The goal is high, and the goal is clear.
"The expectation as always is to win SUNYACs, and we hope to send as many people to NCAAs as we can," said Blue Wave Swim head coach Paul Dotterweich.
Coach Dotterweich, the seven-time SUNYAC Men's Coach of the Year and two-time Women's Coach of the Year, is in his 12th year as head coach at Geneseo.
While it may be difficult to improve on a season that was as successful as the 2010-2011 season, Dotterweich's recruitment has yielded a bevy of talented freshman that will look to fill the void left by the six graduating seniors.
One of those talented freshmen is John Nasky out of Brighton, N.Y. With his times from high school just off the NCAA cut in the 500 freestyle, Nasky is a talented distance swimmer that should definitely make noticeable contributions for Geneseo.
Sprint freestyler Garrett Graesser is another freshman good enough to be an early contributor, hopefully jumping into the 200 free relay team that went to NCAAs last year. Kenny Athans, Bryan Schaub and Branden Dahlem fill out the rest of the stellar incoming class of men.
"The freshmen on the men's side have a solid group of senior leadership to look up to and lean on for support," Dotterweich said. The men's team has such great upperclassmen returners that Dotterweich has the luxury to introduce the freshman to competition on his terms and not be rushed.
"With the young athletes we want them to go through the year a little bit and get their feet wet first," Dotterweich said.
Although the greatest swimmer and most decorated female athlete in the school's history, Michelle Rodriguez, graduated this past May, Dotterweich said that he is confident the freshmen can fill the voids she left.
"There's only one Michelle Rodriguez," he said. "It's going to be challenging not having that sure thing, but we have some high-end freshman coming in that will make that transition a little easier for us. They have that potential to be that type of swimmer for us."
"Freshman Abby Max is going to come in and fill that void for us. Can we expect her to be [Rodriguez] right away? No, but I think she has the potential down the road to be that good or better," Dotterweich said.
Freshmen Haleigh Wixson, who has made NCAA cuts in backstroke events and been just off cuts in the 50 freestyle, and Caroline Gardner, a national level diver, will also be called upon to score points for the Blue Wave early and often.
Geneseo hosts Canisius College this Saturday Oct. 22 at 1 p.m. in their first meet of the season.