There is a timeless expression in sports, “Winning isn’t everything.” Apparently, the Geneseo Blue Wave men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams haven’t yet gotten that message. The women of the Blue Wave have won six championships and are looking for their seventh title this season. Their success dates back decades as they’ve won an unheard of 15 SUNYAC championships in 17 years. There isn’t a professional team that can even be used as an example against that.
But the achievements don’t end there. The men are just as successful in their own right, as the team has won 12 SUNYAC championships in the past 13 years.
Though Geneseo is only a small public college in western New York, its accomplishments in the sport are well noted across the nation as it has made multiple trips to the illustrious NCAA Tournament, which features the best teams in the country.
The team has thrived because of dedicated and motivated leaders. Head coach Paul Dotterweich acknowledges a few exceptional athletes who have been key to the recent success.
“We have several leaders on the women’s team, hard to pick out a few, although [junior] Abby Max is the defending SUNYAC Swimmer of the Year and an eight-time All-American,” Dotterweich said. “She is clearly a very talented athlete.”
Dotterweich added, “[Senior] Lily Powell has been to NCAAs on relays the last two years and has four All-American certifications as well. [Senior] Emily Wanamaker has been to the regional meet in diving.”
The men also returned swimmers who are used to winning and made it to the finals last year, including sophomore Kristian Tialios, who is continuing his string of victories this season.
Just last season, the Blue Wave women dominated the competition in the SUNYAC championship, winning the 200-yard freestyle, 500-yard freestyle relay, 400 free relay, 200-yard medley relay and 200-yard breaststroke.
The men, unfortunately, suffered one of their only defeats by falling to SUNY Cortland in the finals. This year, they are looking for a different finale in order to add another trophy to their already overflowing case.
It is through “hard work … [and] being willing to go the extra mile in training and pushing yourself beyond any perceived limits,” Dotterweich said. He added that this exceptional team has thrived and captured 21 SUNYAC titles in its history.
The women and men remain undefeated in SUNYAC meets and are on their way.
“How can there not be pressure [to win SUNYACs],” Dotterweich said. Fortunately, the members of the Blue Wave seem not to notice, as they are too busy winning.