The Blue Wave has reached the time of the year where it always seem to excel—the end of the season, high pressure meets. Westchester County native and accounting major senior Donald McLoughlin and Rhinebeck, New York native and economics major senior Branden Dahlem can both reflect back on their time at Geneseo in the pool with reverence.
Both athletes attributed their success as a team to the strong relationships they all have with each other and with head coach Paul Dotterweich. “[Our relationship] is great,” McLoughlin said. “When you spend five hours a day, every day, for five months with people, you get to build pretty strong bonds.”
“I lived with my teammates for the past three years,” Dahlem said. “It’s kind of tough not to be close with everyone.” Both men also said how it is equally important to have a good working relationship with your coach. “Just like with the team, the more time you spend with somebody, the more you get to understand and know them a little better,” Dahlem added.
Although practices can be rigorous for the team, McLoughlin stressed that they are essential to the team’s success. “We practice six days a week. We lift from 6-7 p.m. then swim from 7-8 p.m.,” McLoughlin said. “Then we have a two-and-a-half [hour] practice at night.”
Due largely to this training schedule, both athletes said that they will likely take a break from competitive swimming after college to allow their bodies to rest and recover.
Both seniors recognized how special the Geneseo Invitational––the last home meet of their careers––was to them. “We went into [the meet] with a good mentality that I think set us up pretty well for SUNYAC’s,” McLoughlin said. “It was emotional since it was the last home meet.” The Blue Wave took first place in the Geneseo Invitational on February 7.
Almost two weeks after, the team competed in the SUNYAC Championships where both the men and women’s team took home SUNYAC titles. Dahlem noted that this was his fondest memory of his career at Geneseo. “Being one of the seniors and holding the trophy is pretty cool,” he said.
Although he explained that he wishes they were in better position to compete at the NCAA meet, McLoughlin said he was pleased with the team’s performance at the SUNYAC meet.
The Blue Wave will be sending two players to the NCAA meet: seniors John Nasky and Abigail Max. The NCAA championships start on March 18.u