Men’s swimming and diving’s all-around performances help guide team to first place at WPI Gompei Invitational

Senior distance swimmer John Tepper competing in an event earlier this year. Photo courtesy of Sports Information.

Fast and furious isn’t just the title of an overly drawn-out movie franchise. It’s a way to describe how the Rowan men’s swimming and diving team began their competition at the WPI Gompei Invitational this past weekend.

The team won the 800 freestyle with a time of 6:53.50, senior John Tepper won the 1650 freestyle and freshman Kevin Gillooly won the 50 free with a time of 21.13, which stands as the top time for the team in the event for the year. Senior Colin Fisher finished third in the 200 individual medley, while freshman Dylan Regan and junior captain Eric Feuerstein tied for third in the 50 freestyle.

A big key that has been working for the Profs’ success has been the performances of the underclassmen, who did their job throughout the meet to keep the team in contention and secure the top spot.

“It’s nice,” said head coach Brad Bowser on the underclassmen performance at the meet. “It’s something to grow off of. It’s showing us that we can lose six All-American’s and still be able to compete at a high level and on a national scene. For us, we were just looking to see where we’re at. The ball of what this team can do is starting to roll and starting to be put together.”

“The freshman are starting to really step up,” Bowser added. “I’m still looking for a little bit more from them, but that’s just because what we lost has to be counteractive with the freshman right now for us to be able to do anything.”

Although they were able to come out with a first place finish over the weekend, the team is still not 100 percent “there yet.” The Profs are still missing a couple key parts and are trying to put all of their skills together to be anywhere near the level of competition they were at last season.

“We’re missing a junior, Dan Lawton, in our backstroke events since he’s hurt,” Bowser said. “We’re kind of pulling at strings to win events. That’s why us winning this weekend was sort of a surprise to me. I thought WPI would’ve been a tough go-at and Stevens as well, but we were able to have enough depth in our top lineup to pull out a win.”

There’s no shortage of practice for the team with finals week on deck and the semester coming to an end for an almost month break. When asked about his plans for the team, Bowser had one word to describe them.

“Training,” Bowser said. “We will take this week to sort of get them prepped again and then next week goes into finals week, so we’ll do Monday and Tuesday built towards specifics. A lot of stuff will be maintenance, just getting them in the water, then they will go away for two weeks. A key thing is these guys staying in shape, staying in the pool and training over the holidays.”

The team comes back to train the first week of January before hosting Montclair State University on Saturday, Jan. 13.

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