While swim season is over for most swimmers, there are still a handful of them here at Rowan who have one more meet to compete in, and that is the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division lll National Championships.
This year, the Rowan Men’s Swimming team is sending five swimmers who qualified for the meet in either an individual or relay race.
Coming off winning the Metropolitan Championship last month, the swimmers who have qualified for nationals have gone straight into preparing for this meet. Head coach Brad Bowser explained that preparing them for nationals is a little different than how it is for a meet like METs though.
“It is being a little more individualistic, we are swimming relays but we also got individuals who are swimming for a National Championships,” Bowser said. “In terms of the mind set, mentality wise, where we’re supposed to be … it’s just sort of being there for them and supporting them and teaching them a little bit more, maybe stressing a little bit different techniques, reinforcing different things that they need to continue to focus on.”
Senior Matt Grubb, who has qualified every year since his sophomore season, will be competing in both an individual and relay race this year. The way he looks at the two different types of races is also a little different because of the team part of the relay race.
“I tend to care about relays more, just because there are more guys it’s not just me,” Grubb said. “But I swim my individual race in my relay so it’s kind of the same thing … I have more fun with relays though.”
For Grubb, this will be his last collegiate meet of his career, so it will be just as emotional for him as it will be fun.
“I really don’t know how to feel, it’s exciting but also sad,” Grubb said. “I mean it is the last one and I love this team and it kind of sucks but it is also super exciting.”
Another way to describe this meet for not just Grubb, but all the swimmers who are competing is important, something Bowser believes due to all that succeeding here can do for them.
“It is extremely important, they put in a lot of work for this and it’s for the majority of them or all of them, it is the meet of their lives,” Bowser said. “They have to have the meet of their life and they have to perform at a high level, certain things like that make it important. If they don’t perform well, then they don’t perform well, it’s just another meet, but on the other hand it’s the national scene, and you want that recognition and you want that ability to put All-American on your resume at the end of the year.”
One person who has already had some success at the regional level is diver Chad Shire. On Feb. 29, Shire won first overall in the one-meter dive at the Northeast/South Diving Regional, and has now also qualified for nationals for both his dives alongside the swimmers.
“It was great, it was awesome, it was the first time we ever had someone win Regionals and I was very happy for him, excited for him, excited for him to go to NCAAs,” Bowser said. “I know he has been working for this, to be going for three years now, he has been diving in the summertime and he did the right things and he finally put it together.”
Grubb is hoping for him and the rest of the team to have the success that Shire did at nationals to end the season and his career here at Rowan.
“A perfect ending, A Final in every event, get All-American,” Grubb said. “That would be cool, score really well as a team at Nationals and get Top 10.”
The National Championships is set to take place on March 18-21 in Greensboro, North Carolina.
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