Rowan Men’s Swimming Goes Head-to-Head Against NYU in First Meet of the Season

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Joe Rucci competes in a race. Rucci took home two first place finishes against NYU. - Photo / Rowan Athletics

Rowan men’s swimming kicked off the 2022-23 season with their first dual meet of the year against New York University (NYU) on Saturday, Oct. 22.

Even though it wasn’t the result the Profs wanted, falling to NYU 148-114, Head Coach Brad Bowser believes his team has the potential to be as good or even better than last year’s team.

“There is not anything I am looking to fix going based off a loss,” Coach Bowser said. “I am looking at where we can improve as a team  to get ourselves to the next level and a lot of that is for us just cleaning up our turn, our stars, and focusing on keying on the technique that has to be done when we get tired.”

The team is looking forward to getting better as a team and as individuals by improving their techniques in practice.

Despite the loss, there were bright spots to be discussed. Freshman swimmer Jimmy Kundrats placed first in two events, the 100-yard breaststroke (58.30) and in the 200 breaststroke (2:11.95). Another positive out of the meet was the performance of senior Joe Rucci, who also placed first in two events, the 100-yard butterfly (51.49) and the 200 butterfly (1:51.89).

Being a team stacked with new faces, Kundrats was able to step up and look like he was a senior in the pool.

“I thought I did pretty well the first meet,” Kundrats said. ”You know, nerves were high and I felt I stepped up especially as my first meet as a freshman. Brad [Head Coach Brad Bowser] said before the meet he was looking for people that put their heads down when times are tough and that meet definitely did not feel the best but I put my all into it.”

Leadership is a major factor for the Profs’ success this season, as many of last year’s veterans have now graduated. Rucci realizes that he is going to have to be the leader of the team. 

“I think it’s going to go great,” Rucci said. “I believe we have a good group of seniors. [Robert] Gagnon, [Matt] DeGennaro and I. I think the three of us will bring the team closer together. We are going to have a great year just by pushing the underclassmen a lot to be better. We know we have been through it all these past four years and we know that they are much more capable of achieving great things than they know right now.”

Rucci is excited to help lead and mentor his teammates in becoming the best swimmers they can be in the pool, and he knows the mental aspect is a huge component of going into each meet.

“It really only takes one person to change the entire atmosphere of a meet because if you are in there and saying we are not going to lose,” Rucci said. I am not going to lose and if you are really supposed to lose that race then it comes out as a win. It builds energy and as soon as someone wins the team realizes oh we can win this.”

Rucci and the rest of the Profs will now take this mindset into their first New Jersey Athletic Conference meet of the season, as the Montclair State Redhawks will travel south to face off against Rowan on Saturday, Nov. 5.

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