After a strong victory against The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) two weeks ago, the Rowan Men’s Swimming team was handed a close loss last Saturday when they faced the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) at home.
Losing by a score of 146-154, this brings their regular season record to 6-3.
This loss was definitely not what the team was hoping for, but Head Coach Brad Bowser isn’t going to let this affect his team’s confidence, especially heading into a critical part of the season.
“It’s just transitioning the team into having confidence,” Bowser said. “Where we were at last year at that meet versus where we’re at this year is completely night and day. I mean each person is probably about right on pace for where they should be at this point in time, last year we were nowhere near pace.”
Now while the loss was a disappointing one, this shouldn’t overshadow the fact that this last meet was the last home meet for the seniors. The team honored all seven seniors before the meet.
“It actually didn’t really hit me that this would be my last meet here until the final relay,” Senior Matt Grubb said. “But it was kinda just fun and a good time, it was a real close meet and I just had fun with it.”
It wasn’t just the seniors who knew how special this day was, Bowser did as well.
“It was tough, both on the men and the women sides,” Bowser said. “Seeing them and seeing how far we’ve come since that first year, and the growth, the confidence in these guys, has really impressed me and for me, as being the head coach and seeing these guys and sorta molding them into who they are really it means a lot because they are all fine young men and women who be very successful in whatever they accomplish later on in life.”
Just because this was their last home meet though, doesn’t mean that the season is over for the seniors yet. The team still has to prepare for the Metropolitan Championships (METs) and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championships coming up later this month, including the underclassmen who have never competed in these events before.
“We basically start them at the WPI [Invitational],” Bowser said. “We prep them at WPI with having the three full day meet and most of these guys come from a club background where they have done three day meets before, so what we have to prep them for is that you’re not swimming for yourself, you are swimming for your team, so we are looking for the individual best times, but at the end of the day, we are looking at where [the team] places in the meet.”
The first of these two events is the METs, which will be starting on Feb. 21 in Piscataway, New Jersey.
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