After a long weekend in the pool at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) Gompei Invitational, the Rowan men’s swimming team finished third out of nine teams at the event.
Along with their team’s finish, two Profs place first in their respective events. Kevin Gillooly, a graduate student, finished in the 100-yard freestyle with 44.55 seconds and Joe Rucci, a junior, finished in the 200 butterfly with 1:50.93. In addition, Andrew Fenton, a junior, and Dylan Regan, a senior, teamed up with Gabby Buck and Jordan McChesney from the women’s team to take first in the mixed 200-yard freestyle relay with 1:30.42.
Rucci believes that he is gaining momentum towards the end stretch of the season after his big weekend.
“To get to the METs [Metropolitan Conference Championships] having not lost a 200 fly all year, I’m not gonna want to lose once we get there,” Rucci said. “That will give me a lot of confidence going into the METs.”
Another positive to take out of the weekend is the team’s improved conditioning, according to Head Coach Brad Bowser.
“Conditioning wise, I think we were ready,” Coach Bowser said. “I thought we performed well, raced well. We definitely have things that we need to work on and clean up, but I think overall we performed as best as we could.”
Coach Bowser does not see the momentum stopping anytime soon as the team inches closer and closer towards the awaited Metropolitan Championships.
“We got that three-day meet out of our way,” Coach Bowser said. “A lot of these guys, it’s been almost two years since they last did this, so now they have the feeling of what it’s going to be like.”
Although this past weekend was an excellent opportunity for a test run, Coach Bowser knows that the true test still awaits them.
“At the METs, mostly everyone shaved [their time],” Coach Bowser said. “There are also more teams with high-end swimmers, so it’s definitely going to be faster for these guys. Overall it’s just a much faster meet.”
Rucci shared his thoughts on the team’s balance between continuing to train hard for the Metropolitan’s, as well as not burning themselves out too quickly.
“These next few weeks are going to be crucial, training-wise,” Rucci said. “We have to keep our foot on the gas because at the end of the day the METs are still two months away. Everyone is going to be training their absolute hardest… When you put in the work, once it becomes taper time, then it’s time to cash out on all that hard work.”
Although the Metropolitan Championships are clearly in the team’s sight, they have a few more pit stops to make leading up to that anticipated event. That starts with a tri-meet on Jan. 15 against Swarthmore College and WPI.
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