Blue Wave splits first meet

The men's and women's Blue Wave teams split their season-opening meet against Canisius College on Oct. 22. The women's team was able to pull off a narrow victory over their Division I foe, winning by a mere seven points, 125-118. The men's team, however, fell to the Golden Griffins, 95-146.

The women started off the day by winning the 400 medley with a time of 4 minutes, 9.42 seconds. The relay team, which featured junior Kaitlin Wilcoxen and sophomore Lily Powell, was sandwiched by a pair of freshmen. Haleigh Wixson started the race for the Blue Wave, while her classmate Abby Max took on the role of anchor.

Junior Elyssa Max and sophomore Corinne Vairo finished first and second, respectively, in the 100 freestyle, while Powell went on to win the 100 butterfly.

Wilcoxen also captured two individual events for the Blue Wave, the 200 individual medley (2:18:84) and 100 breaststroke (1:11:11). Both events were close, with Wilcoxen winning by a combined time of just over one second for the two races.

On the other end of the pool, freshman Caroline Gardner won her first event as a member of the Blue Wave diving team. Gardner was able to squeeze out a victory in one-meter diving with a score of 198.95, just 4.95 points ahead of freshman Taylor Epstein of Canisius. Gardner also competed in three-meter diving, but this time she finished second behind Epstein with a score of 188.30. Her victory in the one-meter was the only win for both the men and women's diving teams.

For the men, the day was highlighted by a record-setting performance by junior Frank Schiappa.

Schiappa set a new record in the 50 freestyle with a time of 21:22. The feat was especially impressive given the fact that he tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in June.

Schiappa dedicated himself to physical therapy and upper body exercises while injured, saying, "Being on crutches for most of the summer gave me time to hit the gym with everything I had."

Despite his revamped fitnessregime, Schiappa said his expectations were low going into Saturday's race.

"I knew I had to go as fast as possible without jeopardizing the rest of my season," he said.

The injury did not seem to plague him at all on Saturday, as he also helped lead Geneseo to a win in the 200 freestyle relay. Along with Schiappa, the team consisted of seniors Aaron Wagner and Dan Strothenke, and freshman Garrett Graesser.

Freshman Kenny Athans won the only other race for men, the 200 individual medley, with a time of 1:59:95, only .09 seconds ahead of Canisius. The crowd, and Athan's teammates, erupted with applause when the results were displayed.  

Though he said he was nervous beforehand, Athans stated that, "During the race, I just kept thinking about the person next to me from Canisius, and concentrated on keeping up with him."

The Blue Wave will host the Geneseo Invitational on Oct. 29 at 12 p.m., and then take on SUNY Fredonia Nov. 5 to kick off SUNYAC play.