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Courtesy: CAA
James Madison's Nicole Jotso

Mason's Danner, JMU's Jotso Receive Top CAA Women's Swimming & Diving Honors

Courtesy: CAA
          Release: 04/11/2012
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RICHMOND, Va. (April 11, 2012) - George Mason senior Ashley Danner (Springfield, Va.) was chosen as the 2012 CAA Women's Swimmer of the Year and James Madison senior Nicole Jotso (Suffern, N.Y.) was selected as the CAA Women's Diver of the Year in a vote by the league's head coaches.

Joining Danner and Jotso as major award winners in women's swimming and diving were UNCW freshman Hannah Stephenson (Baltimore, Md.) and James Madison freshman Sin Hye Won (Springfield, Va.), who were named Co-Rookie Swimmers of the Year, and JMU freshman Alex Savage (Carrolton, Texas), who was selected as the Rookie Diver of the Year. In addition, JMU's Samantha Smith was selected as women's swimming Coach of the Year for the first time and JMU's Becky Benson earned women's diving Coach of the Year honors for the third consecutive season.

Danner was selected as the CAA Swimmer of the Year for the second time in the past three seasons. The senior received All-America honors in two events after placing second in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 59.02 and fifth in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:08.49 at the NCAA Swimming Championship. She also posted a 32nd-place finish in the 200 individual medley at the NCAA's (1:59.40). Danner was a six-time All-American in her career. She was named the Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet at the CAA Championship for the third time in 2012 after winning three events. She set a new CAA meet record while claiming her fourth straight 200 IM (1:58.24) and also captured her fourth consecutive 100 breast (59.82) and 200 breast (2:09.17) titles. Danner owns the top CAA all-time performances in the 100 breast and 200 breast.

Jotso was honored as the Outstanding Diver of the Meet at the 2012 CAA Championship. She won the 1-meter competition with 306.65 points and placed second on the 3-meter board with 310.95 points. At the NCAA Zone A Diving Championship, Jotso finished seventh on the 1-meter board and ninth on the 3-meter board. She is the third CAA Diver of the Year from JMU, joining Amanda Kuehl (1996) and Kimberly Helfrich (2011).

Stephenson contributed 31 points for UNCW at the CAA Championship. The freshman earned all-conference honors after capturing the 100 backstroke with a time of 55.46. She also placed ninth in the 200 backstroke (2:00.57) and 15th in the 100 butterfly (56.36). Stephenson swam lead-off for the Seahawks' 200 medley relay team that won the CAA title with an NCAA B cut time of 1:40.72. She's UNCW's first Rookie Swimmer of the Year since 2005.

Won achieved NCAA B cut qualifying times in four different events at the CAA Championship. The freshman garnered All-CAA honors after finishing third in the 100 breaststroke (1:01.16) and placed fourth in the 200 breaststroke (2:15.60). She was also a member of JMU's 400 medley relay squad that captured the CAA title with a league-record time of 3:40.53 and swam on the Dukes' 200 medley relay team that finished second (1:40.95).   

Savage earned all-conference honors after posting a second-place finish in the 1-meter diving competition at the CAA Championship with a score of 268.15. The freshman also placed fourth on the 3-meter board with a score of 290.00. At the NCAA Zone A Diving Championship, Savage was sixth on the 1-meter board (517.80) and 13th on the 3-meter board (525.75). She is JMU's second CAA Rookie Diver of the Year, joining Kimberly Helfrich (2010).

Smith received CAA Swimming Coach of the Year honors for the first time after guiding James Madison to its first CAA championship since 2001. The Dukes dominated the event, finishing 146 points ahead of their nearest competitor. Benson was named CAA Diving Coach of the Year for the third year in a row after the Dukes had three different divers place either first or second at the conference championship.

In addition to the 2012 major award winners in women's swimming and diving, the following individuals and relay teams received All-CAA accolades based on their performances at the CAA Championship.

50-Freestyle: Carly Tanner, UNCW; Eva Hannesdottir, James Madison; Cata Mendieta, James Madison

100-Freestyle: Eva Hannesdottir, James Madison; Anna Munger, UNCW; Carly Tanner, UNCW

200-Freestyle: Eva Hannesdottir, James Madison; Kaitlin Burke, Towson; Molly Emery, William & Mary

500-Freestyle: Kaitlin Burke, Towson; Libby Mayock, UNCW; Morgan Johnson, James Madison

1650-Freestyle: Kaitlin Burke, Towson; Caylyn Tate, William & Mary; Yesim Giresunlu, Old Dominion

100-Butterfly: Cata Mendieta, James Madison; Victoria Oslund, Towson; Andrea Criscuolo, James Madison

200-Butterfly: Cari Czarnecki, Towson; Melanie Rowland, Towson; Andrea Criscuolo, James Madison

100-Breaststroke: Ashley Danner, George Mason; Carly Tanner, UNCW; Sin Hye Won, James Madison

200-Breaststroke: Ashley Danner, George Mason; Kelsey Holmgaard, James Madison; Erla Haraldsdottir, ODU

100-Backstroke: Hannah Stephenson, UNCW; Hailey Hewitt, William & Mary; Amanda Skroupa, Towson

200-Backstroke: Hailey Hewitt, William & Mary; Kimberley Rashleigh, Old Dominion; Liz Glenn, William & Mary

200-Individual Medley: Ashley Danner, George Mason; Cari Czarnecki, Towson; Erla Haraldsdottir, Old Dominion

400-Individual Medley: Cari Czarnecki, Towson; Kimberley Rashleigh, Old Dominion; Julia Sepulveda, Northeastern

200-Freestyle Relay: James Madison (Eva Hannesdottir, Cata Mendieta, Kelsey Holmgaard, Susanne Gingher)

                              UNCW (Carly Tanner, Nicole Miller, Anna Munger, Mattie Riley)

                              William & Mary (Megan Howard, Molly Emery, Kristin Fimian, Sara Shaner)

400-Freestyle Relay: UNCW (Carly Tanner, Mattie Riley, Libby Mayock, Anna Munger)

                              James Madison (Cata Mendieta, Kelsey Holmgaard, Susanne Gingher, Eva Hannesdottir)

                              William & Mary (Megan Howard, Sara Shaner, Gabrielle Mizerak, Molly Emery)

800-Freestyle Relay: James Madison (Kelsey Holmgaard, Anna Susko, Melissa Helock, Eva Hannesdottir)

                              Towson (Jillian Gamble, Cari Czarnecki, Melanie Rowland, Kaitlin Burke)

                              William & Mary (Caylyn Tate, Gabrielle Mizerak, Jen Bentley, Molly Emery)

200-Medley Relay: UNCW (Hannah Stephenson, Carly Tanner, Anna Munger, Mattie Riley)

                           James Madison (Caroline Burns, Sin Hye Won, Cata Mendieta, Susanne Gingher)

                           George Mason (Paige Impink, Ashley Danner, Anna Ratana, Julianne Phillips)

400-Medley Relay: James Madison (Caroline Burns, Sin Hye Won, Andrea Criscuolo, Eva Hannesdottir)

                           Towson (Amanda Skroupa, Cari Czarnecki, Victoria Oslund, Kaitlin Burke)

                           Delaware (Courtney Raw, Hannah Facchine, Tori Gillespie, Mary Kay Harris)

One-Meter Dive: Nicole Jotso, James Madison; Alex Savage, James Madison; Caroline Baker, Towson

Three-Meter Dive: Kimberly Helfrich, James Madison; Nicole Jotso, James Madison; Jeanne Ball, Towson