The postseason honors are pouring in from all over and the Stanford Women’s Swimming & Diving team has taken home half of the awards given out from the Pac-12 during their year-end announcement.
The No. 1 Cardinal saw Mia Paulsen named as the Diver of the Year, Emma Wheal named as the Freshman of the Year and coach Patrick Jeffrey named Diving Coach of the Year, grabbing three of the six awards named.
Paulsen finished this past season on the heels of an incredible year prior in which she was a Pac-12 Champion on the platform and an NCAA qualifier in both the platform and 3-meter dives. Her junior season saw her repeat as platform champion in the Pac-12 and an NCAA qualifier for the platform, 3-meter and 1-meter this season. She was the Zone E Championships top scorer on the platform with a dive score of 586.60 and finished fourth on the 1-meter and 10th on the 3-meter as well,
Jeffrey spoke with GoStanford.com about Paulsen’s season:
“Mia earned this award every day of this year,” Jeffrey said. “She brought a renewed dedication and fire to the pool deck every day, even through tough weeks of school and training all three diving events. She also took on a huge leadership role as a junior. She is the only upperclassman on our young diving team and was a great example to our whole team. I couldn’t be more proud of her. I only wish she would have been able to finish the season at NCAA’s. I could tell this was going to be the year she broke through on that level. I am also extremely thankful she’ll be back for senior year. I believe it will be a fulfilling one!”
Wheal burst onto the scene as the conference’s top freshman swimmer, earning a Pac-12 championship as part of the 200-yard medley relay team. She set multiple personal bests this season despite an All-American career in high school in Texas. She became an NCAA qualifier for her efforts in the 100-yard butterfly with a season-best 52.16 time.
Jeffrey’s list of accomplishments keeps getting bigger as coach, earning his second Coach of the Year for the women, in addition to his two awards as men’s top coach as well. He spoke about his inspiration while at Stanford.
“My main focus on a daily basis is just to be good enough for my extremely dedicated diving student-athletes, the Stanford Swimming staff and the Stanford Athletic Department that put their trust in me. It is constantly top of mind that I live up to the position that has been entrusted to me,” said Jeffrey. “Being at Stanford among so many amazing sports programs and coaches is a huge inspiration. To be able to work closely with world-class coaches like Greg and Tracy and with Stanford student-athletes is an extraordinary experience for which I am constantly grateful. And of course, I’d be remiss not to acknowledge the unwavering support of my volunteer assistant coach, Zach Whitaker.”
Congratulations, Coach, Mia and Emma!