The Schwartz Award - For Excellence
We have played a game called “Schwartz” these past seasons. It was a game based on captain, Lauren Schwartz ’02. It was a game that acknowledged what she was able to do for four years – that was strive for excellence. Just like our school motto – Ever to Excel. Lauren was an excellent butterflyer for Boston College. In her four years at BC, in every practice she swam fly – always as it is supposed to be swum. She did it always with the proper breathing pattern, always swimming into every turn, and always touching with two hands. The results were as one would expect - no bad swims by Lauren Schwartz. Always coming through with that swim the team needed. Coaches expect and ask for the proper effort. Coaches look for those athletes that give that special effort that produces those exceptional results. I know that you seldom get more than you deserve. Most people who achieve deserve what they get. Usually those that do not achieve – have not put in that additional effort. They have not day after day strived for excellence.
That is what this Award is for – Excellence. For the chance to acknowledge those team members past and present that did those things – those extra things – that caused them to be successful swimmers, leaders, students or people.
Geoffrey Geis ’86 Riverside, Illinois
When I think about Geoff’s college diving career one thing keeps coming to mind – Boy, did he have fun. Geoff was obviously one of the best team members we have ever had. To be voted four times as team MVP by a bunch of swimmers tells you much about the impact this individual had on our program. Both Swimming and Diving coach’s will acknowledge the difficulty in making or keeping those two dynamically different sports together as a team. To be honest what it takes is having someone with a personality like Mr Geis. The diving team when he was here was both deep and talented but the key was that they were not only drawn to the team but they stayed with it. Geoff’s personality helped make this possible. You saw them practice over in that other pool and you were always impressed with how much fun they were having. The fun also helped create the success. Geoff had just as much fun with the swimmers. His outgoing personality was shared with the whole team. He was a great diver for the Eagles evidenced not only for his four MVP’s but also for his school records (still holds three having lost one to Chris Wilson-Byrne this year) and his excellent placing in New Englands and Big East championships. Geoff has been inducted into Boston College’s Hall of Fame for his diving accomplishments. However I respect him just as much for the effort that he put into making the diving and the swimming one team. This year’s Schwartz Award acknowledges Geoff’s Excellence in Team Success and Pride. – Thanks –Tom.
Kevin Kenny ’86
Basking Ridge, New Jersey
Kevin was the guy in the other pool – the swimmer. While
Geoff was leading the divers Kevin was leading the swimmers. Kevin just like
Geoff had so much fun as a member of the team. He had a smile on his face at
every practice and every meet. He always put his effort into every race. He
held the school records in the 50 through the 200 freestyles, but he was obviously
the sprinter moving up. I remember one big meet at BC when Kevin was swimming
the 200 freestyle. He had a two body length lead at the 100 and I knew that
all that meant is that he had a chance. Kevin has always exuded confidence be
it a swim race or a game of golf. Every race was going to be another win and
even since graduating - the tee shot on the first hole was he start of “I
have got you this time”. One memory I have of Kevin was his freshman year
when we held our first ever fin relay championship. It was in 1983 and this
cocky freshman stood on the blocks celebrating his teams twenty plus meter lead
with his arms stretched to the sky over his 6’5” frame. However
captain Pat Reilly interrupted the celebration by diving in. A shocked Kevin
Kenny followed suit and a great race followed with Pat being the first swimmer
to go almost all 50 meters underwater and Kevin Kenny battling to catch up and
out touch Pat at the finish. Kevin – just like Geoff – brought such
a fun fueled – positive attitude to our team. This year’s Schwartz
Award acknowledges Kevin’s Excellence in Team Success and Pride. –
Matthew Northrup ’07 Fayetteville, New York
When I think of Matt’s contributions to Boston College Swimming – one thing stands out above everything else - relays. Ever since arriving here at Heights, he was happiest when he found himself as the anchor on one of BC’s relays. A number of times in both dual meets and in the championships, Matt gave up an individual event to be able to perform in another relay. In Matt’s four years here at BC we have had a half dozen meets come down to the last relay. Matt has been the anchor each time. After loosing the first meet to Louisville back in his freshman season, BC has won the last five straight relay meets. Matt also appears as the anchor on all three of the Eagles freestyle relays – the 200, the400 and the 800. Another relay type talent that Matt has been able to demonstrate too often is the ability to get up there with one of his many injuries (non of course swimming related) and still perform splits in relays equal to the healthy Matt Northrup. Matt gets his ultimate reward as he concludes his career here at BC with fifty-five first place finishes in relays. That moves him past John Webber ’95 into first place all-time. This year’s Schwartz Award acknowledges Matt’s Excellence in Relays. – Thanks and Congratulations –Tom.