PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Nine student-athletes from the University of Connecticut men’s swimming and diving team have earned American Athletic All-Conference honors, as announced by the league on Thursday night. The Huskies wrapped up competition at the conference meet on Saturday, finishing third out of four teams.
Junior John Brice (Bala Cynwood, Pa.) was named to the All-Conference Team after tallying two second-place finishes at the conference championships. The UConn standout placed second in the 1-meter with a score of 310.45, and he earned the runner-up spot in the 3-meter final after totaling 341.45 points.
Sawyer Franz (Pine, Colo.), Felix Samuels (London, England) and Lachezar Shumkov (Sofia, Bulgaria) represented the three UConn seniors to be tabbed as All-Conference selections following their performances last week. Franz was second in both the 200-yard backstroke final (1:46.28) and the 400-yard IM, which he completed in 3:49.36.
Samuels captured second-place honors in the 50-yard freestyle final with a time of 20.32 seconds, and he also played a big role in the strong finishes of the UConn 200 and 400-medley relay teams. Shumkov was sensational in the breaststroke events, placing third (54.65) in the 100-yard breaststroke and second (1:58.34) in the 200-yard breaststroke.
The UConn junior class earned four All-Conference selections, starting with Greg Baliko (Fanwood, N.J.), who set a school record (1:48.14) in the 200-yard IM. Baliko was also part of the Connecticut 400-yard medley relay team that finished fourth in the event. Jeff Magin (Brookfield, Conn.) once again had a strong showing the backstroke events, as he finished third in the 100-yard backstroke (48.59) and the 200-yard backstroke (1:46.59).
Michael Lennon (Williston Park, Pa.), who finished second in the 1650-yard freestyle final last season, earned All-Conference honors this year after once again finishing as the runner-up in the race with a time of 15:29.33. Ryan Walsh (Monroe, N.Y.) was the final junior to be named to the All-Conference Team. He received the honor after helping the Huskies place third in the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:28.75.
Sophomore standout Chris Girg (Burbach, Germany) grabbed All-Conference honors following his performances in the freestyle events last week. He finished third (1:39.07) in the 200-yard freestyle final, and he swam to a second-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle race after posting a time of 4:24.56.
UConn returns to action with the NCAA Zone Diving Championships next month (March 9-11). The NCAA Swimming Championships take place March 19-21.
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