eight, Kukors earned three All-America awards and became the first UW swimmer since Kim Harada in 2003 to accomplish the feat. Her efforts propelled the Huskies to a 12th-place finish in the team standings, which was their highest finish in history.
Kukors set school records in the 100 backstroke, 100 and 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly, and 200 and 400 IM. She also helped the 400 and 800 freestyle relay teams and the 200 and 400 medley relay squads set new Washington records.
Freshman Austin Stabb of Stanford was named the Men's Swimming Newcomer of the Year, while teammate Paul Kornfeld, a junior, was tabbed as the Men's Swimmer of the Year. Lacey Nymeyer, a senior at Arizona, was honored as the Women's Swimmer of the Year, while her coach, Frank Busch, swept the Men's and Women's Coach of the Year awards.
The Pac-10 has been naming a Women's Swimmer of the Year since 1988 and a Men's Swimmer of the Year since 1994. In 2000, the Newcomer of the Year award was added for both the men and women.