Rowan women’s swim places fourth in the NJAC Championships

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Ella Pennington swims in a race. The sophomore broke her own school record in the 200 backstroke during the NJAC Championships. - Photo via Rowan Athletics

On Friday, Feb. 16, and Saturday, Feb. 17, Rowan women’s swim totaled 947 points in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Championships and placed fourth overall in the meet. Rowan finished the season with a 3-5 record, but they turned things around when it mattered most.

Led by star performances from Ella Pennington, Laura Jones, Elizabeth Jones, and Barbara Mora, the team proved that they are a shoo-in for the top five in the conference. Freshman Sofie Hogue placed sixth in the 200 backstroke, and fifth-year Lindsay Cave placed eighth. In the 400 relay, Laura Jones, Ella Pennington, Barbara Mora, and Elizabeth Jones came together and placed third with a season-high time of 3:34.90. Laura Jones also stepped up in the 100 free, setting a season-high time in the event and placing fifth.

Head Coach Elise Fisher had nothing but positive words about the team’s performance in the big meet.

“I think it was a great ending to an awesome season,” Fisher said. “There is a lot of room for growth. We have a very young squad, but the fact we were able to break records and have an individual who was able to break some NCAA B cuts, I just think it was a really great ending to a very challenging season.”

The player that Fisher was referring to was no other than Ella Pennington. Pennington was one of this season’s breakout swimmers. The sophomore started the weekend by breaking Rowan’s school record in the 200 backstroke; the record was broken in the preliminaries with a time of 2:01.33. To follow up her performance, Pennington won the finals with a time of 2:01.39.

“Comparing it to last year, she absolutely found her niche,” Fisher said. “Her improvement was easily seen through her success this season. Just being more comfortable, wiser, and experienced as an athlete from her freshman to sophomore year.”

Fisher’s team this season was very young. With how good the swimmers looked so early in their careers, the arrow is pointing up with the expectation to see even better performances next year.

“We do have a lot of potential,” Fisher said. “We were in a unique position this year, given that I was not on the pool deck for the full year. I am excited to be back and work with the team for the next couple of seasons and certainly excited to see where the program goes. We’re definitely hungry to have a top-three finish.”

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