Written by Student Assistant Sarah Cornell-Maier
TACOMA, Wash. – After an incredibly successful season, the Pacific Lutheran University men's and women's swimming teams officially ended the year as they held their annual team banquet on Sunday, March 12.
The annual banquet is typically an opportunity for the Lutes to recognize members who have either performed well or shown their capabilities as a teammate. Both the coaches and the team vote on several awards, including MVL (Most Valuable Lute), Golden Flyer Award (Most Improved), Lute Coaches Award, Black & Gold Award (Spirit and Enthusiasm), and Captain (Exceptional Leadership).
This year the MVL award went to junior Dennis Liu on the men's side, and senior Erica Muller on the women's side. The Golden Flyer Award went to first-year Shane Walker on the men's side and first year Lindsey Smith on the women's side.
The Lute Coaches Award went to senior Cody Hartman for the men's team, and senior Jessica Stenberg for the women's team, and seniors Hunter Cosgrove and Reese Ackman received the Black & Gold Award. The Lutes recognized as Captains were seniors Bennon VanHoof and Darcie Booth.
With 12 seniors graduating from the team, the Lutes are heading into the 2017-18 season ready to compete as a new group.
"We hate to see the seniors go, but am so excited to see what they accomplish moving forward into their lives," said Head Coach Matt Sellman. "Every year is a new year and each team is different, but I am confident that this team in the future will be chock full of strong leaders, hard workers, great competitors, and most importantly the best teammates."
The Lutes had a strong season with both teams placing second at the Northwest Conference Championships. The women finished undefeated (7-0) in NWC dual competition for the third consecutive season while the men posted a 5-2 mark, including a dominating win over crosstown rival University of Puget Sound. PLU athletes earned recognition across the board, with 10 swimmers, four women and six men, receiving All-Northwest Conference First Team accolades. Additionally, 14 female swimmers and 10 male swimmers were recognized on the All-NWC Second Team.