Senior swimmer motivates team

Being a leader is about showing the path to success and being able to push a team, whenever it is necessary, so the message gets across. Wesley Blassneck has been the ultimate motivator for her team not just in the pool, but out of it as well.

Blassneck is the senior co-captain for the Eastern Michigan University women’s swim and dive team. She participates in the individual medley and the freestyle.

Blassneck, 21, has one sibling: A sister named Booey, who is two years younger and currently attends the University of Florida.

“Booey could have played volleyball, but instead wanted to focus more on academics,” Blassneck said.

Blassneck comes to EMU from Marco Island, Fla., which is about 30 minutes south of Naples, Fla. Her major is international business and her minor is Spanish.

Blassneck said her favorite class is international business ethics. She is on track to graduate by fall of 2013 and hopes to find a career in the field of international business.

Before graduating, Blassneck secured an internship at Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn, Mich. this summer.

Blassneck attended Lely High School, located in Naples Manor, Fla., where she said the student population was culturally diverse.

“The school was a mix of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Cuban, Caucasian and Haitian,” she said.

The blend of cultures helped Blassneck escape any feelings of being sheltered.

She also swam at Lely and was named Most Valuable Player all four years of being in the program. When it came down to picking a college, Blassneck initially did not want to come to EMU, but was pushed by her high school coaches to fill out the application.

“It does not matter if you like or have heard about the school, fill [the application] out. You never know,” Blassneck said.

Blassneck looked at dozens of schools across her home state of Florida, and in the Midwest and Northeast regions. She eventually chose EMU, but was still reluctant about the decision because of the winter weather in the state of Michigan.

“Coming from a five-by-seven-mile island in Florida, you don’t know much about EMU,” Blassneck said. “Since I have been here, every time I go back to Florida, every eighth person I meet says that they have been to Eastern.”

The experience which bonded the seniors on this year’s team occurred four years ago, when they were freshman. Blassneck and 10 other teammates, most notably former roommate Lauren Kalinosky and current roommate Vanessa Weidner packed into Blassneck’s five-seat Nissan Altima to make the five-minute drive from campus to Rynearson Stadium for the opening game of the football season.

“My car was so weighted down, it crowded down the bottom part of the car and I had a hard time finding my driver’s license,” Blassneck said.

Blassneck considers Weidner, her roommate of three years, to be one of her closest personal friends.

“We have been through deaths in each other’s family together, and she helped tackle my seasonal depression because of me being used to the warm weather in Florida,” Blassneck said.

Blassneck’s first roommate, Kalinosky had a moment from freshman year they still laugh about to this day when they played the song, “Whatcha Say” by Jason Derulo.

“I played the song once on my iPod and Lauren [Kalinosky] said to play it again and after that, she played it on repeat for weeks,” Blassneck said.

Blassneck said she does not like to eat sweets, but instead likes to eat savory foods such as her favorite, sushi.

Blassneck said her biggest role model in life is her mother.

“She overcame obstacles and taught me not to ever give up on your life,” she said.

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