The #Bonnies Are Atlantic 10 Champions

The #Bonnies Are Atlantic 10 Champions

GENEVA, OHIO - The St. Bonaventure men's swimming and diving team claimed its first Atlantic 10 Championship since 2006, collecting 688 points over the four-day event to best second-place UMass by 74.5 points.

Head coach Sean McNamee was named Coach of the Year, and the Bonnies swept all four of the other individual awards as well.

"Our goal going in, with the change of venues from ECC to Spire, was to change the culture after being in second for the past six years and that was accomplished in unbelievable fashion," McNamee said. "This was the fastest A-10's in history, and I have never seen a total team performance like that in my time - 13 varsity and six A-10 Conference records and I cannot even tell you the number of pool records.

"The toughest training group that I have ever had the pleasure to coach was able to reap the rewards and create a memory that they will never forget," McNamee added said.

Stephanie O'Callaghan, the men's and women's diving coach, was named the Men's Diving Coach of the Year for the second straight season.

Vatslav Lets was named Most Outstanding Performer as he touched in at 1:45.35 in the 200-yard backstroke for his seventh gold-medal finish of the meet, breaking the A-10 all-time record which he added to later in the meet with his eighth gold. Teammate Michael Pilyugin took third place with a time of 1:46.73.

Senior Mike Murphy finished his last A-10 Championships on a high note, taking first place in the 3-meter with a score of 335.80 and being named Most Outstanding Diver. Alex Marra took sixth place with a score of 225.10.

Viacheslav Shchukin, Jimmy Martin and Nathan Destree added 43 points to the team's score in the 100-yard freestyle. Shchukin came in at 43.92 for a gold medal, breaking the A-10 all-time record, and was named Most Outstanding Rookie. Martin touched in just behind for a silver medal with a time of 44.15 and Destree swam in at 45.50 for a 10th-place finish.

The Bonnies also had three men place in the 1650-yard freestyle. Senior Elias Homerin finished in fourth place in the finals with a time of 15:46.59. Freshmen Mike Hartwell and Gregg Byrne took 15th and 16th in the consolation finals, Hartwell came in at 16:06.00 for his 15th-place finish and Byrne swam in at 16:08.95 to earn his 16th-place finish.

Mike Burud took sixth-place in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:02.32 for his second showing in the finals. Teammate Matthew Schutt touched in at 2:03.53, good for a ninth-place finish and his fourth showing in the finals.

Homerin took sixth place in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:51.74 and his third top-six finish of the meet. Matthew Rochna came in for a ninth-place finish with a time of 1:51.74. John Mackewitz touched in at 1:55.85 for his first appearance in the consolation finals of the meet and a 16th-place finish.

In the final event of competition, Lets went on to earn his eighth gold medal of the meet in the 400-yard medley relay with teammates Pilyugin, Martin and Shchukin, coming in at 2:57.47. This was also Pilyugin's fourth top-three finish of the meet and Martin and Shchukin's fifth top-three finish of the meet.

At the conclusion of the championship, UMass finished in second place with 613.5 points, followed by Xavier in third place with 519 points. Rounding out the men's scoring was George Washington (397), Fordham (391.5), Saint Louis (386.5) and La Salle (362.5).

2013 A-10 Swimming & Diving Awards
Most Outstanding Performer: Vatslav Lets
Most Outstanding Rookie: Viacheslav Shchukin
Most Outstanding Diver: Mike Murphy
Coach of the Year: Sean McNamee
Diving Coach of the Year: Stephanie O'Callaghan