Marquez named Sunshine State Conference Swimmer of the Year

MELBOURNE, Fla. – The Sunshine State Conference has announced its 2022 women’s swimming individual award winners on Thursday afternoon. Nova Southeastern’s Celina Marquez earned Swimmer of the Year honors and Head Coach of the Sharks Swimming team Ben Hewitt was named the SSC Coach of the Year.  

The junior from Santa Tecla, El Salvador, competed in four individual events and a pair of relays at the 2022 Division II NCAA Championship. Individually, she won the 200 Back (1:55.79) and finished runner-up in the 100 Back (53.05) and 200 IM (1:59.46). She also finished fourth in the 100 Fly (53.38). Marquez set the SSC overall record in the 100 Back (52.42) and the SSC Championship and overall record in the 200 Back (1:54.54). Both times were the fastest in NCAA DII in 2021-22. As a relay swimmer, she led NSU to national championship gold in the 200 Medley Relay (1:38.83) and 400 Medley Relay (3:36.23), setting SSC overall records in the process. 

Marquez joins the illustrious group of Erin Black (2011-12), Emma Wahlstrom (2016-17), Courtney DeVeny (2017-18), and Emma Sunstedt (2018-19) to earn Sunshine State Conference Swimmer of the Year honors.  

Hewitt repeats as SSC Women’s Swimming Coach of the Year, earning the award for a league-leading fourth time.  He piloted NSU to a sixth conference championship and a third-place NCAA finish. With Hewitt’s guidance, nine swimmers and five relay teams earned passage to the NCAA championship, seven women were named to All-SSC teams, and NSU’s program claimed SSC Swimmer of the Year and 39 CSCAA All-America honors. This season NSU recorded 12 SSC top times, broke eight SSC meet records, and eclipsed six overall league records. 

Nova Southeastern completed its 2021-22 season with a third place finish at the NCAA National Championship meet in Greensboro, N.C. To stay up-to-date on Sharks swimming, follow on instagram and twitter at @NSU_Swimming.  

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Seven Sharks Named to All-SSC Teams

MELBOURNE, Fla. – The Sunshine State Conference announced its All-SSC Swimming teams on Friday afternoon, honoring 17 student-athletes. Voting for the team was conducted among the Sunshine State Conference women’s swimming coaches. 

Nova Southeastern, the 2022 women’s swimming champions of the SSC, had seven student-athletes selected, including four First-Team honorees.  

Sasha Maslova earns her third consecutive All-SSC First-Team honor, while Cassandra Wright was named to the Second-Team for the second consecutive season. Savanna Best, who was also named the 2022 Sunshine State Conference Swimmer of the Meet, was recognized to the first-team, as well. Best is the fourth Shark to receive Sunshine State Conference Swimmer of the Meet honors, and the first since 2018-19. Joining Best and Maslova on the First-Team All-SSC are Celina Marquez and May Lowy. The quartet dominated at the Sunshine State Conference Championships.  

Estelle Bauer, Victoria Ortiz, and Cassandra Wright were named to the All-Sunshine State Conference Second-Team.  

Coach of the Year, Swimmer of the Year, and Freshman of the Year will be voted upon by league coaches following the NCAA Division II championship, from March 9 – 12, at the Greensboro Aquatic Center in Greensboro, North Carolina. The NCAA recently announced championship selections and seeding. In total, 21 Sharks will be traveling to compete at the national championship meet.  

2021-22 All-SSC Women’s Swimming First-Team 

 Name School Yr. Hometown 

Jazzy Hoffmann Florida Southern So. Atlanta, Georgia 

Luna Mertins Lynn Fr. Friedberg, Germany 

Savanna Best Nova Southeastern Sr. Cape Town, South Africa 

May Lowy Nova Southeastern Fr. Ramat Gon, Israel 

Celina Marquez Nova Southeastern Jr. Santa Tecla, El Salvador 

Sasha Maslova^~@ Nova Southeastern Sr. Moscow, Russia 

Lisa Bazarova^~ Tampa Sr. Neznamovo, Russia 

Courtney Sherwood^#~ Tampa Sr. Ottawa, Ontario 

2021-22 ALL-SSC Women’s Swimming Second Team 

Name School Yr. Hometown 

Emily Peck Florida Southern So. Nicholasville, Kentucky 

Savannah Brennan^‡ Florida Tech Sr. Oviedo, Florida 

Estelle Bauer Nova Southeastern Fr. Mount Pleasant, South Carolina 

Victoria Ortiz Nova Southeastern Jr. Jacksonville, Florida 

Cassandra Wright* Nova Southeastern Sr. Christchurch, New Zealand 

Beatriz Olivieri Rollins Sr. Rio De Janeiro, Brazil 

Mady Barnes Tampa So. Winnipeg, Manitoba 

Megan Goldthorpe Tampa Sr. Lexington, Kentucky 

2021-22 ALL-SSC Women’s Swimming Honorable Mention 

Name School Yr. Hometown 

Ewa Osiniak^† Lynn So. Lublin, Poland 

^ = 2019-20 All-SSC First Team 

* = 2019-20 All-SSC Second Team 

# = 2019-20 Swimmer of the Year 

† = 2019-20 Freshman of the Year 

~ = 2018-19 All-SSC First Team 

‡ = 2018-19 All-SSC Second Team 

@ = 2018-19 Freshman of the Year

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CHAMPS AGAIN! Sharks Repeat as SSC Champs

