Women’s swimming takes second overall, athletes record personal bests at Lions’ Invitational

-Photo courtesy of Sports Information

After an impressive showing at the Lions’ Invitational, the Rowan women’s swimming and diving team heads into the holiday break optimistic.

For the second year in a row, the Profs grabbed second place at the Lions’ Invitational. Rowan finished ahead of York College, University of Bridgeport and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

Host school and New Jersey Athletic Conference rival The College of New Jersey finished ahead of the Profs for first place.

The meet was Rowan’s biggest test of the season thus far, and the team certainly rose to the occasion. During the three-day event, the brown and gold put together a strong showing filled with many season – and personal – bests.

Although head coach Brad Bowser was impressed by his team’s performance, he has grown to expect this type of effort and results from his team.

“I kind of expected everyone to go out there and have their best swims of the year,” head coach Brad Bowser said. “But when people go out there and put up lifetime-best times, that’s really something that you try to see. I thought we swam very well and I was very proud.”

The Profs did exceptionally well in nearly every event this weekend. However, a few swimmers in particular stood out.

Freshman Miranda Coughlan finished the calendar year off strong with personal bests in the 50 (24.62), 100 (53.99) and 200 (2:00.13) freestyles. She was awarded NJAC Rookie of the Week honors for the second-consecutive week and third time overall this season.

Seniors Olivia Wojtowicz and Julia DelNero also had phenomenal showings at the invitational.

Wojtowicz finished first overall in the 200 individual medley with a personal best time (2:11.91). The captain took second and recorded personal bests in the 100 (1:08.97) and 200 breaststrokes (2:27.46), and the 400 individual medley (4:40.39).

DelNero grabbed first place in the 1,650 freestyle in a season-best 18:20.85. On the first day of the meet, she recorded a season-best 5:18.21 in the 500 freestyle.

“I definitely think I accomplished all my goals,” DelNero said. “I think the team met their goals as well. Everyone had very high expectations and everyone did great.”

With the first half of the season in the books, the Profs can’t help but feel pleased with their season thus far. Rowan currently sits alongside TCNJ at first place in the NJAC standings after being predicted to finish fourth in the preseason coaches’ poll.

As they prepare for the remaining schedule, the Profs are focused on building on their early confidence and finishing the season strong.

“We were set to finish fourth, so the fact that we are doing better than that is really exciting,” Wojtowicz said. “I think that if we keep working hard, we have a chance at the title. We’re just going to keep working hard like we have been.”

Rowan will return to action on Jan. 16 when the team takes on conference rival Montclair State University at home. The brown and gold will then travel to TCNJ on Jan. 23 in a matchup that could potentially decide first place in the conference.

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