Rodriguez, Blue Wave stand out at ECAC championships

When an athlete performs at the level senior swimmer Michelle Rodriguez has demonstrated, consistency can be difficult to maintain. This past Sunday at the Eastern College Athletic Conference Swimming and Diving Championships, she did not just maintain her level of excellence: She improved upon it.

Rodriguez's efforts contributed to the women's third place finish behind Division I Stony Brook University and Stevens Institute of Technology. Her victory in the 100-yard freestyle in NCAA Division III automatic qualifying time and meet record of 51.15 seconds; 200-free NCAA provisional qualifying and meet record time of 1:51.44 and 500-free provisional and meet record time of 5:01.17 made her the obvious choice for Female Swimmer of the Meet.

Rodriguez's most amazing accomplishment of the day was her anchor leg time of 1:49.1 in the 800-yard freestyle relay. She began the final leg six seconds behind the lead swimmer and ended up winning by two seconds. Coach Paul Dotterweich said, "In the nation, only a handful of female swimmers will break that mark this year." Dotterweich said he believes that there is even room for Rodriguez to improve, possibly turning provisional times into automatic qualifying times.

Sophomore Cassie Brown's first place finish in the one-meter diving event and second place in the three-meter earned her Female Diver of the Meet honors.

On the men's side, junior Ken Pink led the Blue Wave to a second place finish with a winning time of 58.56 in the 100-breast and a third place finish and NCAA provisional qualifying 200-yard breast time of 2:06.59.

"Everything I hoped to see happen, happened … it's exciting to see the possibilities of what they can accomplish," Dotterweich said.

Senior Wills DeMoulin led a strong effort from the divers as he met the NCAA provisional cut with his second place score of 445.85 on the three-meter board.

Geneseo looks to ride its ever-growing wave of success into the second part of the season when the swimmers and drivers return from break on Jan. 14 to host SUNY New Paltz and Rochester Institute of Technology.