CLEARWATER, Fla. – The Nova Southeastern Women’s Swimming team took home the Sunshine State Conference Championship, dominating the SSC Championship meet throughout the weekend. This marks the second consecutive SSC title for the NSU Women’s team, last winning in the 2019-20 season. Nova Southeastern has won four of the last five Sunshine State Conference Championship titles and six in the program’s history.  

The Sharks Men’s Swimming team placed second in the SSC Championships, following five hard-fought days. The Nova Southeastern Men scored 848.5 points and narrowly lost to Florida Southern (865).  

Championship Sunday started with Estelle Bauer earning the gold in the 1650-free, winning by six seconds with a time of 16:58.95, as she scored 20-points for Nova Southeastern. Luca Alessandrini followed with a dominant victory, outracing the field by 16-seconds, to earn his third gold medal of the Sunshine State Conference Championship.

Anton Mueller (43.56) edged out Florida Southern’s Kyle Micallef (43.64) and Matteo Zampeses (43.69) in the 100-free. Although Mueller earned the victory, FSC added 33 points from their top finishers. Celina Marquez and Cassandra Wright placed first and third, respectively, in the 200-back, with May Lowy just missing the podium in fourth.  

Jarryd Baxter took the gold in the 200-back with a time of 1:44.21, beating Florida Southern’s Brandon Dyck by six-tenths of a second. Savanna Best continued her dominant run at the Sunshine State Conference Championships meet, winning another gold in the 200-breast, finishing six-seconds ahead of Florida Southern’s Emily Peck.  

The final medal on the women’s side came in the 400-yard freestyle relay, as Amilia Nusbaum, Lowy, Solana Capalbo and Wright earned a silver with a combined time of 3:24.63. On the men’s side, Mueller, Thomas Flower, Martin Hemminghyth, and Alessandrini placed second with a final time of 2:56.73.  

Up next for the Sharks Swim teams is the ultimate prize, as NSU prepares for a trip to Greensboro, NC., to compete in the NCAA Division II National Championship Meet from March 9 – 12.  

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Hewitt, Sharks Lead Way in SSC All-Decade Honors

MELBOURNE, Fla. – The Sunshine State Conference announced the league’s 2010 – 11 to 2019 – 20 Women’ Swimming All-Decade honor earlier on Thursday. Voters named sixteen student-athletes from five programs to the All-Decade teams, in addition to Swimmer and Coach of the Decade special recognition. Alli Crenshaw from Florida Southern earned Swimmer of the Decade honors, while Nova Southeastern Head Coach Ben Hewitt was awarded the Coach of the Decade. 

All-Decade voting took place among the Sunshine State Conference administrators and swimming coaches.  

Erin Black, Lauren Chapple, Courtney DeVeny, Emma Sundstedt and Emma Wahlstrom were the Nova Southeastern representatives on the First-Team All-Decade, while Malin Westman was named to the Second-Team. The six selections for the All-Decade team from Nova Southeastern put NSU with the most honorees from the Sunshine State Conference.  

Hewitt earned SSC Coach of the Decade honors, after guiding the Sharks to three Sunshine State Conference Championships and three NCAA Championship Top-4 finishes from 2016-2020. Hewitt has coached 25 All-SSC selections, three Swimmers of the Year and an incredible, 28 All-Americans. Hewit earned three SSC Coach of the Year honors, taking home the award in 2017, 2018 and 2020. 

“I’m extremely humbled to be honored as the Sunshine State Conference Coach of the Decade, and I am proud to be recognized for the achievement,” said Hewitt. “However, this is a product of all the great people that have been a part of the program over the years. From the amazing student-athletes to the current and former members of the coaching staff, our academic support staff, sports medicine team, strength coaches and all levels of leadership.” 

Hewitt continued, “We’ve had some truly great years and I am forever thankful. I’d also like to thank the other coaches in the Conference I’ve worked with over the years. Thank you for continually raising the bar, pushing us to a higher standard and being a competitive force.” 

