WALTHAM, Mass. – The Northeast-10 Conference announced its postseason swimming and diving awards with two Bentley University student-athletes among those receiving hardware for their achievements during the 2011-12 season.
Senior Mike Walsh (South Salem, N.Y./John Jay HS) was named the conference's Men's Diver of the Year and freshman Nadine Edwards (Danbury, Conn./Danbury HS) was selected by the NE-10 coaches as the Women's Rookie of the Year. In addition, Rick Danehy was recognized as the Men's Diving Coach of the Year for the third time in four years.
Walsh captured both the diving events at the Northeast-10 Championships in convincing fashion, with scores of 381.20 off the three-meter board and a school record 440.35 off the one-meter. The latter score bettered his own school record by exactly five points and he had an average margin of victory of more than 90 points in the two competitions.
Walsh's final collegiate season included participating in the NCAA Division II prequalifying meet in Mansfield, Texas, placing fourth in both diving events at the New England Intercollegiate Swimming and Diving Association Championships and winning the NEISDA Male Senior Diver award for most career points.
"From his freshman year to now, Mike has transformed himself from an average high school diver to a very accomplished collegiate diver," said coach Mary Kay Samko. "He worked harder each year to perform more difficult dives, and became the man to beat in most of our meets. As our only diver this season, there was a lot of pressure to win his events and he came through all season long."
Edwards made her mark as a distance swimmer during her freshman year. She captured the 500 yard freestyle at the Northeast-10 championships and swept the three distance events at the NEISDA Championships, touching the wall first in the 500, 1000 and 1650. She owns the school record in each of those events, with times of 5:06.02 (500), 10:36.67 (1000) and 1650 (17:47.03), and also has her name connected with three school records in relays.
"Nadine dropped over 10 seconds in her 500 freestyle from her senior year in high school and broke the Bentley record by 12 seconds," said Samko. "She loves to compete, the more challenging the work set or opponent, the better the performance."
Danehy, previously named the Men's Diving Coach of the Year in the NEISDA, was selected as the Men's Diving Coach of the Year for the third time, adding this year's award to the ones he earned in 2009 and 2010. The Ashland coach is in his 17th season working with the Bentley divers and has helped a number of them, including Walsh, reach the NCAA prequalifying meet.
"Rick has a special talent for developing divers," said Samko. "He has taken the most novice of divers to the national level. His focus on the fundamentals and his limitless patience allows his athletes to progress and improve dramatically over their collegiate careers."