Rowan Men’s Swimming & Diving Win Their Fifth NJAC Championship in the Past Six Years

A Rowan swimmer during a race. Rowan would defeat TCNJ on Saturday to be named NJAC Champions. Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022. - Multimedia Editor / Lee Kotzen

Rowan men’s swimming and diving recently delivered yet another New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Championship to Glassboro with their 167-133 win over The College New Jersey (TCNJ) on Saturday, Jan. 22.

The win continued what has been a dominant run for Head Coach Brad Bowser and company, with five of the last six NJAC titles being captured by the Profs.

According to Coach Bowser, this feat comes with the team continuing to have a “win the day” mindset.

“[The winning streak] It’s not something that I set out to do,” Coach Bowser said. “I just set the goal as ‘we’re going to win.’ Whether it’s the NJAC championship, a Metropolitan Championship or even just a dual meet, all we’re doing is looking for a way to win.”

The Profs had large contributions from both a rookie and a veteran during Saturday’s meet. Graduate student Kevin Gillooly soared to three individual wins for the day in the 100-yard backstroke, 100-yard freestyle and 100-yard fly. Freshman Tobias Cahnbley put out a good showing as well, with two individual wins in the 100-yard free and 200-yard backstroke.

Thanks to these dominant performances, Gillooly and Cahnbley both earned awards from NJAC this week, with Gillooly taking home the NJAC Swimmer of the Week, and Cahnbley earning his second NJAC Rookie of the Week honors for the season.

While Gillooly always appreciates these awards, he knows that the grind does not stop there.

“The goals get higher every single year,” Gillooly said. “My goal this year is to be the Division III Swimmer of the Year. It is nice to get that recognition and see that the hard work is paying off, but the goals continue to get higher every single year.”

For Cahnbley, a first-year college swimmer, winning these awards fuels him and takes his confidence to the next level.

“It gives me a lot of confidence going into the rest of the year,” Cahnbley said. “Knowing that the training I’ve been doing here at Rowan has been paying off, and it shows that I still have so much to achieve.”

Even though winning the NJAC title is a fantastic accomplishment, Coach Bowser knows that there is still work to be done in terms of bringing more championships to Rowan, not just in the coming years, but in the coming weeks. 

Coach Bowser is confident in his team’s ability to do so.

“I think we’re in a good spot right now,” Coach Bowser said. “It’s really all about staying healthy, this year of all years the primary focus is staying healthy. And that’s us doing the right thing and putting ourselves in a position to get to and through the meet properly. The clear hope is that we become a top ten team again.”

Gillooly echoed similar thoughts on the group.

“We had a huge confidence boost coming off last week,” Gillooly said. “Coming off of last year when we weren’t able to compete in the NJAC’s and we had to sit back and watch those guys [TCNJ] hoist the trophy. We didn’t entirely believe that was necessarily legitimate. That lit a fire under our butts and kicked us into gear.”

Gillooly continued to express confidence in his own game heading into the stretch run of the season.

“I’ve been looking at a lot of the top guys in Division III and what they’re doing in their dual meets over the past few weeks, and nobody’s been going the times that I’m going in my events,” Gillooly said. “So it is a huge confidence boost heading into a stretch where we can get some rest, because I know that these guys won’t be on the same level that we are.”

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