Over the weekend, Rowan’s men’s swimming & diving team competed in the long-awaited Metropolitan Conference Championships (METS) at Rutgers University. The team turned in a solid performance, taking home second place out of 14 teams.
While the Profs saw contributions from many different swimmers throughout the weekend, graduate student Kevin Gillooly led the charge.
On top of claiming the title of “Male Swimmer of the Meet,” Gillooly also recorded a personal best in the 100-meter freestyle while also smashing the school record in the 50-meter freestyle. In the process, Gillooly recorded a top five time in NCAA Division III history for the 50-meter freestyle.
Gillooly is proud of his performance, considering the circumstances going into the weekend.
“I was very confident going into the weekend that I would be able to respond in the right way to our training,” Gillooly said. “Even though I wasn’t shaved or rested for this meet like some of the other guys… It was a really good feeling to be able to go out there and do that. It’s definitely a big confidence builder.”
There were many contributors to the team’s success: senior Kevin Yanagisawa and sophomore Jack Watson also producing first place finishes. Junior Joe Rucci and senior Greg Cann took home second place finishes.
For Head Coach Brad Bowser, he did not expect anything less than the dominant performance that the Profs put out this weekend.
“We couldn’t do much more,” Coach Bowser said. “The funny thing about this sport is that sometimes things are going your way and sometimes they’re not. But in the long run, everyone dropped time and excelled to what our expectations were.”
Although there were many positives to take away from the team’s performance, the lesson that Coach Bowser is giving to his team is clear.
“The main lesson is that we can race as fast as possible and still not win a meet,” Coach Bowser said. “So we have to find other ways to get the job done in the long run. Get a little more hungry.”
For some swimmers, the METS was the end of the road for their season. However, Coach Bowser is giving them one clear message heading into the off-season.
“Keep their head up, stay in shape,” Coach Bowser said. “Do the best you can to keep the focus of what their goals are for next year.”
For Gillooly, this will not be the end of the road for his season, as he will be competing in the NCAA Division III Championships in March. Gillooly feels as though this weekend gives him major momentum heading into some of his biggest races of the season.
“It gives me a lot,” Gillooly said. “I have a lot of confidence and momentum in my races once I’m fresh and rested in March.”
With the season coming to a close, most of the team has already shifted their attention to next season. However, some swimmers still get to show their skills on a national level in the NCAA Championships starting March 16.
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