Being successful across the board from the men’s team to the women’s team in an individual sport is tough to achieve. Rowan is the exception. Both the men and women’s teams combined for a 13-5 record while each going 4-0 in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC).
Both teams had major success at the WPI Gompei Invitational in December and the Metropolitan Championships later in the season. Similar results came from these meets, as the two teams finished third in the WPI Gompei Invitational. The men’s team brought home the crown at the Metropolitan Championships while the women finished strong in second.
The men’s team are going for a three-peat in the “Mets,” as they’ve taken the throne two years running. Rowan will return senior captain John Shellem who, at the 2015-2016 Metropolitan meet, swam top times in the 50 freestyle, 100 butterfly and 200 butterfly. His winning history at the invitational is a big boost to the Profs’ confidence to capture three in a row.
Also returning is another senior captain, one who’s season last year was full of accolades: Eric Feuerstein earned All-America distinction in the 400 freestyle relay, along with an All-American honorable mention in the 200 as well. He was also awarded All-Conference second team honors in the 200, 400 and 800 freestyle relay.
There are some shoes to fill, though, as Rowan has lost six All-Americans in sprints specialist Jesse Novak, diver John Morris, breaststrokers Mike Simunek and Paul Long, butterfly swimmer Nick Marks and Anthony Czar in mid-distance. It’s clear to see that the underclassmen that join the brown and gold this season will have quite the workload in front of them.
The women’s team, on the other hand, responded to their losing season in 2015-2016 with a 6-3 record, while sweeping NJAC opponents in the process last campaign. They return senior-captain Amanda Burke, who was top-three on the team in both the 200 and 400 individual medleys. She has now received NJAC All-Academic honorable mention for the past two seasons. Captain Miranda Coughlan also returns for her junior year. She has recorded the team’s fastest times in the 50, 100, and 200 freestyles her first two seasons at Rowan. Coughlan received five separate first team All-Conference honors in the 100 and 200 freestyles, as well as the 200 medley, 400 medley and 400 freestyle relays. Breaststroke/IM specialist Bailey Howarth, who was last year’s NJAC Rookie of the Year, returns to Glassboro as well.
Despite the challenges that might be ahead for both teams, head coach Brad Bowser is back for his fourth year at the helm. Last season, Bowser was named the NJAC Men’s and Women’s Coach of the Year. Bowser was able to help the women’s team capture a NJAC title for the first time since 1998-99. The men’s team has also finished top-two in the three years Bowser has been in charge, with last season being atop the NJAC standings.
Both teams will have their first match against New York University at home on Saturday, Oct. 14 at 1 p.m.
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