WJU Competes In WV State Games
Wheeling, W.Va., October 12, 2011— The Jesuit men’s and women’s swim teams will open the 2011-2012 season in Morgantown, W.Va. at the West Virginia State Games hosted by West Virginia University on October 14-15. WJU will be one-of-six institutions from the state to hit the water at WVU’s Shell Natatorium. The remaining five schools include WVU, Marshall University, West Virginia Wesleyan College, Davis & Elkins College, and Fairmont State University.
Friday’s events will begin with the diving portion at 2:45 p.m., while swimming will start at 4 p.m. The teams will close the day with a 7 p.m. banquet at Lakeview Golf Resort & Spa. Saturday’s events will begin at 9 a.m., followed by a break, with action resuming at 3 p.m.
Wheeling Jesuit finished the 2010-11 season with a Appalachian Swimming Conference championship and runner-up award. The men recaptured the ASC crown, posting back-to-back titles, while the women reclaimed the runner-up position. For the second consecutive year, head coach Rick West was named Men’s Coach of the Year and Emily Martin was named Women’s Swimmer of the Year. In addition, freshman Henrique Fructuozo earned Men’s Swimmer of the Year. The West Virginia State Games will also be the first meet of the season for the Cardinals.
“We are excited that WVU is willing to host a meet that showcases the swimming teams of West Virginia,” says West. “Jesuit is always looking to improve themselves through a high level of competition and this venue serves as a great test for us. It is great for young swimmers in West Virginia to see what the WVIAC, Conference USA and BIG EAST have to offer.”
Riggs is in his fifth season at the helm of WVU and returns 21 on the men’s side and 18 from the women’s roster a year ago. The women took third at the 2001 BIG EAST Championships and return co-BIG EAST Women’s Most Outstanding Swimmers, Rachael Burnett and Mandie Nugent. The men finished fourth at the championships and return top BIG EAST butterflier Taylor Camp for his senior season. Camp finished the 100 fly in first and the 200 fly in ninth at the BIG EAST Championships.
“I came up with the idea last spring as we were finishing up our season,” WVU coach Vic Riggs says. “We were hoping to get all the West Virginia schools that offered swimming and diving programs to come and compete against each other and have an opportunity to showcase our programs to the state and to people outside of the state.”
The Marshall swimming and diving team, a women’s only squad, began its season on Oct. 1, in a meet against Campbell, Radford and James Madison. The Herd was able to top Campbell and Radford, but was defeated by James Madison by a score of 211-89. Coach Russell Hunt is excited to continue their season at the games this weekend.
“I look forward to taking advantage of this early season championship environment,” Hunt says. “It’s a platform in which we can expect a lot of energy, and the games will be a unique opportunity to showcase swimming in the Mountain State.”
West Virginia Wesleyan will begin its season under new coach April Staniszewski. The Bobcats wrapped up the 2010-11 season with the Bluegrass Conference Championship. The men placed seventh overall and the women finished 11th. Ian Pellerin would represent the Bobcats at the NCAA Division II Championships, placing 11th in the 100 back, 18th in the 100 free and 27th in the 50 free.
“With this is the beginning of a new era in Wesleyan swimming, I could not think of a better opportunity than the West Virginia State Games for this to take place at,” Staniszewski says. “This meet gives us a chance to compete against some incredible programs from all over West Virginia in a championship format.”
Davis & Elkins is in its second year of varsity swimming, led by coach John Lynch.
“Davis & Elkins College looks forward to starting the new season with the teams of West Virginia,” Lynch says. “While a young program, Senators swimming is no less excited competing with our neighbors, as well as those of the Bluegrass Mountain Conference.”
Fairmont State is led by coach Pat Snively. The Falcons finished their 2010-11 season with both the men and women placing at the Bluegrass Mountain Championships. The men took ninth with a score of 146 points, and the women placed 10th with 104 points. The West Virginia State Games will serve as the Falcons’ season opener.
“I am excited for our athletes to have the opportunity to compete in a meet like this,” Snively says. “We have quality collegiate programs in the state and this is a great way to showcase them. It is also a great way to kick off the season. I am hopeful that we are able to continue this invitational from year-to-year.”
Session one begins at 4:00 pm on Friday with the 200 Freestyle Relay followed by the 500 Freestyle (Free), 200 Individual Medley (IM), 50 Free, and the 400 Medley Relay (MR). On Saturday, the action will begin at 9:00 a.m. with 200 MR, 400 IM followed by the 100 Butterfly (Fly), 200 Free, 100 Breaststroke (Breast), 100 Backstroke (Back), and 800 Free Relay. The final session of the collegiate showcase includes the 1000 Free, 200 Back, 100 Free, 200 Breast, 200 Fly, and 400 Free Relay.