Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

GNAC Announces 2012-13 Women’s Swimming Major Awards

BOSTON, Mass. – With the culmination of the 2012-13 Women's Swimming and Diving season, the Great Northeast Athletic Conference is pleased to release the major award winners for this past year as well as the All-Sportsmanship Team.

Swimmer of the Year – Devon DeGrazia, Elms College
Elms College junior women's swimmer Devon DeGrazia (Westport, Mass.) was named the 2012-13 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Swimmer of the Year.

DeGrazia was named the GNAC Rookie of the Year in 2010-11 and was the GNAC Swimmer of the Year following the 2011-12 campaign. Behind DeGrazia's efforts the Blazers finished third out of seven teams at the two-day GNAC Championship and 15th out of the 21-team field in the season-ending New England Intercollegiate Swimming and Diving Association (NEISDA) Championships.

During the two-day GNAC Championship in December, DeGrazia set a new pool and GNAC record in the 1650-yard freestyle with a time of 18:56.14, and added a third place finish in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 57.08. She also won the 500-yard freestyle (5:32.67), placed second in the 200-yard freestyle (2:01.41) and led the team of seniors Tessa Dudunake (Northampton, Mass.), Emalee Furtek (Ludlow, Mass.) and Chalis Bird (Windsor, Mass.) that clocked a winning time of 4:27.72 in the 400-yard medley relay.

At the season-ending NEISDA Championships, DeGrazia lowered her time in the 500-yard freestyle to 5:21.61 and placed sixth in the event on day one, powered to a time of 11:05.12 in the 1000-yard freestyle and seventh place honors on day two, and set a new school mark in the 1650-yard freestyle with a time of 18:39.57 on day three of the championship event.  

Rookie of the Year – Lauren Rabideau, Saint Joseph's College (ME)
Saint Joseph's College freshman Lauren Rabideau (Ballston Spa, N.Y.) has earned Rookie of the Year accolades.

Rabideau, who claimed five GNAC Rookie of the Week honors this winter, is also a standout runner for the Monks' women's cross country team and, as the top first-year finisher in the GNAC Championship, garnered conference Rookie of the Year accolades for her efforts during the fall season as well. She is the first Saint Joseph's athlete to be selected as the conference's top rookie in two different sports and also believed to be the first GNAC athlete to claim a pair of Rookie of the Year honors during the same academic year.

Rabideau is the third individual to earn GNAC Rookie of the Year honors in the six-year history of the Saint Joseph's College swimming program, as she joins Lindsay D'Ascanio '11 (2008) and Hannah Gajewski '12 (2009) on the Monks' short list of accomplished first-year swimmers.

She capped her rookie season with a fine performance in the New England Intercollegiate Swimming and Diving Association (NEISDA) Championship, as Rabideau tied the program's best individual placing with a sixth-place finish in the 50-Breast and capped the regional championship with a team-high 61 individual points. Overall, she played a direct role in 141 of the Monks' 163 team points after helping the Royal Blue claim an additional 80 points via relay competitions over the three-day event.

The freshman competitor broke three program records during the 2012-13 campaign, shaving nearly nine seconds off the Monks' 200-Breast record, five off the 100-Breast mark and three seconds off the 50-Breast previous best as a freshman.

Throughout the season, Rabideau posted a GNAC-best time in the 50-Breast (31.97) and the second-fastest efforts in the conference in the 100-Breast (1:10.91) and 200-Breast (2:36.05) events.

Coach of the Year – Mindy Williams, Simmons College
Simmons Swimming Head Coach Mindy Williams was named the 2013 Great Northeast Athletic Conference Swimming Coach of the Year. In just her fifth season at Simmons, this is the second time Williams has received this award from her peers.

The Sharks have had tremendous success since Williams took hold of the program in 2008, winning five consecutive GNAC Swimming and Diving Championships with a growing number of athletes qualifying for the New England Intercollegiate Swimming and Diving Association Championships each year.

At the 2012 GNAC Championship, the Sharks set five new GNAC records including the 200 Free Relay of Amy Davis (Southbury, Conn.), Chloe Davis (Merrimack, N.H.), Maddy McDonald (Westwood, Mass.) and Jen Collins (Trumbull, Conn.), the 200 IM, 200 Free and 100 Free by Collins and the 800 Free Relay of McDonald, A. Davis, C. Davis, and Collins. The 200 Free Relay also broke the Simmons Pool record set in 2011.

After several fast meets in the second half of the season, the Sharks had 14 swimmers qualify for the 2013 NEISDA Championships, a program-high during Williams' tenure. Four of the team's five relays finished in the top eight and the 200 Free Relay of C. Davis, Joleigh Ferro (Pittsfield, Mass.), A. Davis, McDonald and the 400 Medley Relay of C. Davis, Liz Zamagni (Chelmsford, Mass.), A. Davis, and McDonald set new school records with a 6th and 7th place finish, respectively. In individual competition, freshman Maddy McDonald scored 59 points for the Sharks and finished in the top eight in two of her three events and eight Sharks finished in the top 16 of their respective events.

Williams is a graduate of Colby College, where she was a two-time captain, and twice an NCAA qualifier. She earned All-NESCAC honors three times, in the 1650 free, 500 free, and 200 free relay.


Jillian Francis                     Junior                          Elms            Methurn, Mass.
Megan Call                     Senior                       Husson              Levant, Maine
Victoria Sabel                     Junior                      Norwich           Plainville, Conn.
Haley Bowen             Sophomore                          Regis              Litchfield, N.H.
Suki Hood                     Senior        Saint Joseph (CT)     North Haven, Conn.
Christine Cote                     Senior      Saint Joseph's (ME)          Biddeford, Maine
Kristen Vickey                Freshman                     Simmons            Taunton, Mass.