Blue Wave women take sixth straight title

The Geneseo Blue Wave women’s team captured its sixth consecutive SUNYAC title on Saturday Feb. 23. 

The men’s team finished second to the eventual men’s champion, SUNY Cortland.

The women’s team posted the winning score of 772 points among the nine-team field, topping runner-up Cortland with 586 points. 

The women’s team dominated the four-day meet, indicating the strong work ethic and strategy during the regular season.

“Throughout the year the [women] worked really hard in practice but their performances in meets tended to be average,” head coach Paul Dotterweich said. “However [the Blue Wave teams] train for championships and with a week of rest, the [women’s team] swam unbelievably fast and thoroughly dominated the SUNYACs.”

Sophomore Abby Max and junior Kaitlin Wilcoxen assisted in the women’s efforts in posting eight victories and 10 NCAA-qualifying times. 

Max posted individual wins in the 200 and 500 freestyle while anchoring several winning Geneseo relay teams over the course of three days. Her time of 4 minutes, 58.11 seconds in the 500 freestyle set a meet record and was an NCAA “B” cut qualifying time. 

Wilcoxen won the 200 breaststroke for the third consecutive year at SUNYACs and posted a win in the 100 breaststroke as well. 

Max received the SUNYAC Outstanding Women’s Swimmer Award for her efforts.

Dotterweich said he believes that Max has the potential to be the greatest women’s swimmer in the history of the school.

Although the men’s team lost its streak of 14 consecutive SUNYAC championships, Saturday’s results largely did not represent its effort. 

Despite having one of the youngest rosters in the conference, the men’s team posted a second-place score of 726 points with nine event titles, the most in the championships.

Dotterweich said the men’s team members do not have a reason to hang their heads.  They “performed extremely well and it came down to Cortland having more depth than us.”

Senior Frank Schiappa led the men’s side by defending his title in the 100 and 50 freestyle. 

Schiappa received the James Fulton award, presented to a swimmer based on SUNYAC honors, improvement through collegiate career and academic achievement. Dotterweich said he believes that Schiappa’s leadership throughout the season played an integral role in the young team’s success and in shaping young talented freshmen swimmers such as Yonghoon Jun and Kristian Tialios. The Blue Wave continues its season at the Division III NCAA Championships at Shenandoah, Texas on March 20.