Meet Darek Staniszewski: the freshman making waves for the Rowan men’s swim team

Darek Staniszewski headshot. Staniszewski placed first in the 400 IM during the team's final meet of the regular season. - Photo via Rowan Athletics

Freshman swimmer Darek Staniszewksi was born to be an athlete. His parents were in tip-top condition themselves as they played Division I sports when they were in college, so the blood was in his veins to be an athlete. Staniszewski always knew he wanted to play a sport, however, he just didn’t know which was his calling. Everything changed though, when his parents signed him up for club swim when he was eight years old. 

“Ever since then I’ve just enjoyed it throughout my life,” Staniszewski said.

Fast forward to senior year of high school, Staniszewski had to make a hard decision as to where he wanted to swim in college. A friend of his – who was on his club team way back when – informed him of Rowan’s swim program and how it would be a good fit for the young swimmer to experience the camaraderie and love for the sport that the team shows every time they step foot into the water.

That conversation, in addition to speaking to coach Brad Bowser really opened Staniszewski’s eyes and made the decision a lot clearer on where he would spend his next four years.

“I really enjoyed it,” Staniszewski said. “I felt like it was a great environment for me and the best fit for me overall.”

Now, already a semester into his freshman year, Staniszewski has really settled into the role of being a student-athlete. As an engineering major, you are required to take 18 credits in your first year. That lone can be challenging for anyone, not to mention joining a new team simultaneously.

“As a student-athlete, it’s pretty tough, I’m not gonna lie, but it’s been getting easier. Especially now that I was able to get through the fall semester…” Staniszewski said. 

Learning to juggle the double life forced him to improve drastically on his time management. This new-found skill that is now mastered by him really improved his personal life, as he became more organized physically and mentally.

Even though Staniszewski’s time is spread thin in two different places, he still makes time for himself along with his friends to hang out, relax, and check on himself to make sure that his mental health is in check, which is very important to Rowan’s student-athletes.

With Staniszewski’s dual meet season in the books, he feels as though the start of his season was rocky, which he attributes to a lighter summer training, but he feels he’s made a lot of progress since the mid-season meet, posting season-high times vs Swarthmore and TCNJ.

Looking ahead to NJACs (New Jersey Athletic Conference Championships), Staniszewksi plans on swimming more distance events such as the 400 IM, 500 freestyle, and 200 butterfly as well. He really wants to help his team bring home the trophy and qualify for the NCAA Division III Championships as much as he can.

“It’s gonna be important to stay disciplined, but I think it’s been a great year, honestly,” Staniszewksi said.

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