The Forester swimming and diving team was greeted by overcast skies and a slight drizzle as the athletes made their way to the Glen Rowan house to celebrate the 2018-19 season with their annual awards luncheon.
After introductory remarks by Head Coach Vadim Tashlitsky, the team enjoyed a hearty meal of roast beef, mashed potatoes, and vegetarian lasagna, followed by a dessert of cookies and brownies. When everyone had their fill, the two seniors in attendance, Heath Ogawa and Blake Rhodes, stood and gave brief speeches about their time on the team; they shared comedic anecdotes and gave advice to the lowerclassmen about how to make the most of their remaining years as a Forester.
The first award presented was the 2018-19 Most Improved Performer. Sophomores Fallon Longfield and Stephen Dwyer were voted for this distinction by their teammates. Longfield earned a lifetime best in her 100-backstroke at the Midwest Conference Championship Meet, a goal that she had been working towards for the last four years. She also improved her times in the 50-freestyle and 200-backstroke. Dwyer improved in nearly every event he swam at the MWC Championships, earning lifetime bests in the 200-IM, 50-freestyle, and 200-backstroke.
The Most Valuable Performer awards were also voted for by the team and sophomores Max Rowland and Susan Guo were presented with this honor. Rowland broke the school record in the 500-freestyle and swam lifetime bests in every single freestyle event from the 50 to the mile, as well as the 400-IM. He was the top scorer for the men's team, earning 56 individual points at the conference meet. Guo was also the top point-scorer at conference. She repeated as conference champion in the 100-butterfly and was a key performer in multiple relays, including the school record-breaking 200-freestyle relay.
The team also presents the Forester Award to a male and female athlete who best exemplifies what it means to be a Forester swimmer or diver. Whoever earns this award actively embodies the core values of the swimming and diving program; they are reliable teammates, confident leaders, and respectful competitors. The fourth annual Forester Award was given to senior Blake Rhodes and junior Victoria Miller.
The Forester Commitment Award, also known as the Carr Award, is presented to an individual from both the men's and women's teams who excels in the following three areas: team engagement, campus involvement, and community service. This year junior Rachel Trevillian and sophomore Evan Weller were honored with this distinction.
After Coach Tashlitsky finished handing out the team awards, the captains presented some of their own to each of their teammates. Team jokes, nicknames, and funny memories from the season were embodied in the awards. This has become an annual tradition and a fun, light-hearted way to end the ceremony.
Summary of Awards
MVP: Max Rowland, Susan Guo
MIP: Fallon Longfield, Stephen Dwyer
Forester Award: Blake Rhodes, Victoria Miller
All-Sportsmanship Team: Stephen Dwyer, Kylie Morgan
Forester Commitment Award: Evan Weller, Rachel Trevillian
Team Captains: Blake Rhodes, Heath Ogawa, Ani Karagianis, Rachel Trevillian