courtesy Colorado Mesa University
RICHMOND, Va.— Colorado Mesa University's Ben Sampson is this year’s College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association NCAA Division II Men's Swimmer of the Year.
Sampson, a redshirt sophomore who graduated from Ralston Valley High School, was one of 21 Mavericks’ swimmers (12 women, nine men) who earned at least one, first-team all-American honor, according to a statement from CMU. Sampson is the first Mavericks swimmer to receive the honor.
Sampson led the way for the Mavericks, winning the national title in both the 200-yard individual medley and 200 backstroke. He is the first male swimmer in CMU history to win a title after Lily Borgenheimer became the first women's swimmer to do so last year in the 200 breast stroke.
He had also set the NCAA Division II record of 1:40.73 (1:39.53-altitude adjusted) in November during the TYR/CMU Invitational.
Swimming and head diving coaches from around the nation voted on the CSCAA’s major awards. First-team, all-American status goes to the top eight finishers in each event. Second-team picks go to the ninth- through 16th-place finishers.
Sampson was also an all-American in all seven of his events, picking up six, first-team honors after finishing third in the 400- individual medley, fourth in the 100- back, fifth in the 800- freestyle relay and eighth in the 200- medley relay. He also helped the Mavs to a ninth-place finish in the 400- medley relay and is now a 14-time all-American over the last two seasons.
That total is the second highest in program history behind only Mahmoud Elgayar, who received two more all-America honors to complete his brilliant career with 15 total honors. He received at least one in each of his five seasons.
Six other swimmers – five men, one woman .. earned second-team all-Americans. MSU put together 24, top-eight finishes in the two-day national meet.
The CMU men placed a program-best fifth at the national meet.