In just his first year with the Blue Wave, freshman Sam Randall has qualified for the NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships which will take place from March 18–21 in Shenandoah, Texas. For the Pittsford, New York-native, this sort of early success is nothing new.
At the suggestion of one of his friends––a high school swimmer––Randall began diving in seventh grade after doing gymnastics for three years. That same year, Randall made the high school varsity team. “That year I found the high school coach and [he] let me join the varsity team,” Randall said.
Despite his young age, Randall emphasized that his teammates were nothing but encouraging. “It was great joining the high school team as such a young kid; having older guys on the team looking out for me,” he said.
In high school, Randall qualified for state-level competitions and now finds himself in a similar situation heading to nationals. Joining Randall at nationals will be senior swimmer John Nasky, senior swimmer Abigail Max and junior diver Caroline Gardner. For Randall, part of the appeal of competing in nationals is being able to learn from his older teammates.
“My goal this year was just to go to nationals,” Randall said. “[Going to states] and seeing divers on the next level was incredible and I’m really excited to go to nationals this year for the same reason. Just seeing where these guys are now is a great way to plan for the future.”
In just his first year with the team, Randall has accomplished an incredible amount. He has already set the three-meter, six dive pool record at the Merritt Athletic Center Alumni pool and the three-meter, 11 dive pool record at Carnegie Mellon University.
Randall credited his teammates for being instrumental in his success at Geneseo. He noted that he has already found a second family in the Blue Wave.
“A big difference is in the team camaraderie,” Randall said. “The guys immediately became a group of 30 extra brothers. Every meet, I had constant support from everybody.” Randall singled out his “big” on the team––junior Andy Schunk––as being a mentor who has helped him achieve so much in such a small amount of time.
“After every meet, no matter how I did, we would talk it over,” Randall said. “It was just great to have someone who is interested and supportive no matter what.”
For Randall, diving may not be something to which he devotes his entire life. He explained that he is interested in going into marketing or advertising as a career path. For now, however, he has another three years to break records at Geneseo.