When a team has such lofty expectations as this year's Geneseo swimming and diving team does, it can be difficult to stay motivated early on and avoid looking past lesser competition.
The Geneseo Blue Wave certainly did not fall into that trap at this past weekend's meet at Buffalo State. The men's team won handedly with a score of 131-75, led by the standout efforts of freshman Paul Jennings, who won the 1000 free and 100 breast. On the women's side, another comfortable win of 124-82 was aided by sophomore Elyssa Max, who placed first in the 500 and 1000 frees.
Head coach Paul Dotterweich compared his team to the New York Yankees in that anything less than winning a championship - SUNYAC instead of World Series - would be considered underachieving.
"These first few meets are a great opportunity for us to get some of our first years in the pool and gain some experience at the college level in a very low pressure environment," Dotterweich said.
Since the first meet was essentially just a test run for the Blue Wave - many upperclassmen competed in different events than they typically would - the usual sources of motivation may not have been as prevalent as they would have been in a normal meet. Like any great coach would, Dotterweich provided an alternate source of motivation: the potential to break records.
It's amazing what a little motivation can do for the college athlete. By the end of the meet, a total of five pool records had been broken by Geneseo swimmers.
One of the records that fell on Saturday just happened to belong to Buffalo State's first year head coach and former Geneseo assistant, Dan Allan. The now former record holder, Allan, made the mistake of pointing this out to friend and mentor Dotterweich before the meet. Though the two coaches are fiercely competitive during meets, Allan and Dotterweich remain good friends once everyone exits the pool.
"It was really fun to be a part of Dan's first meet as a head coach; it's always nice to see former coworkers successfully making that next step in their careers," Dotterweich said.
The Blue Wave is in search of their 13th straight conference championship this season. Their march through the regular season continues this Saturday at 12 p.m. when Geneseo hosts an invitational.