A long wait is finally coming to the end for the Rowan men’s swimming team as they head to the WPI Gompei Invitational from Friday to Sunday in Worcester, MA.
Last year, the team took third in the three-day event out of 13 schools that competed. Captain Eric Feuerstein took first in the 200 freestyle, took fourth in the 100 free and was a part of the winning 400 freestyle A relay team along with the 200 medley B relay team that took seventh. Junior Nate Wojtowicz was part of the 400 freestyle A relay team as well. Now-senior Sean Piacente came in second in the three-meter diving.
The team has changed their routine when it comes to practicing. Instead of focusing on longer yardage and more swimming, they’ve gone to take on high intensity workouts. Something Feuerstein says is better than doing yards for the heck of it.
“This year, we’ve taken a new approach to practicing,” Feuerstein said. “We’ve dropped yardage and have focused more on high intensity workouts. That’s probably the biggest thing that’s changed over these four years. I wouldn’t say I like it more, but it’s probably just as good as what we’ve been doing.”
Being a senior and now a captain, Feuerstein has taken on a more important role to help develop the younger members of the team and bring the team more success going forward.
“It’s definitely a big change,” Feuerstein said. “But, I think I’ve put myself in the position over the last two or three years to take on this role when I knew it was going to be handed to me. Last year, I tried to set the tone as me being a leader a little bit, and then this year is not as drastic of a change from that.”
Now, the schedule, as every year for both swimming and diving teams, is on and off. There are six times in which the team must wait at least 13 days until their next meet, including over a month that is taken off as we go home for winter break. This time of the year, though, no matter how long the team must wait, is arguably the most crucial of the season. The WPI Invitational is the first of the three big events the teams have each season, next to the Metropolitan Championships and NCAA DIII Championships. Knowing the difference in his men’s team compared to last season, head coach Brad Bowser knows the implements this upcoming week has.
“From where we are this year compared to where we were last year, who’s on our team to who was on it last year, this is sort of a statement to the whole DIII (Division Three) swimming nation” Bowser said. “Just because we lost all that doesn’t mean we can’t be just as good as we were before. I think these guys see that and this is going to be a huge step-up for both teams, not just for the guys side but for the female side. We push them all to be better and be the best and dominate whatever competition comes in front of us.”
The Profs head to the big week ahead with a four-meet winning streak. This is their last competition until after winter break in January.
“What we are doing training-wise and getting ourselves to that elite level we were at last year, I think we are getting there,” Bowser said. “We’ll see after this weekend who responds to what and who’s work has produced the most out of them.”
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