PAWTUCKET, R.I. - In the annual Little East Conference (LEC) major awards, senior Hope Walsh of the Keene State women's swimming and diving program was named the LEC Swimmer of the Year for the third consecutive year, while freshman Jessica Masotta earned the title of Rookie Diver of the Year, it was announced today.
Walsh is the first-ever three-time LEC Swimmer of the Year, and earned the award once again after winning each of her three individual events at the conference championship meet. She won the 1,650 freestyle with a championship and facility record time of 17:28.87 to start the meet before placing first in the 200 freestyle (1:59.53) and 500 freestyle (5:20.50), before picking up her fourth title of the day as a member of the winning 400 freestyle relay. From Hampden, Mass., Walsh led the Owls to their 12th straight LEC Championship title and earned Swimmer of the Week honors four times this season.
Walsh won nine individual conference titles during her four collegiate seasons, and previously set the LEC record in the 200 (1:55.43), 500 (5:10.22) and 1,000 (10:20.93) freestyle events before setting the record in the mile as a senior. One of the most decorated swimmers for Keene State, Walsh holds school records in the 50 free (5:03.06), 1000 free (10:20.93), 1650 free (17:21.95), 200 back (2:06.78) and 800 free relay (7:45.16).
Walsh continues the Owls' dominance of the award, becoming the first KSC athlete to win it three times. Other winners include Kristine Trutor (2009, 2010), Kaila Umbarger (2011), Jillian Whitaker (2012), Diana Pimer (2013), and Allison Bartlett (2014, 2015).
Masotta, from Chester, N.H., had a strong second half of the season for the Owls. She was named the LEC Rookie Diver of the Week three times, all following the start of the New Year, before placing third on the 1-meter and 3-meter boards at the 2018 LEC Championships with respective scores of 187 points and 170.90 points. She is the second Keene State diver to be named Rookie Diver of the Year, the first being Kelly Gilmore in 2013.
Portions of this release courtesy of the Little East Conference