THE MARY PAWLAK AWARD - Special Recognition
This award originated in 1988 as The Coach’s Award. In 1992, Mary Pawlak ‘88 joined the team as a coach and after one season succumbed to Hodgkins Disease. The award was fittingly renamed the Mary Pawlak Award. Despite Mary being a swimmer at the Heights, she made a bigger contribution when she returned to BC as an assistant coach. She was proud of the time she spent with the team and I am proud to recognize her contributions to the program. It seems the other awards always leaves some holes and some very deserving individuals do not get the recognition they deserve. These additional award winners will help fill that void.
Deanna Zechmann - BC Diving Coach
Deanna put in five years as our diving coach and did a great
job of returning stability to that part of the program. The divers in general
did a great job while she coached and in her last season Chris Wilson-Byrne
broke a 21 year old BC record. Deanna retired and I went about finding a new
coach. Out of a strong crew I picked the new coach and all looked fine –
until late in August the new coach left.
Fast forward to a few days before the Northeastern meet. We had gotten through the pre-season with Chris Wilson-Byrne helping out and the divers doing some self coaching. A call went from me to Deanna and she agreed to come back. It turned out to be a season saver. Three girls that Deanna had coached were entering their senior year of the “Divers for Life” program. They were joined by two freshmen. On the boys side the signs were up looking for bodies and some had landed on the pool deck ready to go. Deanna turned this potential nightmare for the team into a success. The girls dove well with BC grabbing about half of the first place finishes during our season. The men took awhile to get going but they added six vital points in the big Dartmouth and contributed right through the end of the year.
So Deanna – thanks for the first five years – with a special thanks and a Pawlak Award for the sixth and final one.
Caroline Byron '09 - Dallas, Pennsylvania
Sometimes when someone is so good at something you tend to
take it for granted. When I am putting together a lineup, some events do not
take that much thought. I tell myself without thinking much about it –
well we will win this event, this event and that event – now how can we
win this meet. But, then when a meet comes down to the last relay – which
it did an amazing seven times this season – and I have to split the relays
to try and go 1-2 to have a chance, I remember to truly appreciate what Caroline
Byron means to the success of this team.
I do not do to much with the statistics of this sport until the season is over so much of this comes at me very late. Being a coach type person my whole life – I have always loved stats and numbers no matter what the sport may be. I know they do not tell the whole story but they certainly can help and when used properly – both by the athlete and the coach – they can tell a true and helpful story.
In Caroline’s case this season the numbers shout out her value. She scored more points in her junior year dual meets than any previous BC swimmer with 278. Even more impressive was her first place finishes where she had forty-four during the year – which I believe equals the BC Best of Sara Guerena in 1996. But even more impressive is where she did it. We had six dual meets that went down to the last relay. Caroline had three individual wins in each of those meets – except one – the BU meet where the boneheaded coach put her in the 500. So I will go into her senior year determined not to take her contributions for granted. One great year to go and I plan to take advantage of it – Congrats – Caroline.