Even with last season’s impressive third-place finish at the Atlantic 10 Championships, the GW men’s swimming and diving team has been overshadowed of more spectator-orientated sports. Senior Alvaro Fortuny looks to change that, and he is well on his way.
With Fortuny’s record-breaking performance in the A-10 championships two weeks ago, his vision for GW swimming looks promising.
Fortuny completed the 100-yard breaststroke in :54:65, the second-fastest time in the country this season. Fortuny won the event and set the school and conference record, putting him behind only Brendan Hansen of the University of Texas (:54.12).
Fortuny also set a school record in the 200-yard breaststroke at 1:59.37 – the tenth fastest time in the country this season.
He will compete in NCAA Championships in College Station, Texas. March 22.
“This has been a great season,” Fortuny said. “Not only did I break records, but I also qualified for the NCAA. I’m so excited about it.”
Fortuny said he credits men’s swimming head coach Dan Rhinehart and his teammates for playing integral roles in his success.
“(Rhinehart) has been really supportive all season,” Fortuny said. “He always asks me how I’m doing. We’re really a team.”
As for his teammates, their excitement all season for Fortuny’s chance to qualify for the NCAA Championships has been a very positive influence for him.
“They’re so happy for me,” Fortuny said.
Fortuny will bring high expectations to the tournament saying that his goal is to make the finals, which includes the top eight finishers.
Fortuny has a rigorous training schedule ahead of him for the competition. The next two weeks consist of intense practice, to maintain his physical shape and stamina. Fortuny will then begin tapering off this intensity to focus on his speed in the final weeks, making certain his muscles are ready.
Fortuny said he hopes his participation in the NCAA Championships can gain popularity and support for GW swimming in the future. Fortuny is the second straight GW male swimmer to reach the competition, following Tim Champney last year.
“This will be a good chance to show other schools that GW can really swim,” he said. “Qualifying was really the expectation all along. Now, I want to do really well (in the competition) and surprise people, and show them GW’s capabilities.”