The GW men’s swimming and diving team fell just short of winning the Atlantic 10 Championship in Buffalo, NY this weekend.
The men’s team’s overall score of 642 was just three-and-half agonizing points behind first-place Massachusetts’ 645.50. The GW women’s team also had a strong showing, finishing third in the conference.
“The men’s team did a great job, but whenever you come so close, you realize any one of a hundred things could have changed the meet,” said head coach Marc Hagen, who was named A-10 Coach of the Year.
Sophomore Juan Bocanegra won the Men’s Most Outstanding Performer award. In addition, Bocanegra, Tim Champney, Rush Taylor and David Simonetti made the All-Conference team for GW.
Bocanegra won three individual races and was on two first-place relay teams. Bocanegra placed first in the 200-yard butterfly (1:50.75), the 200-yard individual medley (1:50.23) and the 400-yard individual medley (3:57.50).
Bocanegra also was part of GW’s relay team that won the 200-yard medley relay (1:31.59) and the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:01.77). The relay teams broke conference records in both races. In all, the GW men broke five conference records.
Sophomore Tim Champney, also a member of the men’s two first-place relay teams, won two individual races. Champney placed first in the 100-yard backstroke (48.85) and the 200-yard backstroke (1:47.83). Champney also finished second in the 200-yard fly with a time of 1:50.75.
Bocanegra and Champney were two of four GW men’s swimmers to post fast enough times to be considered for the NCAA Championships. Although Hagen said it is unlikely any of the swimmers will make the NCAAs, just to make consideration is an honor.
“I’m really excited that four guys got consideration. Getting NCAA consideration means you’ve got one of the 35 to 40 best swims in the country,” Hagen said.
St. Bonaventure won the women’s championship with a team score of 786.50. Virginia Tech (781.50) was second, and GW’s score of 482.50 placed third.
Hagen also praised the effort of the women’s team, especially Robin Bolstad, Rachel Smith, Kristen Janeczek and senior Connie Shelton.
“Rachel did a great job, but has room for improvement. (Assistant coach) Dan Rhinehart and I both feel she could be one of the best in the conference,” he said.