Blue Wave takes first place at home invitational

The Geneseo Blue Wave swim team gets hyped up before the start of their home invitational on Saturday Jan. 28. Both sides had a successful meet; the men took first place out of six teams, while the women took first out of five teams. (Keith Walters/Campus Photographer)

The Geneseo men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams hosted the Geneseo Invitational on Saturday Jan. 28 at Alumni Pool, taking first place on both sides. The men finished with 653 points, outperforming six other teams. The women faced five other teams, and finished with a score of 601.

Senior swimmer Kevin Schaub led the men’s side with first-place finishes in the 200-yard butterfly, 200-yard backstroke and 200-yard individual medley. He was also part of Geneseo’s winning team in the 200-yard medley relay.

On the women’s side, senior diver Claudia Kolakowski swept the diving events, finishing with top marks in the 1-meter and 3-meter dives. Kolakowski was named the Geneseo Knights’ Women’s Swimming and Diving Female Athlete of the Week for her performance and was named one of SUNYAC’s Athletes of the Week.

Another top performer included senior swimmer Brian Yale, who set a pool record of 52.68 seconds in the 100-yard backstroke. Senior swimmer Emily Smith also claimed individual victories in the 100-yard backstroke and 200-yard backstroke; in addition, Smith swam one leg of the first-place 200-yard medley relay team.

The meet marked the team’s senior day, and senior members were honored with a ceremony just before they took to the pool to compete in the final home meet of their careers. Schaub, Kolakowski, Yale and Smith—all seniors—had performances to remember, representing the team’s strong senior leadership. Head coach Paul Dotterweich reflected on his accomplished group of seniors.

“Swimming’s not an easy sport; there aren’t 2,000 people packing the pool like there are at the ice rink,” he said. “To make it through four years is challenging, but I think it says a lot about the camaraderie that they have, and the experience they are getting through our program.”

Despite the margin of victory over the competitors on Saturday Jan. 28, Dotterweich did not believe that the team had a strong performance by their standards—but at this point in the season that can be expected, according to Dotterweich.

“They lifted pretty heavy on Friday, and I think their legs were very tired,” he said.  “Overall, while we were successful in terms of beating the other teams, performance-wise they were feeling it a little bit. Ultimately, for us, it’s about performing at the end of the year at the SUNYAC Championship.”

Both the men and women have equal dual meet records of 7-2 on the season, and will head into the postseason in February looking to repeat as SUNYAC champions. Dotterweich credits the team’s culture for the consistent success.

“Winning, tradition, sustainability—everything comes from the culture of the team,” he said. “We recruit to that and bring in people that are buying into what we’re all about. We’ve got a great group right now, and they really have bought into that culture and those values.”

Postseason goals for the Knights include winning another SUNYAC Championship, and then sending athletes to represent Geneseo at the NCAA Division III National Championships in Shenandoah, Texas, from March 15-18.

The team has one last competition on their schedule before heading to the SUNYAC Championships. They will send just 18 athletes to compete at the Ithaca Invitational on Saturday Feb. 11, and then turn their focus toward the postseason.