Poolside with Jake Querciagrossa

  • By Jonathan Harkey
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  • October 03, 2013 01:28 PM
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This is the fourth of a season-long series that will feature updates on WVU swimming and diving alumni, as well as getting to know members of the current team.

Senior swimmer Jake Querciagrossa understands how important his final season as a Mountaineer is, and with the regular season a little more than one week away, the Peoria, Ill., native is poised to make this season count.

“Training over the past year has been really good. Last year we didn’t have to focus on meets as often (because of redshirting). I only swam four meets since the end of my junior year,” said Querciagrossa. “Every day I’m coming into practice just trying to get a little better each day, which has helped a lot. Having the end goal of making NCAAs has really helped me stay focused.”

During his redshirt season last year, the swimming and diving teams experienced Big 12 competition for the first time, which includes perennial national powerhouse Texas. Querciagrossa sees facing the Longhorns as an opportunity more than a challenge.

“I like how the Big 12 swimming is set up. I feel like it is better than what it was in the Big East,” said Querciagrossa. “It’s the same competition, but because there are less people, you really get to know who you are racing against. You get to know their race strategy a little bit better.

“Going up against Texas doesn’t intimidate me that much. I’ve been in meets with all of their swimmers for the last four to five years. Despite the fact that they have some people who are placing Top 8 at NCAAs, if I’m going to be there at NCAAs and get a second swim, I have to have the mentality that I can beat them.”

Even with a time-consuming training regiment and classes to match, the exercise physiology student still finds time to enjoy activities outside the pool and classroom.

“I like a lot of outdoor activities. I feel West Virginia is a great place for that,” said Querciagrossa. “I love to go fishing. I like going to the water spots like Blue Hole and Big Sandy and get some sun every now and then.”

The WVU swimming and diving teams begin their season with the Gold-Blue meet on Saturday, Oct. 5 at 10 a.m., at the WVU Natatorium.

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