WELCOME BACK: The George Washington men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams return to action after a month-long hiatus on Saturday. The Colonials enter the meet coming off of their annual winter training trip, this year spending a week in Fort Myers, Florida, at Florida Gulf Coast University to supplement winter break training on campus in Foggy Bottom.
“Our time in D.C. and Florida has treated us well, and I appreciate the support from our fans, alumni and athletics department in making our training camp a possibility,” said first-year head coach James Winchester. “We have definitely challenged our student-athletes to the fullest of their capabilities, and as a staff we believe this will set them up well for a good championship season.”
LAST TIME OUT: GW’s women’s squad last competed on Dec. 5, taking on Atlantic 10 defending champion Richmond in Washington, D.C. Freshmen Lucy Castro and Emily Zhang each posted a pair of race victories to lead the Colonials as the Spiders came out on top overall.
The men’s team returns to the pool after over month without competition, after taking third at the competitive Magnus Cup Invitational from Nov. 20-22.
WITHIN THE ATLANTIC 10: Zhang’s school-record time of 2:02.83 in the 200-yard individual medley leads the conference, while her 58.45 mark in the 100-yard IM sits third. Castro put together a strong first semester in the distance events and holds the conference’s second-best time in the 1,000-yard freestyle (10:26.64), and ranks third in the mile (17:10.21).
Junior Bogdan Balteanu heads into Saturday’s meet ranking fourth in the A-10 in the 50-yard breaststroke (26.73) and the 200-yard IM (53.53) to lead the Colonials in the conference rankings.
TAKING ON THE TRIBE: William & Mary will also compete for the first time in over a month on Saturday.
“William & Mary is a very talented and deep team,” said head coach James Winchester. “Coach Crispino has done an excellent job with the program.”
The Tribe’s women’s team last competed as a squad at the Bucknell Invite from Nov. 20-22, where the team came in first in a field of nine participating programs. Jessie Ustjanauskas has twice earned Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Swimmer of the Week, most recently for snapping school records in the 100-meter butterfly (1:02.30) and the 100-meter butterfly (1:01.77).
“Our women have a major challenge on our hands, especially coming off of training trip,” said Coach Winchester. “We will use the meet as an opportunity to get better, and start getting ready for championship season.”
The Tribe’s defending CAA champion men’s side also came out on top at the Bucknell Invite in a field of nine. Will Manion has earned a pair of CAA Swimmer of the Week nods this season, most recently for his performance at the USA Swimming AT&T Winter Nationals, where the senior posted an NCAA provisional and Olympic Trials qualifying time in the 100-meteer backstroke (56.11).
“Facing the defending CAA Champions, our men will have a difficult challenge,” said Coach Winchester. “This meet will be the beginnings of a tough 16 day slide for us, with four meets in that span, and coming off of a tiring training trip. I do fully expect our men to step up, and put together some good races.”
ORDER OF EVENTS: GW’s divers will compete prior to the 1 p.m. meet start time, as William & Mary does not sponsor diving.
Diving (1m & 3m)
200 Medley Relay
200 Free Relay
Swimming news courtesy of George Washington Swimming & Diving.