J.P. Valette '10 (right side
of photo) and Gianfranco Galluzzo '12 (left side of photo) placed first
and second, respectively, in the one-meter diving event on the opening
day, Fri., Feb. 26, of the NESCAC Championships hosted by Williams,
giving both all-NESCAC honors. It was the first diving title by a
Wesleyan performer in the 10 years the meet has been held.
Posting a school-record score of 456.65, Valette eclipsed the finest one-meter score ever recorded by a Wesleyan diver (456.52 by Dave Wilkinson in 2009). Last year Gianfranco finished third in the event with a 454.35, the best previous score by a Wesleyan diver at NESCACs. This year, Gianfranco was nearly as good with his second-place mark of 446.95. A year ago, Valette was sixth with a 413.45 as he upped his point total from last year by 43.2.
Both Valette and Gianfranco will be competing in the three-meter dive on the final day of the Championships Sun., Feb. 28. Last year, they finished fifth and third, respectively, in that event.
The Cardinals' top individual finish in a swimming event on day one came from Brendan Fortin '13 (bottom photo) who placed 11th in the 500 free with a time of 4:45.06. He also had the best effort by the team on day two with a 4:08.31 during prelims of the 400 IM, eclipsing the school record set in 1994 by 1.26 seconds. His time also was a national "B" cut. He went on to finish sixth in the finals. Also with a top-eight placing was Dan Storms '10 as he came in sixth in the 200 free (1:43.42) while Momo Saleh '12 also nailed down a sixth-place showing in the 1000 free (10:10.95).
On the final day of the meet, divers Galluzzo and Valette placed fourth and fifth, respectively, on the three-meter board. Fortin was ninth in the 200 fly though his time (1:54.99) in the consolation finals was faster than the fourth-place finisher in the event. A sub-par effort in the morning prelims put him in a position to place no higher than ninth but he showed his true color during the evening with 5.54-second improvement. Saleh also had a ninth-place performance in the 1650 free.
With the success of Wesleyan's diving tandem, Cardinal diving coach Jeff Miller was honored by his NESCAC peers as Diving Coach of the Year.
After sitting in eighth place as a team following the first day's action, the Cardinals climbed into seventh place heading into the final day of the meet and remained in that spot, just six points behind Conn. College after the last day was complete.