Black was a dominant force in the pool during her time at Nova Southeastern, winning a pair of individual national titles in the 500-freestyle (2012, 2013). She also added two individual Sunshine State Conference championships in 2012 (200/500 free) and was a part of the 800-free relay league title team. In addition, Black also earned Swimmer of the Year honors for the SSC in 2012, as well as First-Team All-Conference and All-American honors. Black was inducted into the NSU Sharks Athletics Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2019. 

Chapple won three individual Sunshine State Conference titles during her time at NSU, claiming victories in the 200-fly and 400-IM in 2013, and also winning the 200-fly and 800-free relay in 2012. Chapple was named as a First-Team All-American in both 2012 and 2013 and placed within the top-5 in the NCAA National Championships in three events.  

DeVeny is one of the most accomplished swimmers in the history of Nova Southeastern, winning an impressive 11 Sunshine State Conference individual titles during her time as a Shark, in addition to two NCAA National titles. DeVeny claimed the NCAA National Championship in the 400-IM in 2015 and 2018. During her career, DeVeny earned Sunshine State Conference honors in the backstroke, fly, IM, as well as relay championships in the 800/200/400.  

Sundstedt, a three-time member of the All-SSC First-Team and a five-time All-American, earned nine Sunshine State Conference titles during her time at NSU. Sundstedt was a part of the 2018 and 2020 Sunshine State Conference Championship teams and helped lead the Sharks to a third (2018) and fourth (2019) finish at the NCAA National Championship.  

Wahlstrom won two NCAA National titles during her time at Nova Southeastern, winning the 200-freestyle in back-to-back seasons (2016/2017), in addition to five Sunshine State Conference championships. Wahlstrom earned three First-Team All-American honors (2015-2017), and was the 2017 Sunshine State Conference Swimmer of the Year.  

Westman claimed four Sunshine State Conference titles from 2015-2018, leading the Sharks to three consecutive SSC Conference championships as a Shark. Westman earned All-American honors in each of her years at Nova Southeastern and was selected to the First-Team All-SSC in 2014-15.  

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Best Recognized as SSC Swimmer of the Week

MELBOURNE, Fla. – The Sunshine State Conference announced the Athletes of the Week for the week of October 18-24 earlier this afternoon. Nova Southeastern Swimmer Savanna Best earned her first career honor following a dominating performance in a dual-meet against Rollins over the weekend. 

Best was victorious on four occasions during the dual, including winning three individual competitions and was a part of the 200-Medley Relay winners. Best claimed victories in the 100 & 200-yard breaststroke, as well as the 200-IM.  

Best leads the fourth-ranked NSU Sharks swimming program back into the pool on Sat., Oct. 30 in a tri-meet against Florida International and Ave Maria.  

To stay up-to-date on all things Sharks Swimming, be sure to follow us on Instagram and Twitter @NSU_Swim and on Facebook at Nova Southeastern University Swimming. 

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NSU Women’s Swimming Duo Named CoSIDA Academic All-Americans

AUSTIN, Texas – The lone teammates from the Sunshine State Conference to make the cut, Nova Southeastern women’s swimmers Allison Kopas and Cassandra Wright have been recognized as CoSIDA Academic All-America At-Large members, announced on Thursday.  

Both were selected to the second team.  

The at-large teams consist of student-athletes across 15 intercollegiate sports, including: fencing, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, rifle, skiing, swimming and diving, tennis and water polo for both men and women; bowling, crew and field hockey for women; and volleyball and wrestling for men.

In 2021, Kopas earned All-American status as a member of both the 200 and 400 freestyle relays to go along with individual All-American recognition in the 200 IM and 400 IM. She posted a cumulative GPA of 3.93 in Education.

In the classroom, Wright earned a 3.74 cumulative GPA in Management and Entrepreneurship, while in the pool, she proved to be the most decorated swimmer for the Sharks in 2021. The senior earned nods as an All-American in both the 100 and 200 backstroke, finishing third and seventh at nationals, and as a member of the 200 free, 200 medley, 400 free and 400 medley relay teams.

“Alli and Cassie demonstrated a high level of commitment throughout the challenges of the 2020-2021 academic year and athletic season,” said NSU head coach Ben Hewitt. “Persevering throughout, they were able to accomplish truly great achievements in and out of the pool. This is attributed to their work ethic, attitude and determination. They embody NSU’s Core Values and add to our program every day.”

Senior swimmers Jerry Brown of Lindenwood and Rachel Massaro of Queens (N.C.) were tabbed the CoSIDA Academic All-America Team Members of the Year for their respective men’s and women’s teams.

Overall, 14 men and 10 women were repeat performers on this year’s at-large teams. Thirty-two (18 women, 14 men) student-athletes on the CoSIDA Academic All-America Division II At-Large Teams had a 4.00 undergraduate GPA. The CoSIDA Academic All-America Division II Women’s At-Large First Team had an overall 3.95 GPA, while the CoSIDA Academic All-America Division II Men’s At-Large First Team had an overall 3.93 GPA.

