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GNAC Announces 2019 Swimming & Diving Major Award Winners



Sharks' Scholand repeats as
GNAC Women's Athlete of the Year

WINTHROP, Mass. – For the second consecutive season, Simmons University junior Aine Scholand has been selected as the GNAC Women's Swimming & Diving Athlete of the Year, as voted upon by the league's eight head coaches. 

Additionally, for the seventh straight year and eighth time overall, Simmons head coach Mindy Williams was voted the GNAC Women's Coach of the Year by her peers, as the Sharks captured their 15th straight GNAC Championship and second straight NEISDA title.

Sharks freshman Sarah Singleton rounded out the Simmons sweep, as the Mission Hills, Calif. native was named the GNAC Women's Rookie of the Year.

On the men's side, Regis College senior Joshua Unas was voted the GNAC Athlete of the Year, while University of Saint Joseph (Conn.) Jacob Wyse was named the GNAC Rookie of the Year in the Blue Jays' inaugural season as a men's program. Regis head coach James Sweeney rounded out the conference's major awards by taking home his second straight GNAC Men's Coach of the Year honor.

The top-three finishers from each GNAC Championship event also earns All-Conference honors. For the complete list of all-conference honorees, please click HERE. For the GNAC's All-Sportsmanship Team, please see below. 

Scholand, who hails from Albuquerque, N.M. and transferred to Simmons from Evansville, represented the Sharks and the GNAC at the NCAA Division III Chammpionships for the second straight season this spring, finishing ninth in the 1650.

At the GNAC Championship, she was first in the 1000, 500, 200 Free and 100 Back, setting a GNAC record in the 1000 Free (10:16.71), 200 Free (1:55.27) & 100 Back (59.90). At the NEISDA Championship, Scholand finished first in the 500, 1000 and 1650 Free. She also split a 1:52.84 on the winning 800 Free Relay, to break the 20-year-old NEISDA meet record in that relay by five seconds.

Unas, a Santa Clarita, Calif. native, rounded out his senior year in record fashion winning all three of his events at the GNAC Championships back in February. At the New England Championships he placed seventh, ninth and 10th while placing in the top-7 in all four relays. He was a four-time GNAC Athlete of the Week, team captain and team MVP, and also was a member of the Regis pool record setting 800 Free Relay. He has placed 15 times in the Regis all-time top-20, including 13 top-10 marks.

Singleton enjoyed a stellar freshman campaign, finished first in three events at the GNAC Championship. She also set new GNAC records in all three: 200 IM (2:10.99), 100 Fly (58.46), 400 IM (4:37.31). She also finished fourth in the 200 Free. Due to a season-ending injury, she did not compete at the NEISDA Championship, but prior to that was a leading scorer for Simmons all season long.

As for Wyse, he tied for second in top individual scorers at the GNAC Championship, single-handedly earning 27 points for USJ. He recorded four top-five individual finishes at GNACs, including a first-place finish in the 200 IM. He competed in three individual A-Final's at NEISDAs, placing third in the 400 IM to earn USJ's first-ever NEISDA medal in its first year. Overall, he set 15 USJ individual school records on the year and is a part of four relay records.

Williams also received NEISA Coach of the Year honors, which is voted on by the association's coaches, for the third straight year and the fourth time in six years. She becomes the first coach to receive the accolade in three consecutive years and joins Bentley University Head Coach Mary Kay Samko as the only coaches to receive the award four times. 

Sweeney, who has been at Regis since 2012, led the Pride men to a second-place team at the GNAC Championships en route to his second consecutive coaching honor.

Williams and Sweeney have been integral cogs in the planning and execution of the GNAC Swimming & Diving Championship event, which for the first time in 2019 expanded to a three-day event. The 2020 GNAC Championships will take place at a neutral facility. 

WOMEN’S ATHLETE OF THE YEAR – Aine Scholand, Simmons
MEN’S ATHLETE OF THE YEAR – Joshua Unas, Regis
WOMEN’S ROOKIE OF THE YEAR – Sarah Singleton, Simmons
MEN’S ROOKIE OF THE YEAR – Jacob Wyse, Saint Joseph (Conn.)
WOMEN’S COACH OF THE YEAR – Mindy Williams, Simmons
James Sweeney, Regis

Jinnae Jang & Tim Gablosky, Colby-Sawyer
Brittany North & Matt Nodell, Elms
Ashley Clark & Alex Miles, Husson
Kylee Russell & Will Micali, Norwich
Ryan Moran & Grant Kollien, Regis
Brielle Bergeron & Jack Monroe, Saint Joseph (Conn.)
Julia Rowlett &  Joseph Nichols, Saint Joseph’s of Maine
Cassandra Vietas, Simmons

The Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) is an NCAA Division III association made up of 13 member institutions and over 3,000 student-athletes across the New England region. Founded in 1995, the GNAC annually sponsors and administers 20 championships, while balancing academic integrity, athletic opportunity and community involvement in an effort to enhance the student-athlete experience.