IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa swimming and diving team announced its annual team awards Wednesday night at Hotel Vetro in downtown Iowa City.
Redshirt sophomore Kenneth Mende, junior Jerzy Twarowski, and sophomore Will Brenner took home the top honors for the men, while senior Emma Sougstad and senior Calli Head earned the top honors for the women for the 2016-17 season.
Mende and Twarowski shared the men’s swimming MVP award. Mende swam to a school record in the 200-yard backstroke (1:42.19), while Twarowski downed his own record in the 100 fly (46.43). The duo also members of the 200- and 400-medley relays that placed seventh and eighth, respectively, at the Big Ten Championships.
Brenner earned the Wentworth “Lobby” Lobdell Award, given to the team’s top diver, for the first time in his career. The Ypsilanti, Michigan, native broke his school record off the 1-meter springboard (368.00) and finished 10th in the event at the Big Ten Championships.
Sougstad earned the women’s swimming MVP honor for a second straight season after earning first-team All-America honors in the 100 breaststroke at the 2017 NCAA Championships with a time of 58.79 seconds — the fifth-fastest time in Big Ten history. The Forest City, Iowa, native was also an NCAA qualifier in the 200 IM and 200 breast and she swam to five top-seven finishes at the 2017 Big Ten Championships. Sougstad finishes her Hawkeye career with nine school records.
Head was the recipient of the women’s diving MVP honor after earning first-team All-America honors off the platform (292.20) at the NCAA Championships. The Fox Point, Wisconsin, native was Iowa’s first All-American off the platform since 1999. Head also finished seventh off the platform at the Big Ten Championships.
Sophomore Jack Smith garnered the Wally Ris Memorial Award for swimming the fastest 100-freestyle time during the season. The England native posted an NCAA “B” qualifying time and broke the school record with a time of 43.15 at the Big Ten Championships.
Senior Kyle Patnode earned the Jim Marshall Award, handed out to a male senior who contributed to the team to the best of his athletic ability. The Chicago native was third on the team in the 100 fly (47.99) in 2016-17.
Senior Serena Wanasek was the recipient of the Alison Pennington Haddon Strength of Character Award, presented to a team member who exemplifies the qualities of integrity, authenticity, dedication, work ethic, perseverance, loyalty, encouragement, and leadership. Wanasek led the team in the 500 free, swimming a career-best time of 4:54.14 at the Big Ten Championships.
Senior Jackson Halsmer received the Irving B. Weber Leadership Award, which is presented annually to a team member who displays outstanding leadership. Halsmer, a team captain, was a 2015 NCAA qualifier and represented Iowa at the 2016 Olympic Trials in Omaha. Halsmer swam NCAA “B” qualifying times in the 50 and 100 free as a senior.
One individual from both the men’s and women’s teams earned the Strength and Conditioning Achievement Award. Freshmen Thelma Strandberg was honored for the women, while Mende was the men’s recipient.
Men’s Award Winners
Co-Men’s Swimming MVP Award: Kenneth Mende and Jerzy Twarowski
Wentworth “Lobby” Lobdell Award: Will Brenner
Irving B. Weber Award: Jackson Halsmer
Wally Ris Memorial Award: Jack Smith
Jim Marshall Award: Kyle Patnode
Strength and Conditioning Award: Kenneth Mende
Women’s Award Winners
Women’s Swimming MVP Award: Emma Sougstad
Women’s Diving MVP Award: Calli Head
Alison Pennington Haddon Strength of Character Award: Serena Wanasek
Strength and Conditioning Award: Thelma Strandberg