Women’s swim and dive wins at METs, Blaschke named Coach of the Meet

Rowan women's swimming gets ready to swim backstroke against USMMA. Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020. Multimedia Editor / Dyone Payne.

The women’s swimming and diving team are Metropolitan Conference (METs) Champions for the third year in a row after edging out fifteen other schools in the weekend’s meet hosted by Rutgers University in Piscataway, NJ. 

Entering the meet as favorites to capture the title, the Profs displayed their dominance behind the performances of swimmers like seniors Corinne Finkbinder and Carlee Timmins, juniors Abigail Brous, Veronica Alferez, Elizabeth O’Brien and Emily Kopchick and freshmen Jordan McChesney and Brianna Gutierrez.  

Timmins finished first in the 1650 freestyle with a time of 17:17.85, improving her National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) B-cut time by more than 11 seconds. The standard NCAA B-cut requires a time of 17:33.69. 

Kopchick broke the 26-year-old school record in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:04.67.

Brous, Alferez, O’Brien and McChesney made up the 400 freestyle relay and finished second with a time of 3:32.88. 

Gutierrez claimed second and third-place finishes in the 200 backstroke and the 1650 freestyle, respectively. 

In the buildup of a promising head coaching career, from winning the New Jersey Athletic Conference and now METs, rookie Head Coach Elise Blaschke won “Coach of the Meet.” 

“It is so special. The work I put every day and the care I have for these athletes pays off,” Blaschke said. “Though they may not see that as the season goes on and they face their challenges, all the highs and lows throughout the season, it all comes to fruition at the end. I have a lot of them saying they are ready to compete again.”

Blaschke discussed the significance of the accolade that she will remember for a lifetime.

“It is bittersweet because the award is named the ‘Tony Lisa Female Coach of the Year,’ and Tony [now deceased] was the head coach here when I started as an assistant. For me, it has come to a full circle in seven years,” Blaschke said. “I wish I can call him and tell him, but I know he is looking down over this and it is a very memorable moment I will never forget.” 

With a young core that’s now cut their teeth with an NJAC and METs championship, Blaschke is excited and encouraged for the future of her team.

“More importantly amongst the competition, their camaraderie and their support of one another have been far beyond what I expected,” Blaschke said. “So I think that, in itself, is the greatest accomplishment of the season. It established a culture of supportiveness and looking out and being there for one another. And I think that is what is going to allow them to push for the next level.” 

Rowan’s next meet will be the NCAA Diving Regionals hosted by Ithaca College in upstate New York from Feb. 28 to Feb. 29. Seniors Finkbinder and Klaudia Rzotkiewicz will represent the Brown and Gold this weekend.

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