February 12th, 2013

BU Swimmers Ready for the Big Stage

Chris Cooper

Bellarmine University Asst. S.I.D.

BU Swimmers Ready for the Big Stage
Bellarmine swim team / photo by Timothy Sofranko

Knights prepare for NSISC conference championsip

After all the early morning workouts and dry land sessions, the Bellarmine men's and women's swimming teams will try to put it all together at the New South Intercollegiate Swimming Conference Championship, which runs from Wednesday through Saturday in Cleveland, Miss.

Hosted by Delta State University, the NSISC also features traditional conference foes Drury and Missouri S&T as well as Henderson State and Ouachita Baptist University. Bellarmine, Drury and S&T will compete in the Great Lakes Valley Conference next season, when it sponsors men's and women's swimming as its 19th and 20th sport.

In the program's inaugural season, the Knights have turned in strong performances in their last several dual meets and will look to peak this weekend. The men picked up their only victory of the season two weeks ago, an 85-65 victory over Transylvania.

Distance specialist Amanda Forti will pace the Knights' women, along with breaststrokers Alex Caneris and Hannah Warfel. Forti's 400-yard individual medley time of 4:59.67 currently ranks  14th in the event as the freshman from Manual High School could swim in a variety of events.

Meanwhile, Caneris and Warfel have been battling each other in the 100 breaststroke, with both swimmers just outside the top 16 in the conference. Caneris, a sophomore, has gotten the better of Warfel in three of the four times they both swam the race this season, but Warfel took the race at Transylvania.

On the men's side, head coach John Brucato expects big things from Nathan Blaine, Trent Mattingly and Michael Polio. Blaine will be the first Knight to hit the water when the Powel, Ohio, native competes in the 1000 freestyle Wednesday night.

Polio is expected to be another swimmer who could swim in a variety of events after swimming butterfly, sprint and mid-distance events during the season.

Mattingly will likely compete in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes and the 200 IM. Swimming for Paul Dunbar High School last season, Mattingly placed sixth in 100 breaststroke in the state meet with a time of 59.21, which would likely put him in the consolation championship this week.



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