The Rowan women’s swimming team is set to start their season this Saturday against York College of Pennsylvania at home in Glassboro, while women’s diving looks to start on Nov. 5 against William Paterson. This will mark the first time in almost two years that the Profs will be able to compete.
“We haven’t competed yet. Our first meet is coming up this Saturday, and we are really excited about being able to, you know, just be back in general,” Head Coach Elise Blaschke said. “Last year we had a mini-season per se, with no competition. So for this season, having the allowance of nice things has been something very special to look forward to which has been awesome.”
The Profs currently hold a 4-0 record while competing against York, the last meeting between the two being in 2015. Captain Jordan McChesney, a junior, knows that her leadership will be important to keep this winning streak going.
“You know, just trying to lead with excitement and try to bring as much positivity into the pool as possible,” McChesney said. “It’s a little nerve-wracking, being away from the pool for a year or so to come back and just, you know, let go of all the nerves and let go of all like the build-up of it, and just go out there and have fun with everybody.”
The preparation for the team to finally take on competitions has been a long one, but it has had it advantages according to Natalina Baldinazzo, a freshman.
“I do believe it has helped me become a better swimmer,” Baldinazzo said. “Like just being out for so long, like, not taking it for granted and just really wanting to get back in and try to be better than I was before.”
With York coming to town this weekend, the team’s core strength and ability to work together as a group is going to be tested, a test that McChesney is confident they can face.
“I think this team is absolutely closer than it’s ever been, with our modified training schedule a lot of last year, it allowed for the team to be more connected even,” McChesney said. “So even though we weren’t competing we still had the chance to bond with each other in the pool and outside the pool. And this team is absolutely close to that.”
For the new swimmers, this might be the first time they are swimming with the group for a competition, but they have already been preparing for this in practice.
“Well, coming up for this meet I just come into practice with a positive attitude and giving my all every practice, showing my teammates cheering each other on like without like through the set, and just keeping like positive energy,” Baldinazzo said. “Elise [Blaschke] has been really big on technique and fixing our strokes, making sure we’re as efficient as possible and really like getting down to the details of it.”
Like any other season, this season already has goals and expectations. The coaching staff and swimmers are ready for Saturday and are striving to get back into championship meets.
“As a team, we didn’t really get to compete for the NJAC [New Jersey Athletic Conference] last year, we didn’t get to participate in that in that competition so to be back and just try and make a run for it and try and go and win NJAC and win METs [Metropolitan Conference Championships],” McChesney said. “Is just trying to get back to where we were in the 2019-2020 season.”
Coach Blaschke shares a similar opinion on what the goals and expectations are for the team as the season awaits them.
“I think my team knows what the standard is, and they know that I want to see them race,” Coach Blaschke said “So right now it’s more about I want to see great race strategy. I’m not expecting the best times at this time in the season. I want there to be room for growth throughout the season. So I think right now, the expectation is to be supportive of their teammates to show up every day with, you know, the mindset of being a NJAC championship team, and whatever they show up with that day is 100% of what they have.”
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