It may be early in the season for the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams at Rowan University, but the group found solace last weekend when they didn’t have to get into the pool for a meet.
“We were getting run down, we were getting beat up mentally, we were getting beat up physically and just to have a weekend to themselves, to study, to go home and sleep, it was huge,” head coach Brad Bowser said. “I’d say out of the team, about 70 percent of them went home and stayed at home. They got to enjoy things that they normally don’t get to do.”
The teams responded after that week off with outstanding results.
The men’s swimming and diving team defeated William Paterson University, 175-59, on Nov. 11 and followed that up with a 166-88 thrashing of Ramapo College the next day.
“It’s coming together. It’s been nice to see some of these guys race well,” Bowser said. “It’s tough when we swim William Paterson and both teams are lopsided to us. We just tried to work on the small things, the turns and techniques, in terms of racing. It’s been interesting to see what we’re getting.”
Against the Pioneers, the brown and gold took first in 11 individual events and won the 400 medley relay with a time of 3:39.26. They improved that mark to 3:35.38 against Ramapo, good enough for first.
Senior John Morris led the way for the divers against William Paterson, taking first on the one- and three-meter boards. Sophomore Sean Piacente and freshman Matt Barrasso placed second and third for the one-meter board respectively.
Against West Chester University on Nov. 12, Morris finished second in the one- and three-meter boards, while Piacente took first and third respectively.
“It was their first competition. It’s good to get one under their belt and they know what to shoot for,” Bowser said. “John [Morris] going be John, he’s going to be the star diver, and Sean [Piacente] seems to be coming into his own. Hopefully we can get both of them as All-Americans.”
The two wins moved the men’s team to 4-0 on the year, and 2-0 in the New Jersey Athletic Conference.
Bowser said that he doesn’t see why the team can’t keep rolling and if some people step up, he could see the team going undefeated.
The women’s swimming and diving teams also found success, as they picked up their first two wins of the season with a 146-74 win over William Paterson, and a 160-92 win against Ramapo.
“The first two meets we had were against teams that were ranked nationally,” Bowser said. “For us to get in the position where we’re at, I think seeing them come together and build more confidence, being so young, is crucial.”
In the first meet, the Profs got first in nine of the 11 individual events. They also won the 400 medley relay, with a time of 4:14.51. They stayed hot against Ramapo, cutting that time to 4:07.61 and taking first again. The brown and gold also finished first in the 200 freestyle relay.
Freshman Corrine Finkbinder was the only female diver to place for the Profs against West Chester, finishing third in both the one- and three-meter boards.
Bowser said he took advantage of the meet with the Pioneers, putting swimmers into events they usually wouldn’t participate in.
“It was cool to see. Now with the numbers we have, we’re able to spread things out,” Bowser said. “I thought they raced well, I thought they competed at a high level. For as tired and run down as we are, they got the job done.”
The next time the Profs get into the pool will be against Pace University in Glassboro on Nov. 19.