Written by David Mann
ALBANY – A crowd of befuddled students gave sideways glances at Darton’s JD Rosseau, then a freshman athlete, as he ran a treadmill while donning a snorkel in the Darton State College fitness center late last spring for what he called “simulated altitude training.” On Saturday, that training paid off.
The Columbus native swam a 9:56.09 to win the 1000-meter relay in a dual meet with Birmingham Southern, at Darton, Saturday. His result is the 3rd-fastest 1000-meter time in the NJCAA.
“I continued to train all summer long,” he said. “And yes, I can tell the difference and I’m off to better start than I was at this time last year.”
Rousseau wasn’t the only Cavalier to show a solid performance. Teammate Gabe Downey, also a sophomore, won the 100 and 200 backstroke and the 200 IM. Sarah Hoop and Crawford Berry, who return to Darton after winning gold medals in the 2013 NJCAA Swimming an d Diving Championships, dominated the diving boards.
“”I thought we displayed our depth on the guys side,” Darton State head swimming coach Will Breehl said. “We had a lot of 1-2 finishes, and a few 1-2-3 finishes. Our girls were right there in a lot of races, we were just spread too thin. We probably would have won a few of those races if they weren’t so tired from being busy. They did what they had to do to compete so I’m pretty happy.”
Darton travels to Emmanuel College in Franklin Springs, Saturday, as the 2013-2014 season progresses. The NJCAA national office is expected to release national polls this week.