Kevin Gillooly swims backstroke last season. Photo/ Rowan Athletics.

The men’s swim team had a lot of success, both as a team and individually, last season. They look to continue this success and build off of it starting this Saturday against New York University.

Throughout the offseason, the team worked hard at remaining motivated and focused on their goals.

“Ending off last year I realized I could have been a lot better,” said junior Kevin Gillooly. “This summer I worked hard to put on weight. I focused on the power side of swimming. I was also just trying to mentally prepare myself for the long season ahead.” 

Gillooly was an All-American honorable mention last season and the team time leader in the 50 (20.14), 100 (44.56) and 200 (1:42.62) freestyles and 100 (49.33) and 200 (1:50.13) backstrokes. He also finished sixth (44.72) in the 100 freestyle and seventh (20.20) in the 50 free for All-America at the NCAA Division III Championships.

He was named the Metropolitan Championships and New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Swimmer of the Year. 

“We look to continue our success on a national level,” said Head Coach Brad Bowser. “We have a lot of depth, a lot of newcomers. We currently have ten freshmen and transfers that will just make us stronger as a dual meet team and also as a competitive program.”

In addition to Giloolly, the team has a great balance of talent.

“Jack Freeman should add some great depth to our IMs,” Bowser said. “Joe Ruccis should add fast swimming in the fly events and also in our distance and IMs. Dominick Sheppard adds depth in our sprints and strong positioning for our relays. Kevin Yanagisawa, former rookie of the year, should continue to produce. Jake Kayati should be strong for us in the fly events. Matt Grubb has been added to the breast stroke event, and we are looking to get them to qualify for NCAAs this year.”

This is just a small sample size of the talent on this roster this year. From freshmen to seniors, it seems as though everyone is going to provide.

“The balance on this roster is huge,” Gillooly said. “Coming into this year there really is no weak class and that offers great depth which means coach can play around with lineups in ways he hasn’t been able to do in the past.”

This team has high hopes and high aspirations for this upcoming season. With talent from top to bottom and a great mentality, they seem in line to do so.

Bowser has high hopes for this season himself, declaring three big goals.

“We want to make it to the top ten in the country, win NJACs, and at least qualify 8-10 swimmers for NCAAs,” Bowser said. 

The journey begins this Saturday against New York University (NYU), who Bowser described as, “always a good team and always good competition for us to start the year off.”

Gilloolly looks at NYU as a tremendous opportunity for the team to get off on the right foot.

“A win would be a statement,” Gillooly said. “I think a lot of people in this country don’t know what we are capable of this year. I think it would make the country watch what we have going on this year.” 

It should be an exciting season for the Rowan men’s swimming and diving team. They have a great deal of talent and have put in the work to set them up for success.

It all starts with NYU this Saturday at home. Diving will be at 11 a.m. and swimming at 1 p.m.

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