April 27, 2013
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
The Alabama swimming and diving team held its year-end awards banquet Saturday afternoon in the main ballroom of the Hotel Capstone.
First-year head coach Dennis Pursley praised the progress both the men's and women's team made during the 2012-13 season, which included not only a host of career-best marks, but also a cultural shift within the program.
"This team will be forever known for turning the ship around and getting us going in the right direction," Pursley said. ""Everybody contributed, everybody made a difference."
Senior Jenna Gallo and junior BJ Hornikel were named the Tide's most outstanding swimmers while junior Paige McCleary and senior Peter Hillyer are named the most outstanding divers.
Hornikel was also honored for earning both first-team AND honorable mention All-America honors in the 100 and 200 freestyles, respectively. Both Hornikel and Gallo broke school records during the season. Hornikel broke four-time Olympic gold medalist Jon Oslen's 1991 100 freestyle, while Gallo broke Ann-Sofie Joennson's 1995 school mark in the mile.
Freshman Emma Saunders and senior Reese Shirey were named the Tide's most valuable/versatile for the season. Saunders, who joined the team in January for the spring semester, was also recognized for breaking the school 200 freestyle record during the SEC Championships.
Freshman Morgan Presley and sophomore Phil Deaton were named most dedicated while sophomores Emily Facchine and Clark Garner were honored with the Coaches Award, which Pursley said goes to "the swimmer or diver who best personifies our core values of attitude, character and commitment."
Sophomore Kaylin Burchell and senior Anestis Arampatzis were honored as the teams' best competitors while senior captain Jake Reynolds was recognized with the program's leadership award.
Rookie Brian Westlake was also honored during the proceedings for earning SEC All-Freshman.