Rowan lost to NYU at home for the first week of the year. Photo/ Harlan Drakes.

As the Rowan men’s swimming and diving team nears the halfway mark of the season, the team has already seen a good amount of success so far. 

Currently, the team has a 3-1 record, the only meet they have lost so far was their first one of the season against a strong New York University team. 

The team has a big test coming up this weekend though, because they are traveling to Massachusetts to compete in the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) Gompei Invitational. The meet is one that Rowan has been going to for a few years now and is going to be different from the past meets they have had this season.

“I feel like an invitational like this is where we really can show our strengths as a team,” junior Kevin Gillooly said. “This year we are coming in with a much deeper team than we’ve had in previous years and all of our dual meet competitions this year haven’t showcased all of our depth. Since it is a different format, you can have more than just four guys in an event so it will really be a chance to have our depth points shine through here.”

The dual meet is one with only two teams facing off head to head but, for this meet, there are many other teams competing in the event, so the competition is raised to another level. 

Rowan is looking to better their third place showing they had last season, but they know in order to do that, they have to get through some tough teams they will be facing.

“The guys at WPI, they are usually our tougher ones,” Head Coach Robert Bowser said. “Stevens are always a little tough and then there are some smaller schools like Roger Williams that always have some good, fast guys. All the top schools are pretty quick.”

Gillooly also commented on this and put a big emphasis on the tough competition that last years winners, Stevens Institute of Technology, bring to the meet. 

“Last year we had some really tough races against Bryant, they are a D1 school with some fast swimmers, they always have some guys who show up and go really fast,” Gillooly said. “Stevens as well. Stevens has been a team that over the past two years that I have been here we’ve had some really big races against them, so it will be nice to go in there and to know we have some good competition.”

This invitational is not the only big multi-day meet that the team will be participating in this season, though. In February, they will be in the Metropolitan Swimming (METS) Championship, one of their biggest meets of the year.

Bowser is hoping that this meet will prepare them for the one coming up later in the season. 

“With having three days prelims and finals, we get up and we travel so our bodies become equipped to this,” Bowser said. “They will be able to relax a bit once we get to METS because they will understand what it feels like to be in a three day meet setup and the taxing part of doing a morning swim than having to get up and do it again at night.”

Before they can get to the METS Championship though, they have to compete in the WPI Gompei Invitational this weekend. The events start this Friday, Dec. 6 at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

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