MOST VALUABLE PERFORMER
This Award has been around since the first season
back in 1973. The winner is determined by votes by the team members and the
criteria is “who do you feel was most valuable to the team in 2007.”
Andy Faughnan '07 - Aberdeen, New Jersey
and I spoke before the Terrier Invitational. He informed me that he did not
think that he would swim very well at the upcoming meet. I am sure the fact
that the semester ending meet was a few weeks earlier in the season than previous
years had something to do with his feelings. However in our conversation he
informed me it was more than that. He just had not swum as well this first semester
than the previous year. He stated some times that he had done during last year’s
first semester that he had not been able to do this year. He also seemed to
be feeling the sting of the 200 freestyle against Dartmouth.
One of the enjoyable things that I have experienced while watching Andy swim has been how he goes after a race and literally fights to stay in front of a swimmer with his arms tearing away at the water and his butt wiggling back and forth. There have been those days where it just seems like he can’t be beat. It is a great competitive talent that he possesses – one that has been developed over years of training and competing. I told him that I think he was putting too much stock into that 200 vs Dartmouth’s Ellis. That Ellis took his race away the aggressive way that he also took out his 200. Besides, there is little fault to be assessed when you lose to a 1:45 in a dual meet. I felt and told Andy that he was fine and would once again shine when he got to the Terrier Invite. And shine he did with times faster than his excellent 2005 Nutmeg meet including a personal best in the 100 freestyle – 46.24. Andy shared the Outstanding Performer of the meet with classmate Thomas Martz.
The blazing finish to the career was curtailed by a separated shoulder suffered in the meet against UMass (at least it did not happen in a touch football game). Andy missed out on the school records that he had his eye on – the 50, the 100 and the 200 freestyle, but he did manage to join up with Thomas Martz, Robert Swaninger and Matt Northrup to set a new school record in the 200 freestyle relay – a 1:23.90. But it is not the times that I will remember about Andy – it will always be that effort. That effort that brought him so much success but, as with every great athlete, it brought more to the team – Thanks.
Thomas Martz '07 - Stafford, Virginia
Well, he shared the Outstanding Performer Award during the
Terrier Invite with Andy Faughnan and even had the misfortune of having a shoulder
injury also – so he might as well share the MVP Award and deservedly so.
Thomas concludes an abbreviated swimming career here at the Heights having accomplished
so much for himself and obviously for the team. He burst on the scene as a sophomore
and gave us our best sprint butterflyer ever – as evidenced by his school
record. We missed him for half of last season but he came back with a renewed
purpose in his senior year. He had his sights set on lowering his 100 fly mark
but also plans on improving his contributions to the team by expanding his sprint
He concluded the first semester with both goals well in hand. The butterfly was still there as attested to his winning time in the 100 at the Terrier Invite of 50.33 – just off his school mark. He also showed where he stood in the sprint freestyles by winning the 50 freestyle with a personal best of 21.28. In the final event of the meet Thomas lead off the 400 free relay with a 47.60 as the Eagles defeated UMass with an impressive 3:07.42.
Thomas lead the team in scoring (299.75 to Andy’s 294.50). He also lead the way in first place finishes with thirty. He can also be credited with causing the most noise during meets as “T” echoed through most pools when it came his time to race. His shoulder injury probably left him a tad short of his goals but his effort and all he added to our program by trying out a few years ago will be very tough to replace. – Thanks.
Christopher Wilson-Byrne '07 - Wellesley, Massachusetts
For the first time in our thirty five years of Boston College
Men’s Swimming and Diving we have three MVP’s. Chris Wilson-Byrne
fittingly joins his two classmates in sharing this award. The class of 2007
has been the deepest and one of the most accomplished crews we have ever had
here at BC. Their depth and versatility have had a great impact on the program
– particularly with so many big wins in the last four years. Our ability
to stay with and compete with schools like Colgate, the University of Rhode
Island and Boston University has been the result of being able to challenge
their top swimmers and grab so many of those second, third, fourth and fifth
places. Another reason that we have been successful has been Chris. In every
dual meet these last four years having Chris on the diving board has made us
competitive with every team we have faced off with. To be able to shift pools
and remain not only competitive, but in many, many cases better has given us
a number of wins that otherwise may have escaped us. Chris’s success in
diving comes as a credit to his work ethic, his coach-ability, and his desire
to improve. He has put in countless time into the diving well (often working
out on his own) and the weight room. His efforts there in the off-season helped
him improve his strength to make him a powerful force on the diving boards.
His desire shines through in every facet of his life as evidenced by his success
as a student and a musician.
For a diver to be chosen as an MVP is a great accomplishment. Most of the voters hang around that other pool and it is sometimes difficult to notice the success that a diver can have. Chris certainly earned this award as he lead the team in the individual first place finishes with twenty – despite only two chances each meet. Chris becomes only the third diver to be chosen as an MVP – joining Mike Wilt ’01 and Geoff Geis ’86 (a four time MVP). He also assumed his rightful place as one of the Eagle’s top divers of all time when he broke the school record for one meter dual meet diving during the Rhode Island meet. Chris will be sorely missed and will be one of the hardest pieces of the class of 2007 to replace. I wish you best of luck where I am sure future successes will follow you and thanks for all that you added to the team these last four years.
List of All Boston College Swimming & Diving MVP's