Last year’s narrow defeat to Massachusetts at the Atlantic 10 Championship was disappointing for the GW men’s swimming and diving team, but this year’s finish might have been more heartbreaking.
After taking the lead on the second day of the three-day competition, GW finished in third place at the meet held in Buffalo, N.Y., Thursday through Saturday. The men ended the meet with a total of 644, finishing behind St. Bonaventure (677) and Virginia Tech (654). The women finished a distant third at A-10s for the second year in a row with a total of 576, well behind the champion, Virginia Tech (842.50).
The GW men trailed Virginia Tech 222-186 after the first day, but had some outstanding individual performances. Junior Juan Bocanegra broke his own A-10 record in the 200-yard individual medley, while Rich de Wet broke a 17-year-old record in the 50-yard freestyle to win events for GW.
GW made waves Friday, taking a 452-422 lead over the Bonnies. Tim Champney, who was named the Atlantic 10 Performer of the Year, led the Colonials by breaking his own A-10 record in the 100-yard backstroke. He was also part of the team that set the A-10 record in the 200-yard medley relay, which included de Wet, Alvaro Fortuny and Dave Simonetti. GW also finished 1-2-3 in the 100-yard butterfly, as Bocanegra, de Wet and Simonetti took the top three places.
But the Colonials couldn’t hold onto their lead on the final day as the Bonnies overtook them. Champney set another A-10 record, this time in the 200-yard backstroke, and the Colonials also took first place in the 400-yard freestyle relay.
The Colonial women fell behind big after the first day and never recovered, although they remained in third place for all three days of the competition.
They had a stellar second day as well, as the GW team of Suzanne Grega, Robin Bolstad, Dena Hoffman and Brandyn Roark shattered the A-10 record in the 200-yard individual medley by almost two seconds. Grega won the 100-yard breaststroke with a new A-10 record. Bolstad and Nell Friar finished second and third in the 100-yard breaststroke Saturday as well.