Rowan women’s swimming and diving look to go 5-0 in NJAC

Freshman Emily Kopchick swims in an event earlier this season. She was part of the 400 medley relay that came in second during this past weekend's tri-meet. - Photo courtesy of Sports Information.

In swimming, it’s clear that a main goal, or really the only goal, is to cut time each event you swim. For the Rowan women’s swimming and diving team, they’re doing a bit more than that.

Last season, the Profs ranked 50th in the CollegeSwimming Division III Dual Meet Top 50 and 46th in the Championship Top 50. As of Jan. 17 of this year, they are 25th in the Dual Meet Top 50 and 32nd in the Championship Top 50. According to CollegeSwimming, rankings are produced through the comparison of teams in a simulated Championship or Dual Meet setting. The brown and gold show 609.55 points on the rankings website.

Experience played a significant role in the development and improvement Rowan has shown in the past year. Although they show plenty more underclassmen on their roster, the team has found themselves performing as veterans who have been in the program for much longer.

“We’re older,” said head coach Brad Bowser. “We’re a little bit more wiser. Our sophomores are no longer freshman and our juniors are no longer sophomores. We’re also a lot deeper now, so we’re able to maneuver the events around for whatever each person is better at. It’s just a better team.”

This past weekend, Rowan defeated both Stevens Institute of Technology and Swarthmore College at a tri-meet hosted by Swarthmore. The team won six individual events as well as taking first in the 200 freestyle relay. Junior captain Miranda Coughlan finished top in the 50 and 100 freestyle. Sophomore Carlee Timmins won the 1,000 freestyle. Freshman Emily Kopchick won in the 100 breaststroke. Junior Gabby Gligor won the 100 butterfly and sophomore Alex Bambrick took the throne in the 100 backstroke.

One of the most eye-catching aspects of the meet, though, was that 200 freestyle medley team. Freshmen Antonia Simunek, Abigail Brous and Elizabeth O’Brien joined Coughlan in the medley and created an interesting and dominant dynamic between the experienced and inexperienced. This all hints to what Bowser said earlier.

“Right now, we are no longer freshman,” Bowser said. “We make stupid mistakes, yeah. But, some of these girls have been doing this since they were five years-old. Their experience in knowing how to swim, how to race, how to put their head down and how to go. The experience they have has been a big help to our program and is definitely one of the reasons why we’ve cut the gap. We now have a solid distance group, a solid sprint program. Our breaststrokers are now four-deep. It’s a lot easier now to build a lineup than it was last year.”

Rowan travels to The College of New Jersey this Saturday for a New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) matchup at 2 p.m. They look to go 5-0 in the conference.

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