Rowan swimming and diving teams lose to La Salle, look forward to Metropolitan Championship

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For the first time this season, both of the Rowan swimming and diving teams suffered defeat in the same weekend.

However, the losses might want to be taken with a grain of salt.

Over the weekend, both teams traveled to Philadelphia to take on La Salle University, a Division I program, coming away with less than stellar results.

The men’s swimming and diving team fell to the Explorers, 124-76, while the women’s team dropped a 125-75 decision.

The men’s team now stands at 7-1 overall while the women’s team is 5-3.

“I felt like we raced well. I felt like we hit the points that we needed and answered a lot of questions on my end,” head coach Brad Bowser said. “It was not a great showing in terms of the score, but in terms of where we are at in our training cycle, it really answered a lot.”

According to Bowser, he wanted his teams to go up against a fast team; he wants his team to be as good as possible. In his eyes, swimming against a DI program will help with that.

“It’s really only four or five better swimmers. They’re deeper,” Bowser said. “I could match our top talent with their top talent and if we swam a conference meet, we’d probably only be 50 points behind. When you have the scholarship athletes, you can have a deeper lineup.”

While the scores did not reflect kindly on how the Profs performed, individuals did succeed.

On the women’s side, the 200 freestyle relay team consisting of Polina Dineva, Bianca Karpinski, Julie Sheehan and Miranda Coughlan took home first place. The 400 freestyle relay team, which was made up of Karpinski, Sheehan, Dineva and Emily LaBenski, also touched first.

For the men’s team, Jesse Novak earned first place in the 50 free. The 200 freestyle relay consisting of Novak, Nick Marks, Jake Kayati and Eric Feuerstein also finished first for their squad.

While the swimmers were in Philadelphia, the divers were almost 200 miles away in State College, Pennsylvania, at the two-day Penn State Invitational.

Three members of the brown and gold competed but only senior John Morris made it to the final day of the meet. He responded with 203.65 points, which was good enough for an eighth place finish in the three-meter board.

“They held their own against some of the DI programs. John Morris did very well and Sean [Piacente] had some dives where he faltered a little bit,” Bowser said. “Overall they dove very well. I was very happy with sending them there.”

Looking back on the weekend, the coach said that the teams realized their emotions can be high one week and low the next. He added that for the teams and the program to progress, they must continue to push their limits and levels.

The Profs will next have that opportunity on Saturday against United States Merchant Marine Academy. It is the last meet for the brown and gold before they head to Rutgers for the three-day Metropolitan Championships.

“The plan for this week is to go after the meet and try to win it, but I am leaving four of our guys at home,” Bowser said. “I’m taking four of the guys that last year did very well on three weeks rest and needed it for physical and mental. We’re using this as a practice-style meet to get ourselves mentally and physically ready.”

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