Several eastern Mainers among UMaine swim team honorees

Four swimmers and one diver from eastern Maine were among the UMaine swimmers and divers receiving postseason awards, coach Sue Lizzotte announced recently.

Two Black Bear freshmen, Kayla Merchant from Bangor Christian and Isaac Walton from Bangor High, were named most improved following their 2011-12 performances. Meanwhile, senior Andrew Meehan from Brewer shared the most valuable award with teammates Brian Landry and Naja Harvey.

This year Maine swimming and diving named a recipient of the Erin Woolley Memorial Award.

The recognition, given to sophomores Lauren Dwyer of Orono and Spencer Warmuth of Brewer, is in memory of Woolley (1984-2010), who swam at Maine from 2002-06.

Lizzotte said, “The award will be given annually to an underclassman member of Maine swimming and diving that best embodies the contributions of dedication, spirit and spunk that Erin made to the program.”

Other awards included: Switzer Dedication — Mike Capossela and Helena Sacco; Chandler Comeback — Ryan Fahey and Carmen Linden; Miller Diving — Kara Capossela; Senior Service Award — Linda Gaudreau; Palmer Academic Excellence — Yuri Chornobil and Dana Wright.

Colby earns academic honors

Both the men and women Colby College swim teams were named as Scholar All-Academic teams by the College Swimming Coaches Association.

The Colby women were the highest-ranking New England Small College Athletic Conference team with a 3.44 average GPA to earn the honor. The men were the third NESCAC team to be recognized at 3.1. During Tom Burton’s tenure as head swimming coach for the Mules, 13 Colby swimmers and divers have received College Swimming Coaches Association All-Academic honors.

In NCAA Division I, the University of South Carolina women recorded the highest GPA at 3.6, while the Yale University men earned the top ranking for their classroom performance.

Nitardy at Twin Rivers YMCA

Former University of Maine coach Walter “Skip” Nitardy, who unexpectedly resigned his duties at UMaine during the fall of the 2009-10 season, is the head swim coach at the Twin Rivers YMCA in New Bern, N.C.

Before his appointment at Maine, Nitardy had coached at the Bangor Y.

Curran strong at A10s

Chelsey Curran, a freshman swimmer for La Salle University and a former state champion in the 50 free for Mount Desert Island High, recorded her season best times in the Atlantic 10 Championships.

Curran clocked a 58.09 in the 100 back, a 2:05.08 200 back and a 2:13.50 200 IM.

La Salle finished third in the Atlantic 10 behind winner Richmond and runner-up Fordham.

Olympic champ Rose dies

Murray Rose, winner of four Olympic gold medals swimming for Australia, died recently at age 73.

Referred to as a “pioneer of Australian swimming” in a jointly released statement by Prime Minister Gillard and Sports Minister Lord, Rose won three gold medals at age 17 in the 1956 Melbourne Games. A fourth gold was won in Rome at the 1960 Games. Rose, who held 15 world records in the distance freestyle events, became the first swimmer to break 18 minutes in the 1,500-meter free.

Rose, also known as “Seaweed Steak” stemming from his consumption of seaweed in his diet, won five NCAA titles while competing for the University of Southern California Trojans.