BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - Fourteen members of the Western Kentucky University swimming and diving team collected Mid-Major All-America honorable mention honors as announced by CollegeSwimming.com on Wednesday.
"It is very nice for them to be rewarded for their efforts all season," WKU coach Bruce Marchionda said. "Swimming is one of those sports where you don't always have that immediate gratification as far as the hard work is concerned. Sometimes it takes a while to develop that so it is just exciting to have these individuals see the fruits of their labor and be honored in such a way."
Lady Topper seniors Stephanie Martin and Kristiana Feeser, juniors Hilary Mishler, Alex Van Oost and Laurel Chaney along with freshmen Claire Conlon, Allie Duff and Hannah Runyon-Hass collected honors for WKU. On the men's side, senior Kevin Knezevich, juniors Adam Dajka, Billy Kunkel and Luke Musser, sophomore Heitor Rodrigues and freshman Seth Musser received the honorable mention nod.
It is the third-career honor for Mishler while Van Oost, Dajka, Knezevich, Kunkel and Luke Musser are second-time honorees.
"It looks good for the future of our programs," Marchionda said. "We have some gaps to fill due to graduation so we are trying to hit the recruiting trail and we are trying to hopefully develop the swimmers that are here because that is really what it is all about: the development and swimmers getting faster once they get here."
CollegeSwimming.com selected 32 Mid-Major All-Americans based upon participation in the NCAA Swimming and Diving National Championships. An additional 130 male and 121 female swimmers were awarded Honorable Mention status. Honorable mention selections are swimmers who were entered with NCAA 'B' standards, but not selected for the 2012 NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships. The Lady Toppers' eight women's Honorable Mention selections were tied with Harvard for the most in the country.
Among the Sun Belt, WKU led the way on the women's side with eight, followed by three from North Texas, two from Florida Atlantic, and two from FIU. Denver had the most men receive honorable mention from the league with eight, followed by WKU with six and FAU with two. The combined total of 14 from WKU was the most of any league team.
The following conferences have been designated as Mid-Majors: America East, Atlantic 10, Colonial Athletic Association, Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association, Horizon, Ivy, Metro Atlantic, Mid-American, Mountain Pacific, Missouri Valley, Patriot, Sun Belt, Summit, and Western Athletic.