Rowan women’s swimming beat York College Saturday, Oct. 23, in their first meet of the season and are now looking towards a three-meet-streak of New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) competition, starting with Kean University on Friday, Oct. 29.
Prior to their win against York College, the Profs were ranked 15th in the NCAA Division III Preseason Rankings. Head Coach Elise Blaschke was pleased with the ranking but still has high expectations.
“I think the most important thing to consider is that they are preseason polls. When we’re looking at actual competition,” Coach Blaschke said. “You know, I think the goal will be to stay as a top 25 program through the dual meet season. The rankings are based off of the 2019-2020 season. Our roster has changed a whole lot since then. So for us, staying in the top 25 will be great. And then really just making sure that we’re staying in the top contender within our conference.”
One of the major players in their win over York was graduate student Veronica Alferez.
Alferez teamed up with Captains Jordan McChesney, a junior, and seniors Kylie Salerno and Nicole Harms to win the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:44.02.
She also finished first in her individual events, the 1000 yard freestyle with a time of 11:06.01 and the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:29.32.
“For me, I used to do a wide range of events, so it was pretty easy, just because I was doing only freestyle and the momentum was really high because we haven’t competed in two years,” Alferez said. “So everyone was really, just like, excited to swim, rather than being nervous. So it wasn’t, it was really affecting us like that.”
Alferez is currently a fifth-year student at Rowan using the year of eligibility she received due to last season being cancelled. She decided to come back since she still has some goals that she would like to accomplish in her swimming career.
“I personally love swimming, and I have some personal goals that I wanted to achieve,” Alferez said. “And not getting to do like my last year, my senior year, really pushed me to do a fifth year, and stay with the team.”
With her goals in mind, Alferez and the Profs have to get ready to face Kean on Friday. Since the first meet is over, now is the time to see what needs improvement and how team morale is coming together.
“Yeah, I think there’s a lot of little details we can improve on. But ultimately we did a lot of things really, really well,” Blaschke said. “The biggest thing we could improve on, I would say, finishing our races, that would be probably overall, the biggest thing.”
The Profs are 3-0 entering their meet with Kean. The last time the two teams met was in November 2019 in Glassboro. This time the Profs are traveling to Union.
“I’m excited the NJAC is super competitive this year,” Alferez said. “Kean has a really strong class, and I’m excited to see what our sophomores and freshmen do when they first swim.”
With a strong NJAC and the excitement of being back in the pool, the Profs will need to be prepared for the rest of the competition of the year. Kean will be the first test of the season to see where the Profs stand in NJAC, which Coach Blaschke believes they are ready for.
“I think we’re in a great place,” Coach Blaschke said. “We’re training really hard and I think ultimately this past weekend was about dusting off the cobwebs and kind of getting ready for the tip of the season and I think we’re definitely there.”
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