In the face of preseason predictions from fellow Atlantic 10 coaches that said GW’s men’s and women’s swimming teams would finish seventh and ninth in the conference, respectively, the teams are looking to lap expectations this season.
With wins in 11 of 13 events against Catholic and American this past weekend, the men’s team is looking forward to an unpredictable yet exciting year. The roster is very young, with more than half of the team being freshmen.
Head coach Dan Rhinehart said he believes the young members are doing “great,” and notes that he has yet to leave practice unhappy.
Rhinehart is excited about his new prospects, praising their “great work ethic” and being “one of the hardest working classes we’ve had.”
Freshman Stephan Franke has been a standout among the newcomers, finishing first in the 800-yard individual medley, 200-yard butterfly and 200-yard individual medley over the weekend.
The Missouri native is quickly establishing himself as a contender.
“I’m really, really pumped,” he said. “I want to win.”
Classmate Niklas Glenesk took three events as well, winning the freestyle at the 100-yard, 200-yard and 500-yard lengths, while fellow freshman Paolo De Luca won the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke events.
On the women’s side, sophomore Noelle Miesfeld provided the team’s only victory over the weekend, winning the 200-yard butterfly. She said that she feels she has put herself in a good position to begin the season.
“Positive attitudes in practice will pay off,” she said.
While Miesfeld had the only win for her team, four other Colonials swimmers combined to take five second-place finishes, including two from junior Paola Leor in the 500-yard freestyle and 200-yard individual medley events.
Saturday will mark two firsts for the swim teams; the first home meet of the season and the first meet in the newly renovated Smith Center pool. Rhinehart predicts an exciting but challenging match-up against rival Georgetown. He said having a lot of fans and parents there and debuting the improved pool will “motivate the kids.”