Grizzlies Earn Five Major Conference Awards, Collect Several All-Conference Selections

Photo: Rose-Hulman Athletic Communications
Photo: Rose-Hulman Athletic Communications

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Franklin College swimming and diving teams captured five major conference awards and a slew of all-conference accolades when the Heartland Athletic Collegiate Conference (HCAC) announced the men's and women's all-conference teams on Wednesday (Feb. 20) afternoon.

After a dominant showing that resulted in their second straight conference win, the Franklin women swept all three athlete of the year awards. Brynna Sentel was named the league's Swimmer of the Year for the first time, Lexi Blackburn repeated as the HCAC Diver of the Year and Rylee Elder parlayed a strong first conference championship into Freshman of the Year honors. Sophomore Charlie Hall was named the Male Swimmer of the Year and head coach Andy Hendricks was named the Men's Coach of the Year after guiding the Grizzlies to their first HCAC title.

Sentel put on a dominant three-day performance on her way to the league's top female swimmer award. The Sullivan, Ill.-native was the clear-cut winner in all three individual events, winning the 500 free (4:54.99), 200 free (1:51.68) and 100 backstroke (57.66), hitting NCAA provisional cuts in the 500 and 200 freestyle events.

Additionally, she took part in all four winning Franklin relay teams, helping the 200 medley and 200 freestyle relay squads hit NCAA provisional times. She also swam with the top 800 free relay and 400 free relay teams, both of while set new HCAC open records.

Hall picked up three critical first place finishes over the weekend, scooping up important points that helped the Franklin men win their first league championship, unseating Rose-Hulman from the top spot. The Owensboro, Ky.-native picked up first place in the 200 individual medley (1:54.47), 400 individual medley (4:08.19) and 200 butterfly (1:53.55), setting new pool records in the 400 IM and 200 fly events.

Blackburn became a two-time HCAC Diver of the Year after shattering the HCAC meet records on both the one and three-meter boards. The Clayton, Ind.-native picked up her first title of the weekend with 457.15 points on the three-meter board on Thursday. One day later, she racked up a school record for 11 dives on the one-meter board with 527.45 points.

Elder had a strong showing in her first league championships event, picking up points for Franklin in a pair of events. The Avon, Ind.-native took second place in the mile with a time of 18:30.55, finishing less than a second behind the top spot. She would also add third place finishes in the 500 freestyle (5:25.00) and the 200 butterfly (2:20.95).

The entire list of all-conference nominees can be found below. Winners of both individual and relay events earned first team honors while runner-up finishers claimed second team recognition and bronze medal winners earned spots on the honorable mention team.

Franklin's First Team All-HCAC selections include: Blackburn, Sentel, Courtnee Coffman, Liz Colliver, Mackenzie Dwyer, Jessica Halsmer, Cady Mehringer, Jacqueline Richard, Ashley Snoke, Jordan Cermak, Ben Doss, Hall, James Hone, Zach Raybe, Noah Tallman and Caleb Strange. 

Second Team All-HCAC choices include Will Combs, Elder, August Hartzell and Anna Perkins. Allyson Carroll, Maggie Hutzky, Dylan Harker, Mac Howard and Rob Warren all picked up honorable mention selections.