BOSTON, Mass. – Elms College women's swimming swept the yearly Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) awards as announced by the organization on Monday.
Seventh-year head coach Bill Tyler was named the 2010-11GNAC Coach of the Year for the fourth time since his arrival in 2004. Sophomore Tessa Dudunake (Northampton, Mass.) earned GNAC Swimmer of the Year honors, while freshman Devon DeGrazia (Westport, Mass.) garnered GNAC Rookie of the Year honors.
Coach Tyler guided the Blazers' women's squad to an 11-2 record in dual meet action and helped Elms finish second at the two-day GNAC Championship.
Dudunake, who was named the league's 2009-10 Rookie of the Year, completed her sophomore season with three top 10 finishes in individual events at the New England Intercollegiate Swimming and Diving Association (NEISDA) championships. This included a fourth place mark in the 100-yard individual medley (1:03.41), and ninth place finishes in the 50-yard breaststroke (32.70) and the 50-yard freestyle (25.95). Dudunake's time of 1:03.41 in the 100-yard IM broke the Elms school record in the event, while her time of 25.80 in the 50-yard freestyle earlier in the three-day event also established a new school mark. In addition, she was a part of four top 10 and school-record setting relay squads, including the 200-yard medley relay (1:56.44), the 400-yard medley relay (4:17.69), the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:44.37) and the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:48.59).
At the GNAC Championship, she placed first in the 50-yard freestyle (26.20) and the 50-yard breaststroke (33.07), second in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:12.22), and secured third place in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 58.14. She also helped the 400-yard and 200-yard medley relay squads set new GNAC records.
DeGrazia was equally impressive in her first season highlighted by her performance at the GNAC Championship. DeGrazia swam to four first place finishes and helped both the 400-yard and 200-yard medley relay teams set GNAC records. DeGrazia set new GNAC records in the 200-yard freestyle (2:05.66) and the 100-yard freestyle in a time of 55.92 that also stands as a new Elms record. She also set a Blazers' school record in the 500-yard freestyle (5:36.01) and won the 50-yard backstroke with a time of 29.54. DeGrazia also glided to a new GNAC and Simmons College pool record in the first leg (50-yard backstroke) of the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 29.23.
At the NEISDA Championship, Degrazia notched an eight place finish in the 50-yard backstroke (29.42), a ninth place mark in the 200-yard freestyle (2:02.11) and clocked a time of 56.66 in the 100-yard freestyle to place 13th overall.
Dudunake was twice named GNAC Swimmer of the Week during the 2010-11 season, while DeGrazia claimed three swimmer of the week awards and earned GNAC Rookie of the Week on one occasion.