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Robinson Highlights Liberty's VaSID All-State Swimming & Diving Honorees

June 14, 2019  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Olivia Robinson was named VaSID Rookie Diver of the Year

Olivia Robinson was named VaSID Rookie Diver of the Year

Liberty freshman Olivia Robinson was voted 2019 Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) State Rookie Diver of the Year, highlighting six VaSID honors received by the Liberty swimming & diving team.

The VaSID All-State Women's Swimming & Diving Team featured nomination and voting by sports information directors from all around the Commonwealth of Virginia. This is the first year that VaSID has sponsored a swimming & diving awards program.

In addition to Robinson's Rookie Diver of the Year award, Liberty received five second-team honors on the inaugural VaSID Women's Swimming & Diving Team. Senior Alicia Finnigan (butterfly), redshirt sophomore Mikayla Herich (IM), sophomore Payton Keiner (backstroke) and freshman Gianni Pitto (breaststroke) were all named to the second team. Also, Liberty's 800 freestyle relay of Hannah Baker, Emily Zimcosky, Emily Manly and Herich received second-team mention.

Robinson, a native of Friendswood, Texas, helped put Liberty's diving program on the map as a freshman. She became the first Liberty diver to qualify for the NCAA Zone Championships on one-meter, three-meter and platform. Additionally, she placed second in one-meter and three-meter diving at the CCSA Championships. A two-time CCSA Women's Diver of the Week honoree, Robinson is Liberty's program record holder on platform (229.58).

Finnigan, a senior from Sugar Land, Texas, capped off one of the top swimming careers in program history. She set a program record with 10 career CCSA podium appearances, including three straight victories at the conference championships in the 200 fly. A two-time NCAA participant, Finnigan concluded her career as the program's top performer at 200 fly (1:55.58). This year, she won the 200 fly and placed second in the 100 fly at the CCSA Championships.

Hailing from Hebron, Ky., Herich made an immediate impact at Liberty during her first year after transferring from Ohio. She won the 200 IM at the CCSA Championships in a program-record NCAA B cut time of 1:59.82. Herich clocked a B cut 4:15.23 to take second in the CCSA 400 IM A Final. The redshirt sophomore was named CCSA Women's Swimmer of the Week on Oct. 31.

A Cincinnati, Ohio, native, Keiner continued her dominance in the backstroke. The 2018 Most Outstanding Freshman of the CCSA Meet, Keiner won both the 100 and 200 backstroke at the 2019 CCSA Championships. Her leadoff leg (52.82) of the 400 medley relay helped spark Liberty's CCSA championship in the event. Also, her 52.82 was just .01 off of the program record for the 100 backstroke.

Pitto, a native of Lodi, Calif., was named the 2019 Most Outstanding Freshman of the CCSA Meet. She had an impressive season, posting a program-record 20 individual-event victories. Additionally, she earned top-three CCSA finishes in the 200 IM (first), 100 breaststroke (second) and 200 breaststroke (second). Pitto became the first swimmer in program history to be named CCSA Women's Swimmer of the Week twice as a freshman.

The Lady Flames won the 800 freestyle relay at the 2019 CCSA Championships in a time of 7:13.46. That was the second fastest 800 free relay time in program history.  

These student-athletes helped the Lady Flames earn a perfect 15-0 record in dual meets, including 6-0 against CCSA opponents. Liberty claimed its second CCSA title, and first since 2014, outscoring four-time defending conference champion FGCU by nearly 200 points at the CCSA meet.

2018-19 VaSID All-State Women's Swimming & Diving Team
Swimmer of the Year – Paige Madden, UVA
Rookie Swimmer of the Year – Alexis Wenger, UVA
Diver of the Year – Kylie Towbin, UVA
Rookie Diver of the Year – Olivia Robinson, Liberty
Coach of the Year – Todd DeSorbo, UVA

First-Team All-State
Free – Morgan Hill, UVA
Free – Paige Madden, UVA
Free – Ali MacQueen, W&L
Free – Megan Moroney, UVA
Free – Kyla Valls, UVA
Back – Megan Moroney, UVA
Back – Emma Seiberlich, UVA
Breast – Alexis Wenger, UVA
Breast – Kaki Christensen, UVA
Fly – Morgan Hill, UVA
Fly – Jessica Nava, UVA
IM – Reka Gyorgy, VT
IM – Abby Richter, UVA
Diving – Kylie Towbin, UVA
Diving – Faith Anderson, JMU
Diving – Sydney Dusel, UVA
200 Free Relay – Virginia
400 Free Relay – Virginia
800 Free Relay – Virginia
200 Medley Relay – Virginia
400 Medley Relay – Virginia

Second-Team All-State
Free – Bonnie Zhang, JMU
Free – Megan Bull, W&M
Free – Joelle Vereb, VT
Free – Julianna Jones, JMU
Free – Caroline Florence, W&L
Back – Hannah Gouger, UR
Back – Payton Keiner, Liberty
Breast – Emily Hageboeck, W&L
Breast – Gianni Pitto, Liberty
Fly – Alicia Finnigan, Liberty

Fly – Morgan Whaley, JMU
IM – Caroline Baber, W&L
IM – Mikayla Herich, Liberty
Diving – Ashlynn Peters, VT
Diving – Marina Toone, GMU
Diving – Emily Gross, JMU
200 Free Relay – Washington & Lee
400 Free Relay – James Madison
400 Free Relay - Washington & Lee
800 Free Relay – Liberty
200 Medley Relay – Washington & Lee
400 Medley Relay – Washington & Lee