Head Coach Peter Solomon enters his fourth season at the helm of the Wesleyan Swimming and Diving Program, and this year's team could prove to be one of his best.
This year's team is returning a lot of young, yet proven talent. On the men's side, sophomore Brandon Pearson, who has re-written the Wesleyan records for diving, became Wesleyan's first diver to appear in the NCAA Tournament in seven years, will be set to lead a young but talented team.
Coach Solomon believes that this year's team weapon will be their divers as the Cardinals return their top sophomore divers in Pearson, Ethan Chupp and add three talented freshmen in Nick Cimino, Cameron Scott and Kendar Serindag. Pearson and Chupp look to build upon their impressive freshman campaign, which included top 8 performances in the NESCAC Championships last season.
Another strong event for the men this year will be the Fly, in which they return sophomores Ali Pourmaleki and Max Distler. They will be joined by Senior Captain Larry Ma and sophomores Frankie Brown and Karl Ortegon.
In other men's events, Wesleyan returns 3-time NESCAC Breaststroke Finalist, Jaques Bazile. He will be joined by junior and fellow Captain, Zach Carfi, as well as first year swimmer, Jack Gorman, who will add some much needed depth in the breaststroke events. In the distance freestyle, the team returns sophomore Peter Patapis who had a great season last year in which he placed 16th in the 1650-yard Freestyle and 18th in the 1000-yard Freestyle events. Hoping to add some depth, sophomore Robbie Webster is moving over from sprint freestyle. Coach Solomon says this will be a big adjustment for Webster, but added Webster has embraced the extra training and is working really hard to make the transition. The Sprint Freestyle core will be headed by freshman Alex Kapphahn. He will be joined by senior Noah Hamlish who also will be adding to the breaststroke squad.
Overall the men's teams will feature nine new faces, providing some much needed depth and a boost in talent. Coach Solomon believes that this year's underclassmen are proving to be an exciting addition to the team, especially in the relays in what is shaping up to become a very competitive qualifying process this season. Coach Solomon says that it is impossible to tell at this point in the season exactly who is going to end up on Wesleyan's "A" relays. There simply are too many fast swimmers all shooting for the same four spots in each of the relays. It is going to be an exciting season to say the least.
Wesleyan's men's team has slowly, but surely, been climbing the NESCAC ranks in the past three years from 11th in the conference in 2012 to their highest finish in the past 6 season with an 8th place team finish. This season, they look to continue that climb and are eyeing teams just ahead.
Wesleyan's first official meet is Saturday November 21 in Lewiston, ME at Bates College.