First-years on NYU swim team earn prestigious honors

The Violets took home both the women and men’s UAA Rookie of the Year awards.


NYU Swimming & Diving’s recent success at Emory University. (Courtesy of NYU Athletics)

Nicole Ranile, Staff Writer

Despite swimming against competitors who were older and had more experience, NYU first-years Kaley McIntyre and Leo Han maintained their composure, managed their expectations, and excelled at their events to win the coveted honor of Rookie of the Year at the UAA Championships in Atlanta last week.

At the conclusion of the meet, McIntyre and Han received their awards, which the University Athletic Association awards to the male and female competitor who score the most points at the event. NYU’s women’s team finished in third place while the men’s team took fifth place.

“My mindset going into the meet was to have fun and try my best,” said McIntyre, who went to school in California. “There’s no expectations as a first-year, so it was about gaining experience.” 

McIntyre’s best was more than enough to win her the most sought-after award amongst the UAA first-year swimmers. 

“Winning the Rookie of the Year Award was cool because there were so many first-years who were deserving of it,” she explained. “To be selected out of all of them was very rewarding.”

In addition to the Rookie of the Year prize, McIntyre also took home the high-point award of the meet for her performance for NYU’s women’s swim team. Her individual swim scores totaled to 92 points, the highest of any female swimmer at the event.

Han, McIntyre’s counterpart on the men’s team, shared his surprise at winning the coveted award. Like McIntyre, Han explained that he didn’t have many expectations heading into the Championship.

“I wanted to soak in the experience since it was my first year,” he said.

Surprisingly, Han’s experience played out to its full potential, and he didn’t even realize he was going to win the award at first. 

“After Friday of the meet I realized I might’ve been in the running for the award,” Han explained. “It was an awesome way to cap off the meet and the racing that I did.”

Though the Violets did not finish in first place overall, their first-years certainly raised the bar for the future of NYU Swimming. The team hopes that the torch will be passed to future Violets for many years to come.

Contact Nicole Ranile at [email protected].