Swimming & Diving Heads to A-10 Championships
Colonial men seek repeat title, while women look to continue progress
The men are the defending champions after completing a remarkable turnaround last season to get to the top of the conference standings. The Colonials edged out second-place La Salle by racking up 12 total gold medals, including four relay victories. They showed their strength this season in compiling a perfect 6-0 dual meet record.
The women are eager to build on their recent progress after jumping from 11th to ninth to sixth in the A-10 standings over the past three seasons. They’ve brought back six swimmers and a diver who scored individually at last season’s meet, which was won by Richmond for the seventh straight season. This group posted a 7-2 mark during the dual meet season.
Hokfelt set A-10 and program records in both backstroke events, while Fath was named the meet’s Most Oustanding Rookie Performer after setting a pair of program marks.
PODIUM CHASE: Abigail Fusco has her sights on the individual medal stand after coming up just short in 2017.
The senior from Connecticut placed fourth in the 100 back and 100 fly and fifth in the 50 free in a breakout performance. She also earned silver (400 free) and bronze (800 free) medals as part of relays.
Fusco enters her final conference meet as the program record holder in the 100-yard backstroke (55.29 seconds) and currently ranks in the all-time Top 10 in three other individual events. She’s also had a hand in four record-breaking relays.
Emily Zhang (200 free) and Jackie Torrez (400 IM) also finished fourth individually last season with times that set program records. In addition, Zhang was a part of all four relay marks at last season’s conference meet.
HOORAY FOR NACHTWEY: Peter Nachtwey has already put together a tremendous freshman campaign diving. The Ohio native set a program record on the 3-meter board with 362.62 in the Oct. 21 dual meet win over Boston College. He broke the platform mark at the Navy Invite on Jan. 27 with 267.35.
His season bests on both 1-meter (323.02) and 3-meter meet the NCAA Zones qualifying standard. Teamamate Jake Ortiz has met both marks this season, as well.
Nachtwey was recognized as A-10 Rookie of the Week four times this season to set a program record. He won the award three times in the fall and then again Jan. 23 after GW’s Senior Day sweep of Old Dominion.
WHAT A GEMMA: Gemma Atherley has had a lot to celebrate recently. On Dec. 21, the sophomore was officially selected to represent her native island of Jersey at the upcoming Commonwealth Games. In April, she will travel to Australia to compete in her first international competition.
On Jan. 16, Atherley was tabbed as Atlantic 10 Women’s Performer of the Week for her performance in a tri-meet sweep of local foes American and Georgetown. She set a pool record in a 200 free win and also recorded victories in the 500 free and 200 free relay. She became the first GW woman to win the award since Paola Leor was honored in November 2010.
EXCELLENT ADDITION: Tommi Wolst has made an immediate impact since joining the Colonials in the fall as a transfer from Cleveland State.
The junior from Germany has already made the program’s all-time Top 10 in five different events, highlighted by the sixth-best time in the 100 fly. He’s twice earned A-10 Men’s Performer of the Week honors, most recently being recognized Jan. 16 after the wins over American and Georgetown.
Wolst was the Horizon League champion in the 100 breast last season and also contributed to a pair of gold medal winning relays.
DOUBLE DUTY: Austin Pyrch joined the squad in December after helping the GW men’s water polo team claim its first Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference title and NCAA berth. The goalkeeper earned Second Team All-Tournament honors.
So far, the junior from Texas has made a smooth transition as a swimmer. He won the 50 free in his collegiate debut Jan. 13 in a tri-meet at American and then did it again a week later in a home win over Old Dominion. His best time in the event (20.97 seconds) ranks seventh in the conference this season.
FABULOUS FRESHMEN: GW’s freshman class has delivered right away for head coach James Winchester.
The Colonials combined for six Rookie of the Week honors throughout the season, highlighted by Nachtwey’s four wins. Gabriella Arendes (Jan. 23) and Youssef Ragab (Oct. 17) were the other Colonials recognized with weekly awards.
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