After a disappointing regular season, the GW men’s and women’s swim teams were encouraged by their ninth-place finish at the Atlantic 10 Swimming and Diving Championship over the weekend, as senior David Zenk took home top performer honors for an unprecedented third time.
“The team exceeded all expectations,” said head coach Dan Rhinehart. “The records speak for themselves.”
Zenk set GW and A-10 records in the 200-yard IM (1:48.35), the 400-yard IM (3:52.17) and 200-yard backstroke (1:45.67), with his time in the 400-yard IM good enough to qualify for the NCAA “B” level.
Meanwhile, sophomore Paola Leor set school records for the women in the 200-yard IM (2:05.66) and 50-yard freestyle (:23.69). Leor was also part of three record-setting relays in the 200-yard freestyle (1:35.93), 400-yard freestyle (3:31.17) and 200-yard medley (1:45.05). Racing in the freestyle relays with Leor were Jessica Miga, Laura Myers and Katrina Timlin. In the medley relay, Leor raced with Miga, Ariana Berdini and Isabel Tawney.
“Paola and David are obviously very talented, but the kids around them stepped up this weekend,” said Rhinehart. “You can see that looking at the relay records they broke.”
Zenk’s NCAA “B” qualification means that he is still eligible to compete in the NCAA Division I Swimming Championship from March 26-28 at Texas A&M in College Station, Texas. No GW women will be competing in the championship.
The University of Richmond’s women showed their dominance in taking home the overall A-10 team victory including both swimming and diving events with a score of 742, while the Colonials finished ninth out of 10 teams with a final tally of 190 points. For the men, the University of Massachusetts earned the team title with a score of 720.5 with St. Bonaventure coming in second with 540 points. GW finished last (eighth) after collecting 307 overall points.
Looking ahead, Rhinehart said that the loss of Zenk will hurt next year, but he feels that the program will continue to grow.
He said, “I wish we could get one more year of eligibility for Zenk, but that’s not going to happen. We are going to try to use these recent positive results as a springboard to recruit more good swimmers for next season.”
This article appeared in the February 23, 2009 issue of the Hatchet.