Rowan swimming and diving teams split meet with USMMA, Metropolitan Championships two weeks away

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After falling short against La Salle University a week ago, the Rowan University women’s swimming team bounced back and defeated United States Merchant Marine Academy, 193-105.

With the win, the Profs finish the dual-meet season with a 6-3 record.

“We raced well. It was sort of a one-sided meet and I feel like the girls got up for some of the races,” head coach Brad Bowser said. “They started working on some of the specifics and what they’re supposed to be doing going into conferences.”

Rowan excelled in individual races, as sophomores Miranda Coughlan and Gabby Gligor, senior captain Julie Sheehan, and freshmen Alex Bambrick, Carlee Timmins and Megan Miller and Bailey Howarth all touched first. The brown and gold also took first in the 400 medley and the 200 freestyle.

Bowser pointed to Coughlan and Timmins as swimmers that stood out on the women’s side.

Unfortunately for the men’s side, that same success was not found.

After starting the season with seven-consecutive wins, the Profs have dropped two straight meets following a 152-148 loss to USMMA.

Heading into the 200 freestyle relay, the last event, the brown and gold were leading by one point. However, they lost that race by .52 seconds.

The loss put the team at 7-2 to end the dual-meet season.

Senior captain Jesse Novak, freshman Matt Grubb, junior John Tepper and sophomores Adam Sicinski and Dan Lawton all touched first in their events.

Sophomore Sean Piacente totaled 331.95 points, good enough for first place on the three-meter board.

“We lost, but I think the effort was there … My big focus going into this past weekend was two weeks from now and what we’re doing at NCAA’s,” Bowser said. “So some people that I knew needed some more rest, I left them at home. I messed around with the lineup, so the guys that we did have weren’t doing their main events. They were a little bit more up for the meet than we were. It didn’t hurt me, but it made me mad. I don’t like to lose.”

Still, for Bowser, the 6-3 record of the women’s team and the men’s 7-2 record do not mean much.

“The downside of swimming in college is you still have a dual-meet record, which is the wins and the losses,” Bowser said. “At the end of the day, you’re looking for championships and you’re looking for people at NCAA’s, not so much meet records.”

Pretty soon, it will be time for the brown and gold to compete at NCAA’s, but first they must get past the Metropolitan Championships.

The championship meet spans three days, each day having a preliminary round and a final round.

With no meet this weekend, the Profs have plenty of time to get ready for the competition.

“We’re giving them rest,” Bowser said. “In swimming, it’s called ‘tapering.’ So we’re tapering them, giving them more time to recover, trying to maintain the speed and intensity side of it, but the yardage starts dropping down and the time that they’re in the pool starts dropping down.”

He added that the team will be going from about 16 hours in the pool a week to about four hours by the time the meet starts.

The Metropolitan Championships begin on Feb. 17 at Rutgers University.

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