Bryn Mawr Swimming Coach Nikki Whitlock Named Centennial Conference Coach of the Year

Posted March 1st, 2010 at 5:26 pm.

whitlockBryn Mawr College Head Swimming Coach Nikki Whitlock has been named the 2010 Centennial Conference Women’s Swimming Coach of the Year. The award is voted on by the coaches of the conference and is awarded annually following the conference’s championship meet. Whitlock is the first Bryn Mawr swimming coach to be honored with this award.

“I thank my fellow Centennial Conference coaches for recognizing me as the Women’s Swim Coach of the year. But actually, this award belongs to the dedication and hard work of the 18 scholar-athletes on the Bryn Mawr swim team,” says Whitlock. “I am so proud of the success that they have had as individuals and as a team. Together, the coaching staff and the team will continue to build our program and continue to raise our level of competitiveness.”

Following a 2008-09 season where the Owls went 1-11 overall and 0-7 in conference action, Whitlock was determined to not only increase the number of swimmers on the team but make a splash within the Centennial Conference. That splash was felt this past season when the Owls finished 3-9 overall, including a tri-meet victory over Arcadia and Cabrini, before a conference victory over McDaniel, 141-101.

During the season, the Bryn Mawr swim team faced numerous challenges, including the closing of the pool as Schwartz Gymnasium undergoes renovation through the Smart Women, Strong Women Project. Despite daily 6 a.m. practices off campus, the Owls pushed on and rewrote the record books.

Finishing seventh at the championship meet, the Owls set six new school records, including four relays: the 200-, 400- and 800-meter freestyle relays, as well as the 200-meter medley relay. Meredith Davis, who was on three of the four relays, also set new school marks in the 100-meter freestyle and butterfly events.

Davis’ mark of 54.04 in the freestyle bested the 27-year-old record of 54.77 that was set back in 1983 by All-American Helen Collins. She also bested Kelly Radimer’s 1:01.28 in the 100-meter butterfly with a 1:00.10 in November, which she lowered again last weekend at the championships to a :59.01.

“This was a challenging year for Coach Nikki, but more than that, this was an awesome year for the team. The Coach of Year award reflects all that Coach Nikki has accomplished in the last four years, all the hard work and recruiting that finally came together for us this year,” stated senior co-captain Allison Shatz.

Whitlock, who was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, was a member of the planning committee for and oversaw the implementation of Bryn Mawr’s annual fundraiser to raise awareness of cancer, “Owls Fight for a Cure,” which raised $3,500 for cancer research.

Over the last four years, Whitlock has coached 12 different athletes who have been honored a total of 16 times by the Centennial Conference for academic excellence. This year’s selections for the annual Centennial Conference Academic Honor Roll are Sarah Blatchly, Wanda Lee, Caitlin Oriel, Allison Shatz and Cea Weaver.

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