Brenau University senior swimmer Hannah Boudreaux has been named Female Swimmer of the Year for the Appalachian Swim Conference and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics National Women’s Swimmer & Diver of the Month for February.
Boudreaux is the first Golden Tigers swimmer to receive these honors since the program was re-established in 2005.
Third-year Brenau coach Blaire Bachman also was named conference coach of the year for the second year in a row.
Boudreaux, of Lafayette, La., won the 200-meter individual medley with a time of 2 minutes, 06.73 seconds, the 200-meter butterfly (2:05.01) and the 400-meter individual medley (4:32.21) at the Appalachian Swim Conference Championships. She set three new conference records and a Brenau school record as the Golden Tigers placed fourth, up two spots from last season.
“She’s a force to be reckoned with and has blazed the trail for us,” Bachman said. “She put our name up there so more people saw a strong swimmer was at Brenau and they, too, can grow at Brenau.”
Bachman said Boudreaux’s “natural talent comes through” in all four disciplines, and she has worked on building endurance while maintaining her speed.
“She definitely has the determination and the mental power to be a champion,” Bachman said. “She knew senior year she wanted to put it all out on the table.”
Only a national title has eluded Boudreaux. She will swim the same three events, plus relays, when the Golden Tigers travel to Oklahoma City next week to compete in the NAIA National Swimming Championships.
Last year, Boudreaux placed second in the 200 fly and 400 IM and third in the 200 IM, becoming an All-American and helping Brenau to its highest finish at nationals – eighth out of 21 teams.
This year, based on seedings, the Golden Tigers have been projected to finish fifth. “A top six finish would be a big deal for our program,” Bachman said.
Boudreaux transferred to Brenau from Delta State in the middle of her sophomore year and has established a Louisiana pipeline for the Golden Tigers. Michelle Billeaud, a sophomore All-American, also hails from Lafayette, while Mary Katherine Jabbia is from Slidell and Rachel Kendrick from Pineville.
“I think it’s an untapped state,” said Bachman, who has established relationships with coaches in the area. “I’m happy and excited when they contact me and say they have somebody who will fit my program well.”
And Brenau can thank Boudreaux for establishing that Cajun connection.