Swimmers and Divers Honored at Annual Awards Banquet
Katie Janonis
Katie Janonis

April 6, 2008

NORMAL, Ill. - The 2007-08 Illinois State women's swimming and diving team concluded its season at the annual swimming and diving awards banquet held Sunday, April 6, at the Doubletree Hotel in Bloomington. Swimmer Tracy Deyell was named Most Valuable Swimmer for the season, while diver Katie Janonis was named Most Valuable Diver for the second-consecutive year.

Head coach Steve Paska began the banquet by acknowledging the senior class, and what they meant to the team.

"This has been a fantastic season," said Paska. "These ten young ladies have put Illinois State on the map. It has been a special feeling to watch them progress and all of the obstacles they have overcome along the way. I know they will all be successful in their future endeavors."

Deyell was also awarded the Most Valuable Swimmer honor during the 2005-06 season and was named the Newcomer of the Year in the 2004-05 campaign. Of her many accomplishments, Deyell was a member of the Dean's List all four years and has maintained a 4.00 grade-point-average for six semesters. She received the Scholastic Award in 2005, `06, `07 and `08, was named to the MVC Scholar-Athlete Team in 2006, `07 and `08 and was a member of the Missouri Valley Conference All Conference First-Team in 2005, `06, `07 and `08.

Deyell currently holds the 200-yard breaststroke school record with a time of 2:21.70 and the 200-yard Individual Medley school record with a time of 2:05.57. She was also the 400-yard Individual Medley conference champion and broke the Missouri Valley Conference record with a time of 4:27.18.

"Tracy has truly been a joy to coach," Paska said. "She is a versatile, dependable, fast and consistent swimmer. She did everything she could to reach her goal that she set in the beginning of this year to break the 200-yard breaststroke record and she accomplished that among many others. She will go down in the record books as one of the best swimmers in the history of Illinois State."



Janonis ended the season at the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Championships as the 1-meter board champion. She was a member of the All-MVC first team and the scholar-athlete team for the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons. Janonis was also a seven-time MVC Diver of the Week recipient during her final two seasons on the team.

"Katie has truly shown me what it means to be a student-athlete," said head diving coach Phil Hoffmann. "She is a very motivated individual and is truly a leader in the pool and on the deck. All of the girls look up to her and I had a joy coaching her through all of the ups and downs throughout the season."

Other swimmers and divers were also recognized for their contributions to the team throughout the season. Freshmen Ashley Bachler and Molly Gomberg were both given the Most Improved Award. Senior captains Valerie Zaleski and Kathleen Borkovec were recognized with the Rebecca Wade Award, which is given to a swimmer who shows all around characteristics of a student-athlete.

The third-annual Dede Woytowych Scholarship was awarded to Jessica Santi. The Spirit Award was given to senior Kristin DeKeyrel for the third consecutive season and junior Tiffany Rentner who both exhibited positive attitudes, great personalities, were team players and encouraged their teammates throughout the season. The Newcomer of the Year Award was received by both sophomore Lindsay Dinkelman and freshman Amy Schaefer.

Four swimmers were named Scholastic Award winners for their outstanding academic achievements. Receiving the award were four-time recipient Deyell, two-time recipient Allison Fishbein, Katelyn Prorok and two-time recipient Erin Woodruff.

The banquet concluded with the announcement of the captains for the 2008-09 season. Four swimmers were chosen based on team votes and coaches' selection. Representing the team next season will be Fishbein, Alison Wippermann, Rentner and Prorok.