Over the past few weeks, the Rowan University men’s swimming and diving team played the role of a large bear during the winter.
The divers were in a hibernation of sorts since they last competed on Feb. 25 at the NCAA Northeast/South Diving Regional, while the swimmers have been resting for even longer, since the Metropolitan Championships (MET’s) in mid-February.
However, it is time for the team to wake up, shake off the dust and get back to competing as NCAA Division III Championships are right around the corner. Even though a significant amount of time has passed since his team has been in an actual meet, head coach Brad Bowser thinks his team is experienced enough to avoid any letdowns.
“I think it gives them rest,” Bowser said. “We can get them up on the blocks and we can race hard and do what we need to do to get them momentum. To have weekends off and not worry about getting on a bus and going on a meet, I think it gives them a mental break and more of a drive and desire to race in the last race of the season.”
Despite a 6-3 overall record and a strong showing at MET’s, the women’s swimming and diving team will not be sending anyone to nationals. However, the men’s swimming and diving team will send nine swimmers and one diver to Shenandoah, Texas, to compete in the four day event.
After sending only seven swimmers and one diver to nationals last season, the increase in athletes in welcomed.
“[It was a] better year. It’s nice because we are able to get three sophomores into the picture,” Bowser said. “So, three sophomores, one junior and the rest are seniors. Just to give those three sophomores a taste of what the meet’s like, it gives them a little bit more drive going into the offseason.”
After finishing 11th out of 57 teams at nationals last year, the team is looking for an improvement.
Bowser said that the best way to do that is to race hard, do better, hit the walls properly and get the relay teams into the top eight.
While winning the title of National Champions would be nice, Bowser has a simpler goal.
“The goal is to be top-10. We haven’t been in the top-10 and for us, I think it’s a good point of saying we’re a top-10 team in the country. National championships for swimming and diving in Division III are very hard,” Bowser said. “Yes, national championships and winning nationals is definitely a goal of ours and we want to do that. I set my goals high and I think a common goal for us to be in the top-10.”
When asked about who could help the team to that finish with a strong performance, Bowser struggled at first to pinpoint a name. He said that the team had such a strong showing at MET’s that anyone could do the job.
“We’ll see what happens,” Bowser said. “We’re at a point where the confidence is there with them and the confidence is here with me. Now it’s just about clicking and making sure everything is good.”
The Profs will compete at the NCAA Division III National Championships from March 15 through the 18.