BEREA, Ohio – The Baldwin Wallace University men's swimming and diving team is ready to race to the top of the Ohio Athletic Conference in 2018-19.
Eighth-year head coach Laura Wolff-Demaline returns eight letterwinners and two All-OAC performers from last year's team that went 5-6 overall with a 1-3 mark in the conference, placing fourth at the OAC Championships.
"I am excited about the talent and depth our freshman class have added to our team this year," Wolff-Demaline said. "We returned a strong core from last year, including a few individual school record holders, which is a great position to be in. We have made a few key changes to our training and meet schedule that I am eager to see play out, which we feel will positively benefit all of our athletes. This is an incredible group of individuals that work hard and are committed to the success of our program. There are great things happening at the Baldwin Wallace Pool – and I look forward to how our team will continue to grow this season!"
Both All-OAC performers are members of the junior class: stroker Greg Shaw (Colorado Springs, Colo./Manitou Springs) and diver Evan Rinaldi (Cleveland/Cleveland Heights). Shaw earned his All-OAC honor as a freshman with a second-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly and also holds the school record in that event. Rinaldi took third in both the 1-meter and 3-meter diving events for his first two All-OAC honors.
Two additional school record holders also return to the pool this winter in junior freestyler Austin Lockhart (Olmsted Falls) and sophomore stroker Michael Morsch (Phoenix, Ariz./Notre Dame Preparatory). Morsch, Shaw and Lockhart were all part of the 200-yard and 400-yard medley relay school records that were set at the 2018 OAC Championships while Lockhart also holds the school record for the 200-yard butterfly.
Leadership will also come from the team's two seniors: freestyler Tyler Allison (Napoleon) and freestyler John Beyer (Columbus/Centennial). Both Allison and Beyer return for their final season in the pool and look to shave seconds off their career-best times, hoping to set a school record along the way.
After getting their feet wet in their first collegiate season, sophomore freestylers Matthew Butt (Westfield Center/Cloverleaf) and Conner Hartup (Westlake) and sophomore strokers Nicholas Borghi (Dayton, N.J./South Brunswick) and Kyle Cordrey (Mansfield/Ontario) return to improve on the times from their freshman campaign.
Four freshmen will dive right in, looking to make an immediate impact on the team: diver Tanner Elenbaas (Aurora, Ill./Waubonsie Valley), freestyler Ali Id-Lougssiyr (Louisville, Ky./Eastern), freestyler Michael Lewis (Lancaster) and freestyler Christian Velasquez (Fulshear, Texas/Seven Lakes).
BW opens up the 2018-19 campaign on Friday, Sept. 28, when the Yellow Jackets compete in the Viking Relay Challenge, hosted by NCAA Division I institution Cleveland State University at the Busbey Natatorium. BW will host Manchester (Ind.) University for the first home meet on Saturday, Nov. 3, inside the BW Natatorium.