For a complete list of the 2020-21 CoSIDA Academic All-America At-Large Teams, click here.

To stay up-to-date with the Sharks throughout the offseason, follow them on Instagram and Twitter at @NSU_Swim.

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Sharks Swim Past Lynn on Senior Day

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The Nova Southeastern women’s swim team celebrated its senior day with an overwhelming 202-56 win over the visiting Lynn Fighting Knights at the NSU Aquatic Center on Friday afternoon. Prior to the meet, the Sharks celebrated their 12 seniors Madison Allen, Taylor Covington, Tyler Fell, Laurel Fink, Kaylee Gassen, Molly Griswold, Jenna Johns, Georgia Ogonowski, Leah Orton, Hannah Pariseault, Emma Sundstedt and Haley Watters.
FINAL SCORES: Nova Southeastern Sharks (202), Lynn Fighting Knights (56)
LOCATION: NSU Aquatic Center | Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
FOLLOW US: @NSU_SWIM on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube

  • On her senior day, Tyler Fell earned the first individual win of the day in the 1,000 freestyle in 10:35.50. Fell also took the win later in the day in the 500 free in 5:11.11.
  • Solana Capalbo won the next race, the 200 freestyle, in 1:54.42.
  • Savanna Best grabbed the win in the 100 breaststroke, posting a time of 1:02.79. She also went on to win the 200 breaststroke in 2:16.50.
  • Sasha Maslova recorded a win in the 200 butterfly in 2:02.76. She also won the 100 butterfly in 55.72.
  • The 50 freestyle saw a first-place tie between two Sharks as Alli Kopas and Trieschmann each posted a time of 24.23. Kopas also took the win in the 400 IM in 4:24.74.
  • Wright earned an individual win in the 200 backstroke in 2:02.06.

The men’s swim team will face off against Lynn on Saturday, Feb. 20 at 10:00 a.m. Starting at 9:30 a.m., the Sharks will honor their four seniors, Samuel Brettmann, Alec Dawson, Jake Gauvain and Jonathon Yanello.  
Follow along with live updates on Twitter by following @NSU_Swim.

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Hewitt Named SSC Women’s Coach of the Year

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The Sunshine State Conference announced its 2020 individual awards on Thursday afternoon, and declared NSU’s head swimming coach Ben Hewitt as the Women’s Coach of the Year.
Hewitt earns SSC Women’s Swimming Coach of the Year honors for the third time after securing NSU’s fifth conference championship. With Hewitt’s guidance, six swimmers and five relay teams earned passage to the NCAA championship, and six women were named to All-SSC teams. This season NSU recorded 10 SSC top-times, broke two SSC meet records and eclipsed three overall league records.
“It’s truly an honor to be recognized by my peers,” said Hewitt. “It’s been a challenging culmination to the year for everyone and I know that each of them demonstrated great class in how they handled this situation. They all put together tremendous seasons of their own. I have the pleasure of working with them on behalf of the SSC and our athletes and we push each other to be better rather than rivalrous. That said, I am thankful to my coaching staff for executing a great season plan, for working daily to support and challenge our student-athletes and for constantly going above and beyond what it asked. I’d also like to thank our strength and conditioning staff, academic staff, sports medicine team and administrative team for their collective efforts for our program and the department.”
For the two remaining SSC women’s swimming awards, Courtney Sherwood of the University of Tampa was named Swimmer of the Year and Ewa Osiniak from Lynn University took Freshman of the Year honors.
SSC Swimmer, Freshman, and Coach of the Year awards are selected by a vote of the league’s swimming coaches following the shortened NCAA Division II National Championship. All-SSC swimmers were selected earlier this season following the conference championship meet held February 13-16 at the Long Center in Clearwater.

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Maslova Earns Fifth SSC Female Swimmer of the Week Nod

MELBOURNE, Fla. Finishing the regular season on a high note, NSU swimmer Sasha Maslova picked up her fifth Sunshine State Conference Female Swimmer of the Week honor of the season, as announced by the conference office on Monday afternoon.
The sophomore from Moscow, Russia played a big part in No. 6 Nova Southeastern’s dominating 178-82 win over the Keiser Seahawks, picking up three individual wins and was a member of a winning 200 medley relay team. Serving as the third leg in the relay, Maslova and her fellow Sharks won the event in 1:45.45. She then went on to win the 200 butterfly with a time of 2:06.14, the 200 breaststroke in 2:20.86 and the 100 butterfly in 55.85. Heading into postseason, she currently holds four Top-10 best times in NCAA Div. II.
The Sharks will begin preparations for postseason, starting on Thursday, Feb. 13 at the 2020 Sunshine State Conference Championship in Clearwater, Fla.
As always, keep up with the Sharks on Twitter @NSU_Swim and @NSUSharks.

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