by Drury Athletics
The Drury women’s swimming & diving team won the Great Lakes Valley Conference championship on Saturday, and the GLVC honored the program with three awards following their third straight title.
Junior Bailee Nunn was named the GLVC Women’s Swimmer of the Year, Tori Sopp was honored as the GLVC Freshman of the Year, and Brian Reynolds was named the league’s Coach of the Year.
Nunn is the Swimmer of the Year in the conference for the second time in her career. The Marshfield native won the honor in her freshman season and missed last year’s GLVC championship with an injury. In her return to the conference championship meet this season, Nunn won four individual events capturing titles in the 200 IM, 100 Fly, 100 Breast, and 200 Breast. She was part of two championship relay teams helping Drury to wins in the 200 Medley Relay and the 400 Medley Relay. Nunn set three GLVC records in the event posting new standards in the 200 IM (1:57.68), the 100 Fly (52.55), and the 100 Breast (59.59) and she will advance to the NCAA-II championship next month as the reigning National Swimmer of the Year in Division II. Nunn’s award marks the third straight year the Panthers have won Swimmer of the Year honors. In addition to Nunn’s win two years ago, Erica Dahlgren won the honor last season.
Tori Sopp was named the Freshman of the Year after the Wallasey, England native broke league records five times during the week winning three individual events, finishing second in another, and she was part of three winning relay teams. Sopp was a member of Drury’s championship 200 Medley Relay team, the 800 Free Relay Team, and the 400 Free Relay team. She took titles in the 400 IM, 200 Fly, and the 100 Free while taking second place in the 200 IM. Sopp set a record in the 200 IM (2:00.53) during the preliminary heats before Nunn broke that mark in the finals. Sopp set the league record in the 400 IM (4:19.66) in the prelims, then returned to shatter that record by more than four seconds (4:15.56) in the finals. She also broke the GLVC’s 200 Fly record twice posting a time of 1:58.62 in the preliminaries, then breaking it in the finals with a time of 1:57.97.
Head coach Brian Reynolds was named the GLVC women’s swimming & diving Coach of the Year after guiding his team to their third straight league title and their fifth conference crown in six years. His women’s swimmers set nine league records and set a new conference mark with their point total of 1,012 in the meet. The Panthers finished first in 14 of the 15 swimming events at this year’s conference championship.
Some Drury swimmers will return to the pool when the Panthers host their Last Chance Meet next Saturday at the Breech Pool. The NCAA-II National Championship is March 13-16 in Indianapolis, Indiana.