Rowan Women’s Swimming Finishes Third at the WPI Gompei Invitational

Rowan's Jordan McChesney diving into the pool at the start of an event. McChesney competed in all three days at the WPI Gompei Invitational this past weekend where Rowan finished third. - Photo / Rowan Athletics

Over the weekend, Rowan women’s swimming traveled to Worcester, Mass. to take part in the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) Gompei Invitational. The meet spanned over three days, from Dec. 3-5. While there, the Profs finished third out of nine teams. 

On day one, captain Jordan McChesney, a junior, qualified for the 50-yard freestyle finals and finished sixth with a time of 24.24 seconds. Graduate student Veronica Alferez swam in the 500-yard freestyle finals, finishing fifth with a time of 5:13.20 minutes. 

Alfrerez and McChesney also competed in the 4×200 yard freestyle relay, along with freshmen Elizabeth Jones and Emma Padros. The group finished fifth overall with a time of 8:01.29 minutes. 

On day two of the meet, both Alferez and Padros returned to the pool for the 400-yard individual medley (IM). The two Profs finished third and sixth, respectively.

Two mixed teams, consisting of Rowan swimmers from both the women’s and men’s teams, were in action as well that day. McChesney and Gabby Buck, a sophomore, competed in both for the women’s team and helped the Profs dominate those events.

In 4×50 yard mixed free relay, along with junior Andrew Fenton and senior Dylan Regan, the team finished first with a time of 1:30.42 minutes. For the 4×100 mixed medley relay, graduate student Kevin Gillooly and senior Greg Cann took part in this one and once again the Profs came in first, with a time of 3:42.19 minutes.

McChesney and Buck continued their stacked day as they also competed in the 4×50 freestyle relay. With freshmen Laura Jones and Emily Nelson, they finished eighth with a time of 1:40.38 minutes. Buck finished off her day taking seventh in the 50-yard butterfly with a time of 26.74 minutes. 

For Rowan’s last day of the meet, Elizabeth Jones, Padros, McChesney and Alferez all competed in individual events.

“The team did awesome. I think relative to where we’ve been all season we’ve seen like over 80% of season bests and lifetime bests,” Head Coach Elise Blaschke said. “Most importantly, they were really excited to be there and supportive of one another, which was the ultimate goal.”

McChesney played a major part in the Profs’ third-place finish in the invitational. She believed the meet that taught the Profs a lesson.

“I think that was the perfect learning opportunity for us,” McChesney said. “I think it showed us where we are. I think it shows what we need to work on, you know, just maintaining our training and just improving from that.”

Padros’ performance over the weekend earned her the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Women’s Swimming Rookie of the Week, something she was honored about.

“Honestly, it’s really rewarding because I put in all this work this season and it’s finally like showing with getting this amazing award and especially as a freshman on the team,” Padors said. “I feel really honored because I’m the first Rowan Prof on the swimming & dive [team] for women to get this rookie of the week. So I feel really happy that everything’s working out.”

Now that the end of the semester is approaching, the team does not have another meet until Jan. 15. They will travel to Swarthmore, Pa. to face WPI and Swarthmore College.

“Through finals week, they will continue to train as they can,” Coach Blaschke said. “Then we’ll pick back up for Swarthmore and WPI on Jan. 15. We’re gonna pretty much train hard all the way to and through the meet and it’s nothing that we will be tapering or resting for. But ultimately, I want to see where the team is competitively while they are tired and training.” 

With those expectations in mind, McChesney explained what she is going to do in order to be prepared for the remainder of the season. 

“We keep swimming up until winter break and then we all go home and train with our club teams and our high school teams,” McChesney said. “We come back, we do a training trip and we get right back at it.”

Padros explained her mindset now after WPI and her hope to duplicate it when the team sees them once again.

“I’m gonna really give it all I got because I did that in the WPI meet,” Padors said. “I was able to get all this time so I’m just going to really try and stay in that same mindset that I had at WPI.”

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