“My heart is my strength,” says Wes Teter, a sophomore swimmer on the GW men’s team. “If you are in a tight race, you don’t give up that edge. That’s how you win your race – your heart.”
Coming off one of their best seasons ever last year, the Colonials have demonstrated they have heart. This season they have been blowing much of the competition out of the water and are one of the favorites to win the Atlantic 10 Championship.
“When a few key players make good swims then the whole team follows,” Teter said. “When you have a good swim early on, that sets the rest of the team in motion.”
Momentum has been rolling at full speed lately. Teter, who has some of the top times in the conference in five different events, has been slicing through the water to improve his times and help pump up the team.
“There is a contagious attitude at the meets,” junior Tim Champney said. A transfer student from Auburn University, the Florida native has been a contributing force to the team’s motivation. His times have been improving steadily this season, ending with top conference times in four different events.
“Winning is more about the times and how you swim,” Champney said. To win a meet, a team needs points. To obtain points, a team needs swimmers who challenge themselves to beat the swimmer in the next lane. The more swimmers who strive to do this, the more points tally up.
For the Colonials, motivation and heart will be the driving forces this weekend at the A-10 Championships. Junior Juan Bocanegra will join Champney and Teter as key motivators for the team as it heads into the championships. Last year’s A-10 Most Outstanding Performer, Bocanegra has the first- or second-best time among conference swimmers in four events.
But to win a championship, GW needs more than a few standouts, and head coach Dan Rhinehart said he thinks his team has the final element that could give it a title.
“Depth is important,” Rhinehart says. “You need the depth of the entire team.”