Rowan Women’s Swimming defeats Ramapo in first meet of 2023

Bella Stefanowicz swims the breaststroke during a meet. Stefanowicz won the 200 breaststroke at the Ramapo meet. - Photo / Rowan Athletics

In their first meet back from winter break, the Rowan University women’s swim team soundly defeated Ramapo College, 204-50. 

The 200-yard medley relay started the dominant performances as all three of Rowan’s relay teams placed in the top three. The relay team consisting of Ella Pennington, Bella Stefanowicz, Molly Klinedinst, and Jordan McChesney claimed the top spot with a 1:53.05. 

“That’s a great relay. I don’t think I’ve been with that combination of people before on a relay, but I think we worked really well together,” Stefanowicz said. “We had really good transitions into and off of each other.”

Stefanowicz also performed well individually, winning both the 100-yard with a 1:12.29 and the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:35.70. Stefanowicz felt the time in the 200 breaststroke was especially rewarding.

“It definitely felt very good, the 200 [breaststroke] felt pretty good considering how much training we’ve had over the past two weeks and the volume of it,” Stefanowicz said. “So just getting back to where I was at this time last season is really encouraging.”

McChesney picked up two individual victories of her own, winning the 50-yard freestyle at 24.99 seconds and the 100-yard freestyle at 53.40 seconds. McChesney was also a part of another first-place relay with Laura Jones, Elizabeth Jones, and Pennington. They swam in the 200-yard freestyle with a 1:42.02. 

In addition to the relays, Pennington won the 100-yard backstroke in 59.34 seconds and the 200-yard backstroke with a 2:11.34. 

Emma Padros was the fourth Profs who picked up two first-place finishes in both the 200-yard individual medley with a 2:19.54 and the 200-yard butterfly in 2:19.45. Padros acknowledged the importance of the victories as the season winds down.

“I think I feel very prepared for the end of the season now,” Padros said. “Knowing that it’s been a while since I’ve swam competitively, I feel that going into the rest of the season I’m really prepared for what’s to come.” 

In her first meet at Rowan, Jillian Walls put up season-best times in the 1000-yard freestyle in 11:07.19 and the 500-yard freestyle in 5:29.85. Walls transferred from Siena College, joining her sister Lauren on the team. 

“I was very happy with those times. I’m really excited to see where that takes me before METS [Metropolitan Conference Championships] and the rest of the season,” Walls said. “So it really motivates me to keep going to finish throughout the season.” 

Head Coach Elise Fisher mentioned how Walls brings more to the team than just her athletic ability.

“She’s an awesome addition. I’m already seeing that she is a dedicated worker. She has intention, she knows what she needs to work on, and she has focus,” Coach Fisher said. “She’s just a bubbly person who’s happy to be here and that is so important for this program.”

Another set of siblings on the team, Laura and Elizabeth Jones, won the 100-yard fly and the 200-yard free respectively. 

Trisha Lau swam a personal best with a time of 27.13 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle and a season-best time of 5:30.18 in the 500-yard freestyle. 

“That was particularly a good feeling because I’ve been training the 500 [freestyle] this whole season and I came within five seconds of my personal best time,” Lau said. “So, it was really nice to see how we’re broken down now and understand that maybe when we are at METS and we’re tapered, I can improve on my personal best time even more.” 

Looking at the results of the first-place finishers and the rest of the team, Coach Fisher is looking to build off the successful meet.

“I think the way we performed, made it very evident for every athlete what they needed to work on in the last four and a half weeks of the season,” Coach Fisher said. “I think we are most excited for what’s to come. We still have two more dual meets, so it will be a great indicator of where we are going into our conference championships.” 

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