'Aquabears' earn four individual awards, one team honor
GREELEY -- Northern Colorado's swimming and diving program capped off its 2011-12 regular season last week with some individual and team honors from the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation and College Swimming Coaches Association of America.
The Bears earned three all-conference awards from the MPSF following some standout performances at the 2012 MPSF Swimming and Diving Championships and were one of 165 programs NCAA Division I programs nationally to earn a Scholar All-America Tea award from the CSCAA.
Junior Sara Moldenhauer (Colorado Springs) and sophomore Courtney Van Oost (Elgin, Ill.) were both tabbed, with Moldenhauer earning a first-team nod in platform diving and second-team consideration in 1- and 3-meter diving.
Van Oost grabbed a second-team spot, too, in the 200-yard backstroke.
Moldenhauer finished third on the platform and fourth and sixth, respectively, on the 1- and 3-meter boards at the MPSF Championships earlier this month. Van Oost came in eighth in the 200 back in two minutes, 3.46 seconds.
"Sara and Courtney are great representatives of these awards," Northern Colorado coach Kelly McClanahan said. "Sara has really helped the team with her diving points in every competition she's gone up in. She's competed against some of the best in this immediate region and proven she can hang tight with any competitor.
"I am extremely proud of [Moldenhauer's] conference performance. She will be seeing a lot of the same girls at the Zone [E] meet in March, and I know she will perform even better against them."
Van Oost competed in six events at the Championships, including the 200 and 400 medley relays, the 800 freestyle relay, the 200 and 400 individual medleys and the 200 back.
"Courtney is a coach's dream athlete," McClanahan said. "I can always depend on her to come through for the team in the clutch. She's the type that I allow to swim her races the way she wants because I trust and know she will break her back to finish her best. Courtney has big things ahead of her in her next two years as a Bear. She cares very deeply about this team, and I am proud of her and this honor."
The CSCAA Scholar All America award is presented to college and university swimming and diving teams across the country that have achieved a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.
The award is presented to teams achieving this standard in the fall semester and in the semester of the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships (winter/spring).
The College Swimming Coaches Association is the oldest coaches organization in America. In addition to Scholar All America Awards, the CSCAA recognizes All America Swimmers and Divers at the national championships every year.