The 2019 NCS Awards Banquet was held on Saturday night, Sept 21, at the Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center. Ricky Berens was the featured speaker at the event which recognized NCS All Star Swimmers and Top Five Swimmers. Berens, a former NCS athlete with SwimMAC, talked about his days as an age group swimmer in North Carolina and how those early experiences in swimming built a foundation for his outstanding college career at the University of Texas and later to his ultimate goal of an Olympic Gold Medal.
Earlier in the day, Berens conducted a clinic for NCS All Star swimmers at the Greensboro Aquatic Center. It was and exciting and memorable experience for the fifty swimmers who joined Ricky in the water for a fun-filled session with lots of helpful tips from the Olympic champion.
Prior to the banquet, nearly 300 banquet attendees enjoyed a casual meet and greet autograph session with Berens at the Special Events Center.
Later, NCS General Chair Dave Olack welcomed the group to the banquet before turning the microphone over to perennial MC, Jonathan Watson. Jonathan reviewed some of the many amazing achievements of North Carolina Swimmers before revving up the crowd with a highlight video from the 2019 World Championships. Then Ricky Berens told a few stories about his swimming journey and some of the high and lows that he experienced along the way. He encouraged the swimmers to enjoy the moment and to make it fun. As one of those kids in the audience not that long ago, his message was even more relevant and impactful to an attentive group of outstanding young NCS swimmers.
Next came the awards. Top Five Caps and All Star towels were presented to those swimmers in attendance. (Top Five and All Star swimmers not in attendance will receive caps and towels from their clubs.) Several special awards were also presented and are listed below. Congratulations to all NCS award recipients!
Age Group Swimmer of the Year
Open Water Swimmer of the Year
Willis Casey Award (Top NCS International Ranking)
Andy Craver Determination Award
Age Group Coach of the Year
Franke Bell Senior Coach of the Year
NCS Team of the Year
|Division 3 (Small Clubs)||Lowes YMCA Lightning|
|Division 2 (Medium Clubs)||North Carolina Aquatic Club|
|Division 3 (Large Clubs)||SwimMAC Carolina|
Phillips 66 Service Award
Jack Lynch Lifetime Achievement Award
USA Swimming Lifetime Memberships