Roundup: Swimmers receive Ben Hill Griffin Award
Published: Tuesday, January 18, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 at 12:49 a.m.
University of Florida swimmers Gemma Spofforth (West Sussex, England) and senior Conor Dwyer were named the 2010 recipients of the Ben Hill Griffin Award, announced Tuesday by the University Athletic Association.
The award, established by Gator Boosters, Inc., and the UAA, recognizes and honors the top male and female student-athletes who excel in both athletic and academic achievement and in extra-curricular involvement. This is the first time since the inception of the honor in 1992 that one sport has won both the men's and women's award.
Spofforth joins former Gator swimmer Nicole Haislett (1992-93) and former volleyball player Angie McGinnis (2006-07) as the only women to win the women's award in back-to-back years, while Dwyer becomes the first Gator swimmer to earn the men's honor since former Gator great and Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte (2004).
Graduating this past December as one three UF students to receive the UF Alumni Association's Outstanding Leadership Award for Graduating Seniors, Spofforth exhausted her eligibility with seven NCAA titles, two NCAA records, 25 All-America honors, 13 All-SEC honors, 11 SEC championships, four SEC records and nine school records.
In other swimming news, after three collegiate-best times against four Top-25 teams this past weekend at the SMU Classic in Dallas, another Florida swimmer Connor Signorin was named Southeastern Conference Male Freshman of the Week, announced by the league Tuesday. Signorin is the first Gator to win the award since redshirt sophomore Marco Loughran took home the honor on Jan. 12, 2010.
TRACK & FIELD: Following an impressive debut in the first track and field meet of her collegiate career this past weekend at the Nittany Lion Challenge, Florida distance runner Cory McGee has been named the Southeastern Conference's Female Freshman of the Week, the league office in Birmingham, Ala., announced Tuesday.
After her first week of collegiate competition, McGee holds the NCAA's top time by a freshman in both the women's mile and the women's 3,000-meter run. She ranks fourth nationally in the mile and seventh in the nation in the 3,000m, overall.