Two Blue Wave sophomores qualify for NCAAs

Blue Wave swimmers on both the men’s and women’s teams recorded season-best times at Ithaca College’s Bomber Invitational from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2. The women’s and men’s teams finished first and fourth among Division III schools, respectively.

According to head coach Paul Dotterweich, 91 percent of the women and 95 percent of the men improved on their times at the meet.

That includes a pair of stellar sophomores on the women’s side, Abby Max and Haleigh Wixson. Both posted preliminary NCAA-qualifying times in backstroke events: Max in the 200 and Wixson in the 100. Max finished fifth with a time of two minutes, 6.15 seconds – about five seconds quicker than her previous season best. Wixson finished fourth with a time of 58.17.

Dotterweich said that going forward their performance should give them a “boost of confidence. This excites them, this motivates them more.”

The women also fared well in the relay events. The 200 free and 400 medley quartets both finished third, while the 200 medley, and 800 and 400 free teams all placed fourth. Max and Wixson swam in all five of these relays.

Dotterweich said that he gave his team “a little taste of rest” before the meet, which helped them to compete at such a high level throughout the weekend. 

The men’s team also showed improvement over the weekend as freshman Yonghoon Jun shined at the invitational and recorded the men’s best finish: fifth place in the 100 butterfly. Jun also swam in five separate relays for Geneseo.

Four Blue Wave members finished in the top 10 in two events: freshman Kristian Tailios, sophomore John Nasky, senior Frank Schiappa and junior diver Brandon Peifer. 

Dotterweich said “a lot of positives” came out of the meet and that it gave him a chance to find out more about some of his younger athletes. 

“That level of competition should bring you up … [Your] true colors come out a little bit,” Dotterweich said.

Although Dotterweich let his team rest the day after the long weekend he said, “We just passed halfway in the season … now it’s back to the grindstone.”

Geneseo will travel to Canisius College on Saturday Dec. 8.