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Cardinals Receive Awards at Banquet 

The Wheeling Jesuit University Swimming Team held their annual awards banquet on April 20th.  The entire swimming team was honored for their efforts during the season and at the conference championships.  Also recognized, were distinguished guests in the audience, the parents and families of the swimmers, Carrie West and the rest of Coach West ‘s family, Father Harry Geib, Manager Sarah Dille, and University President Julio Giulietti, SJ.

A total of four awards were given out during the evening.  First was the women’s Coach’s award which went to the swimmer which best represented the team’s values and characteristics.  The coach’s also placed a strong value on performance throughout the season and overall enthusiasm for the sport and the team.  Kristin Gandee became the first person at Jesuit to receive this honor. On the men’s side the corresponding award was named the “Shotwell Award” after WJU’s first swimming coach Dave Shotwell.  Michael Phillips was the first person to win the award for the men’s team.  “Both Michael and Kristin are excellent representatives of our team and what we want to portray of a student-athlete.  Both swimmers have been dedicated to the progression of the team and have done everything in their ability to moved Jesuit forward.”, Head Coach Rick West. 

The last two awards of the evening were the men’s and women’s swimmer of the year.  This award went to the Cardinals that scored the most points during the season, at the conference championships and had a consistent year throughout.  Ali Hengesbach and Sergio Bracamontes were the recipients of this honor.  Ali was the only female swimmer to score in three events at the conference championships and Sergio had two of the highest finishes for the men’s team in the 100 and 200 Butterfly events.  “Ali and Sergio have been the pace setters for the team all season.  Both of them have been team leaders this year and we have relied upon them to score at every dual meet.”, Head Coach Rick West. 

   The Cardinals will conclude spring training and begin preparation for finals.   After the summer break classes will resume August 25th with practice to begin the following week.


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Nikki Rose named Recruiting Coordinator

Wheeling (4-17-08)---Assistant Coach Nikki Rose has been named Recruiting Coordinator of the Men’s and Women’s Swimming programs at Wheeling Jesuit University.

Head coach Rick West added the responsibility to Rose’s current role as Assistant Coach.

“Nikki has done a great job of learning and contributing to the recruiting process this season, “West said. “Her rapport with student/athletes is excellent and I believe that she will continue to help elevate our program to the next level.”

Rose swam for Wheeling Jesuit from 1999-2003 and served as captain for her senior season.

 “Nikki has been a vital part of the team’s success this season both in and out of the pool,” West said. “I have been fortunate enough to coach Nikki in high school, in college and now work with her as the team’s assistant.”

“Adding the duties of recruiting coordinator is a natural progression to her long term goal of becoming a head coach.”

Wheeling Jesuit signed four swimming recruits in the early signing period a task that has not been accomplished in several seasons. 

The Cardinals also won a total of 6 dual meets and moved up the rankings at the Bluegrass Mountain Championship, which is another improvement over recent years.

Rose will assume the responsibilities immediately as the Cardinals look to secure the rest of their recruiting class for next season.

For more information about Wheeling Jesuit University swimming please contact Head Coach, Rick West at 304-243-2399.


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Hengesbach, Bracamontes carry on Family Tradition

Swimmers named captain of WJU Swim Team

Wheeling (4-18-08)Head Coach Rick West announced today that Junior Captain Ali Hengesbach will retain her captain’s position for the 2008-2009 season and will be joined by sophomore Sergio Bracamontes.

 “Both Ali and Sergio are excellent leaders on this team and I’m certain that will continue on next season,” West said. “The interesting twist to this story is that both Ali and Sergio have had siblings who were also team captains.”

Ali’s brother Justin (2001) was a captain for the 2000-2001 season, her brother Brian was a swimmer for the Cards as well and Sergio’s sister Jessica (2005) was a captain for the 2004-2005 season. 

Hengesbach has been a finalist at the Bluegrass Mountain Championships each of her seasons at Jesuit.

 She has placed in the 100 Breaststroke, 200 Breaststroke, 1000 Freestyle, 1650 Freestyle and 400 Individual Medley. 

Bracamontes has also finaled in his first two seasons in the 100 Butterfly and 200 Butterfly events. 

Ali is a member of the Business Honors Society and Sergio is a member of the Student Athletic Advisory Council. 

“We are constantly trying to build bridges with our alumni and I am thrilled to see that our team has nominated two excellent captains who also happen to be member of great Cardinal Families,” Head Coach Rick West said.

 The Cardinals are currently involved in Spring Drills and will resume the season next fall.

For more information about Wheeling Jesuit University swimming, contact Head Coach, Rick West at 304-243-2399.



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