2012-13 W&J Swimming & Diving Preview
The 2012-13 season marks a quarter of a century that Head Coach Mike Orstein will lead the swimming & diving programs at Washington & Jefferson College. Both programs are hungry to return to the top of the conference championship standings as the women’s team aims for its first crown since 2008 and the men’s team hopes for its first title since 2000.
The W&J women have consistently been one of the nation’s most dominant teams during the dual-meet portion of the schedule with 20 consecutive winning seasons. Since 2004, the Presidents have won over 91 percent of their dual meets (94-9). The Presidents’ men saw their 13-year winning dual-meet record snapped last year after a 4-6 record.
Orstein and Head Diving Coach Vic Galati return 10 letter winners for both teams, including six seniors who will be counted on to provide leadership to young rosters. The women’s seniors are team captain Jami Andrews and Nicole Westly.
Michael Johnson and Patrick O’Toole are senior captains for the men’s team, while Joey Weiland and John Szott are also veteran competitors who Orstein who look for guidance from. Szott has been the runner-up at 1-meter and 3-meter diving during all three of his previous seasons and is ready to take over the top spot in 2013. O’Toole is a three-time, all-conference choice, while Johnson (2011 Honorable Mention) and Weiland (2010 Second Team) have also been honored by the league throughout their careers.
Junior Bella Diaz returns after finishing among the top three in three different events during her freshman season in 2011. She will be joined by classmate Zoe Levenson, a team captain, who has been a part of three different all-conference relays.
Junior captain Margot Wummer and classmate Rosemarie O’Connor are two talented swimmers who will compete in a number of events, while the sophomore trio of Sara Boldt, Charlotte Lima and Jessica Sweitzer are all coming off solid rookie seasons and are expected to break onto the scene even more in 2013 at the conference championship meet.
Orstein’s men lost six talented seniors to graduation, but return sophomore all-conference performers Mike Magdic, Ben Mancini, Jake Meyers, Ulysses Laman and Ross Nappi in addition to the four-member senior class.
The coaching staff is also very excited about the prospects of the new faces in the programs. Both teams have 10 new student-athletes, including sophomore Ben McGrath and freshman Kevin Dunigan who are starring for the men’s water polo team during the fall. Orstein also expects big contributions from first-year athletes Armando Paolino, Anthony Squeglia, Mickey Wieber, Nick Gill, Collin Higgins and Andrew Hugenberg.
Replacing four-time All-America diver Bethany Haver will be a tough task for Orstein and Galati, but the coaching staff is extremely excited about the talent of sophomore diver Jennifer Suder. Suder is a two-sport athlete at Washington & Jefferson College as she is also an all-conference golfer. Some other new members joining the squad to watch are freshmen Rachel Murphy, Emily Golling, Amber Miller and Jenny Matuszewski.
The Presidents open their 2012-13 schedules on Nov. 3 when hosting Frostburg State (1:00 pm) for a non-conference dual meet at the Henry Memorial Natatorium.