Sept. 16, 2011
Four members of the Minnesota women's swimming and diving team are set to be honored Saturday at the Golden Gopher football game vs. Miami (Ohio) for their remarkable accomplishments last season. Kaylee Jamison will be awarded the 2011 Big Ten Medal of Honor, while Kelci Bryant, Haley Spencer and Jillian Tyler will all receive their 2011 NCAA Champion rings.
All four student-athletes will be honored on the field during the first timeout of the second quarter, with Jamison and fellow Big Ten Medal of Honor award winner Mike Thorn (wrestling) being recognized first on the 20-yard line, before the trio of NCAA Champions received their rings in the East end zone directly afterward.
The Big Ten Medal of Honor is given annually to a student in the graduating class of each university that demonstrated proficiency in scholarship and athletics. Jamison completed her Gopher career in style by earning All-American honors in three events as a senior in the 100 fly, 200 medley and 400 medley relays. She earned honors on the Big Ten Second Team and was a member of the Conference runner-up 200 medley and 400 medley relays. Her involvement in the 200 medley relay set a school record of 1:37.37 in the finals. Jamison also set the school record in the 100 fly (52.69) and 200 free relay (1:28.74). She won 13 titles as a senior and is a five-time All-American as well as a two-time Big Ten champion as a member of relays.
In the classroom, Jamison excelled by receiving the 2011 Minnesota Athletics' Outstanding Achievement Award, which is presented to two student-athletes who are accomplished in the four major areas emphasized by the NCAA Student-Athlete Welfare Program: Academics, Athletics, Leadership and Volunteerism. During her Gopher career she was awarded All-Big Ten honors and earned the department's Top 5 award, holding one of the top five GPA's for a female athlete.
Bryant captured the 1-meter diving national title at the 2011 NCAA Women's Swimming & Diving Championships in Austin, Texas, after gathering 349.65 points, capped off by a career-best of 61.10 points on a reverse 1 1/2 somersault, 1 1/2 twist dive. Bryant added the 2011 1-meter title to the NCAA title she won on the 3-meter springboard in 2010 to become the first two-time national champion in Gopher history. Following her run to the title, she was named the 2011 CSCAA Diver of the NCAA Championships.
Tyler swam to the national title in her final collegiate race of her best event, winning the 100-yard breaststroke on day two of the NCAA Women's Swimming & Diving Championships. The senior made a push after the first turn to take the lead and then held off Texas A&M freshman Breeja Larson at the wall. Tyler, a Calgary, Alberta native, clocked a time of 58.39 seconds to capture her first NCAA title after two runner-up finishes in 2008 and 2009 and a fourth-place showing in 2010.
Spencer captured the national title in the 200-yard breaststroke to give the Golden Gophers their third title at the 2011 NCAA Women's Swimming & Diving Championships with a career-best time of 2 minutes, 6.12 seconds. Spencer was in fourth place at the final turn and used a great sprint in the final 25 yards to out-touch the field, bettering runner-up Texas A&M's Breeja Larson by six hundredths of a second (2:06.18).