Pac-12 announces women's swimming & diving postseason awards
SAN FRANCISCO — STANFORD freshman Ella Eastin was named Pac-12 Women’s Swimmer of the Year, as well as Pac-12 Freshman/Newcomer of the Year. Cardinal head coach Greg Meehan and USC head coach Dave Salo were named Pac-12 Women’s Swimming Co-Coaches of the Year, the Conference office announced today. The awards were voted on by the Pac-12 head women’s swimming coaches. Additionally, STANFORD sophomore Gracia Leydon-Mahoney was named Pac-12 Women’s Diver of the Year. UCLA’s Eloise Belanger was tabbed Pac-12 Women’s Diving Freshman/Newcomer of the Year, and STANFORD diving coach Patrick Jeffrey was named diving coach of the year. The awards were voted on by the Pac-12 women’s diving coaches.
WOMEN’S SWIMMER, FRESHMAN/NEWCOMER THE YEAR – Ella Eastin, Stanford – Eastin capped her rookie campaign with two individual national titles and five first-team All-America honors at the NCAA Championships. The freshman captured national titles in the 200- and 400-yard individual medleys. Eastin set the American record in the 200 IM (1:51.65) and also broke the four-minute mark for the 400 IM (3:58.40) title. She is the youngest swimmer of all-time to break four minutes in the 400 IM, and her finish at NCAA's marked the sixth-fastest in history. Eastin was the national runner-up in the 200-yard butterfly in a time of 1:51.04. In addition to her three All-America honors in the individual events, she earned first team All-America honors in the 400- and 800-yard freestyle relays, helping lead the Cardinal to a second-place finish at the NCAA Championships. Eastin claimed four Pac-12 titles at the Pac-12 Championships, including the 200 and 400 IM, 200 fly and 400 free relay. She is Stanford’s 12th all-time Pac-12 Swimmer of the Year, more than any other school.
WOMEN’S SWIMMING CO-COACH OF THE YEAR – Greg Meehan, Stanford – Meehan led the Cardinal to its third top-three finish at NCAA Championships in the past three years. In his fourth year at the helm, Meehan led Stanford to a runner-up finish at NCAA Championships as well as the Pac-12 Championships. Prior to joining the Cardinal, he spent five seasons with Cal’s men’s swimming and diving programs and was regarded as one of the top assistants in the country. During his time with the Bears, the program produced a pair of NCAA Championships (2011, 2012) and a runner up finish in 2010. This is Meehan’s second Coach of the Year honor, previously earning the award in 2014.
WOMEN’S SWIMMING CO-COACH OF THE YEAR – Dave Salo, USC – Salo led the Trojans to their first ever Pac-12 title in March. USC put together a championship team of 27 student-athletes, all of which scored to capture the Championship title. In his tenth season at USC, Salo oversaw the Trojans take their first NCAA Relay title since 1994, taking the championship in the 400-yard relay with Kasia Wilk, Kirsten Vose, Chelsea Chenault and Anika Apostalon. This is Salo’s first Coach of the Year award and USC’s first since 1997.
WOMEN’S DIVER OF THE YEAR – Gracia Leydon-Mahoney, Stanford – Leydon-Mahoney, a sophomore from Newton, Mass., earned three All-America honors during the 2015-16 school year. She was crowned national champion on the platform (346.15), becoming the first Cardinal to win the national title on platform since 2001. She earned All-America nods on the 1-meter springboard (283.15) and 3-meter springboard (329.45) as well. Leydon-Mayoney captured Conference titles at the Pac-12 Championships on the 1-meter (379.55) and platform (341.40), helping the Cardinal to a second place finish.
WOMEN’S DIVING FRESHMAN/NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR – Éloïse Bélanger, UCLA – Belanger, a freshman out of Montreal, Quebec, tallied a season-high 336.00 on the 1-meter springboard to secure the national runner-up spot on the podium at NCAA Championships. The Bruin newcomer also set a new UCLA record in the 1-meter, breaking the previous record of 333.25 set by Marisa Samaniego at the 2007 NCAA Championships. Belanger registered a top-10 finish on the 3-meter, marking a season-best score of 340.75. She claimed three top-five finishes in each diving event at the Pac-12 Championships, highlighted by a second-place finish on platform (312.65).
WOMEN’S DIVING COACH OF THE YEAR – Patrick Jeffrey, Stanford – In his second year on the Farm, Jeffrey led Leydon-Mahoney and Lilly Hinrichs to a combined four All-America awards, including two on tower. Three Cardinal divers qualified for NCAA Championships after finishing with top-10 placings at the NCAA Zone E Diving Championships. He oversaw Leydon-Mahoney to Pac-12 titles on the 3-meter and platform. While this is Jeffrey’s first honor, this is Stanford’s seventh all-time diving coach of the year honor and first since 2008.