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March 9, 2012

Repeat winners highlight February Bison of the Month

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Gallaudet University Athletics Department recently announced the two recipients for the Bison of the Month award presented by Gallaudet Interpreting Service (GIS) for February. Swimming senior Brian Bennett (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and women's freshman swimmer Alexandra Polivanchuk (Orebro, Sweden) were this month’s selections for their outstanding performance as Bison student-athletes. This is the second time both swimmers have been honored with the Bison of the Month award, Bennett was selected back in November while Polivanchuk was picked for January.

Bennett’s outstanding month culminated with a berth to the ECAC swimming championships on February 25 at the U.S. Naval Academy. Bennett became the first Gallaudet swimmer to swim at the ECAC championships. The senior competed in the 200-yard freestyle and finished with a time of 1:49.75. Bennett competed against numerous athletes from both Division I and Division II institutions.

Bennett also led Gallaudet to their second straight North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) championship on February 19. Bennett shined at the NEAC swimming and diving championships as he finished with four first-place finishes, three NEAC records (one relay) and five school records (three relays). He was named the NEAC Swimmer of the Year for a second straight year. Plus, he earned seven All-NEAC honors that included four first-team selections, one second-team and two third-team selections

“He really stepped up his leadership at the NEAC championships with our team. He explained to the young swimmers the respect that is necessary to perform at maximum levels when it is most needed,” said Gallaudet University coach Bill Snape. “There were moments when the men's team felt some pressure and Brian was a part of the reason why we held things together and finished the job of bringing home our second team championship.”

February was also a proving month for Polivanchuk. The freshman was named NEAC Women’s Swimmer of the Year after she earned three All-NEAC first team honors and one third-team honor. She was first in the 100 and 200-yard butterfly events and was first in the 200 IM. Her time of 2:19.19 in the 200 IM set a new team, NEAC and conference championship record. The freshman sensation’s time of 1:01.46 in the 100 butterfly set a new NEAC and conference championship record. She was also a member of the 800 freestyle relay that placed third overall to earn third team honors. Her performance helped the Bison place third overall at the championships.

“She is the centerpiece of a resurgent women's team that has gained momentum as the season went on,” said Snape.  “She came on strong at the NEAC championships and that helped to propel us to a third-place finish.”

This is the sixth Bison of the Month award for the 2011-12 season. March’s Bison of the Month will be released in April.

About GIS
GIS, a unit of the division of Administration and Finance at Gallaudet University was established to provide quality-sign language interpreting service to Gallaudet University and its constituencies. Last year, over 75,000 hours of interpreting services were provided to Gallaudet University and clients in the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia areas. The passage of the 1992 Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) made equal access for all persons with disabilities the law. This law requires that "reasonable accommodation" be made to allow individuals with disabilities to participate and receive the same services and benefits available to those without disabilities. Gallaudet Interpreting Service (GIS) can assist you with meeting the requirements of the ADA by providing quality, reliable interpreting service for your events. For more information or to contact GIS please visit its website at www.gallaudet.edu/gis.

2011-12 GU Bison of the Month award winners