Western Albemarle swimming and diving coach Dan Beldsoe earned a regional nod earlier this week.
The Warriors’ leader who has presided over five-straight girls swimming and diving state championships was named the Mideast Sectional coach of the year by the the National Federation of State High School Associations, honoring Bledsoe as the coach of the year in a region that spans Delaware, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.
Winning the award made Bledsoe one of seven finalists for the national coach of the year award, which Marty Keating of Pittsford Central Schools in New York won.
Bledsoe is the second Western coach to win the sectional coach of the year award in recent years, with former boys soccer coach Paul Rittenhouse having won the award for the 2014 season.
Bledsoe, who also coaches the boys team, helped lead a team that included both high end talent — Remedy Rule, now at Texas, is the most accomplished individual swimmer in local history with seven individual state titles — and significant depth in swimmers like Brazil, Rule, Charlotte Rumsey, Caroline Riordan, Morgan James, Savannah Scarbrough and others. The Warriors beat second place Cave Spring by nearly 100 points for the state title.