Rowan women’s swimming placed third out of nine teams at the annual Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) Gompei Invitational this past weekend. All swimmers that Rowan took to the event had either season or personal bests.
On day one, freshman Ella Pennington broke the school record for the 200 individual medley in both the preliminary races and in the finals with a time 2:05.97, a NCAA ‘B’ cut time qualifier time.
“It felt absolutely amazing because I loved being able to not only represent all the hard work this team puts in not only in the morning, but at night too,” Pennington said.” “It felt awesome to just see that expertise that the coaching staff has been giving me all season begin to pay off in a way that showed off how awesome the team is.”
Sophomore Laura Jones swam a personal best in the 50 freestyle, but with a strong showing in the 100 butterfly, that race was just one of the highlights of their meet.
“I was very happy with my performance in the 50 free. Finally getting under 25.00 after years of trying is a feeling I’ll never forget,” Jones said. “I think a much younger me would be very proud to see where I am today.”
Two other Profs recorded personal bests, as Emma Padros beat her best time in the 500 breaststroke and Kinsey Ginsberg had a personal best in the 200 breaststroke. For Ginsberg, the breaststroke is a newer stroke this season.
“I started training breastroke a couple weeks into the season,” Ginsberg said. “So I was so happy to see how much it had paid off since I started focusing on it more than I ever have.”
By the end of the day one, Rowan had 1392 points for a second place spot.
Saturday saw a continuation of Friday’s performances with a season best from Molly Klinedinst and an another career best from Padros in the 400 individual medley.
“For both these races, as soon as I saw my times I was surprised with how well I did,” Padros said. “I really surpassed all expectations I had set for myself and it felt so rewarding.”
In the 100 backstroke, three Rowan swimmers reached a season best — Sara Clayton, Alexis Kidchob and Pennington.
The 200 freestyle had seven season bests, with Maria McMahon, Laura Jones, Lauren Walls, Elizabeth Jones, Lindsay Cave and Jordan McChesney reaching this mark.
By the end of day two, Rowan was in third with 2629 points as they headed into the last day. On Sunday, Pennington picked up yet another school record in the 200 backstroke, which she has been chasing since the first meet of the season.
“It felt amazing, and it was even more amazing because the previous record holder, Alex Bambrick, actually reached out to me to congratulate me, and it showed me just how supportive and wonderful the program we have here at Rowan is,” Pennington said. “I had never met her, and she still reached out to me. It just reinforced the loving community that’s present in the swim team, even out to our alumni.”
Three other swimmers recorded personal bests once again, including Laura Jones, Cave and Ginsberg. Cave’s career best in the 200 backstroke, 2:11.40, meant a lot to the swimmer.
“I just went into the race really focusing on my technique and tempo, which has been something I have been working on a lot in practice recently,” Cave said. “So when I saw that time, I was really excited, as it has been years since I have improved my time in that race.”
With the fact that this was Ginsberg’s first collegiate invitational with another career best in, she was elated with her performances.
“The feeling after getting those two lifetime bests was incredible,” Ginsberg said. “Unlike any feeling that has ever passed through my mind.”
When it comes to the team’s overall performance across the three days, Head Coach Elise Fisher was proud.
“Overall it was awesome,” Fisher said. “They really understood what the vision was for the weekend… for the most part, we exceeded what I really thought we would do at this time of the year for the training and the type of rest that we had.”
Both Padros and Pennington received New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) honors this week. Padros was named NJAC Swimmer of the Week, while Pennington picked up another NJAC Rookie of the Week, her third of the season.
The next meet for the Profs is Senior Night, Jan. 14, against NJAC opponent Ramapo at the Tony Lisa Natatorium.
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