Rowan women’s swimming picked up their first dual meet of the season on Saturday, Nov. 5, against New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) opponent Montclair State University, 170-92.
Montclair came in 2-1 overall, while Rowan was 0-2 on the season thus far. Rowan is now 14-1-1 all-time against Montclair.
Rowan started with a win in the 200-yard medley relay (1:49.88) with a team of senior Jordan McChesney, junior Gabby Buck, sophomore Bella Stefanowicz and freshman Ella Pennington.
Pennington is currently undefeated in the 100-yard backstroke, the 200-yard individual medley and the 200-yard backstroke this season. She also is creeping toward breaking Alex Bambrick’s 2018 school record in the 200-yard backstroke.
“Knowing that the encouragement of my team is behind me, knowing we’ve put in the work, I’ve put in the work, you can go into a race confident,” Pennington said.
Buck also had a phenomenal meet. In addition to the 200-yard medley and 400-yard freestyle relays, she won the 100-yard butterfly, recording a time of 1:00.86.
“I was excited with how I swam, I tried to the best of my ability and it worked out for me,” Buck said. “The hard work that I put into practice is really paying off in meets.”
Sophomore Elizabeth Jones placed first in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:03.10 and second in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 55.99.
“Throughout the whole thing, my only goal was to keep pushing and I happened to get to the wall first,” Jones said. “I was really proud of myself.”
Head Coach Elise Fisher has been impressed with Jones’ performance.
“She got first in the 200-yard freestyle and got second in 100-yard freestyle and was a part of multiple relays, so she had a challenging weekend, but she really excelled,” Coach Fisher said. “I saw a lot of improvement and growth in her that’s gonna carry her into the rest of the season.”
One of the leaders on the team, McChesney placed first in the 50-yard freestyle with 24.62 and also almost broke a school record, being 1.53 seconds away from Christie Raleigh’s time. McChesney, who did not swim last week, was also victorious in the 100 freestyle. With all her success, McChesney discussed what motivates her.
“I know that it’s never me against another swimmer,” McChesney said. “It’s always Rowan against Montclair, that’s what allows me to push through and that’s what allows me to swim the best I can.”
Emma Padros built off of her victories against Kean in the previous meet. Padros again won the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:23.75 and the 1000-yard freestyle clocking in at 11:07.28. She placed second in the 200 individual medley as well with 2:18.12.
“This meet I really tried to push myself to the next level compared to last time,” Padros said. “In practice, I try and race all my distance swimmer friends and really try and help push them to push me to go faster.”
Freshman Lauren Walls beat Montclair’s Catherine Geyer by 0.13 seconds in the 200-yard butterfly with 2:17.44 in her first collegiate win.
“It felt really good,” Walls said. “My last two meets weren’t as I hoped they would be so it was kinda good revenge, I dropped three seconds from the last two meets.”
Overall, Coach Fisher was happy with how Saturday turned out.
“I think that is exactly what our team needed after our seven weeks of training, two other opponents, and the matchups that we had, so it was awesome,” Coach Fisher said. “I’m really excited to see what unfolds and I think now that we’ve had some success on Saturday… The team is ready to go for the rest of the season, that doesn’t mean we won’t have challenges along the way but I think it happened as it’s supposed to.”
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