MELBOURNE, Fla. - The Sunshine State Conference is pleased to announce the 2020 women's swimming individual awards. Courtney Sherwood of the University of Tampa is named Swimmer of the Year, Ewa Osiniak from Lynn University takes Freshman of the Year honors, and Nova Southeastern University's Ben Hewitt has been selected as Coach of the Year.
SSC Swimmer, Freshman, and Coach of the Year awards are selected by a vote of the league's swimming coaches following the shortened NCAA Division II National Championship. All-SSC swimmers were selected earlier this season following the conference championship meet held February 13-16 at the Long Center in Clearwater.
Sherwood becomes the first athlete from Tampa to win Women's Swimmer of the Year accolades from the SSC. The sophomore was recently named the top female athlete at the 2020 conference championship, becoming the second Spartan to win the honor1. The Ottawa, Ontario native was invited to compete in the 200 IM, 400 IM, 200 butterfly, and 200 backstroke at this year's NCAA championship. She finished the season with the nation's fastest time in the 200 butterfly as well as the SSC's fastest times in the 200 IM and 400 IM.
Osiniak becomes the second Fighting Knight to earn SSC Freshman of the Year honors2 in women's swimming. The product of Lublin, Poland, finished Top-8 in her four individual events and led her team in three medal-winning relay performances at the conference championship. She was eighth in individual scoring at the league meet and became the only freshmen named to the 2019-20 All-SSC First Team. Additionally, Osiniak placed 15th at nationals in the 200 IM and was a part of the 400 medley relay that was set to come back to finals at nationals when the meet was canceled.
Hewitt earns SSC Women's Swimming Coach of the Year honors for the third time3 after securing NSU's fifth conference championship. With Hewitt's guidance, six swimmers and five relay teams earned passage to the NCAA championship, and six women were named to All-SSC teams. This season NSU recorded 10 SSC top times, broke two SSC meet records, and eclipsed three overall league records.
1Heather Glenday (2012)
2Catalina Berraud-Galea (2016)
3Hewitt also won in 2017 and 2018