Rowan men’s swimming totals over 1,000 points in first-ever NJAC Championships

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Michael Fracchiolla competes in a race. Fracchiolla broke the school record in the 200 breaststroke during the NJAC Championships. - Photo via Rowan Athletics

The Rowan men’s swim team took a dive this weekend, placing third in the first-ever New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Championships. The Profs scored a total of 1,059 points, putting their all into this meet.

Head Coach Brad Bowser felt his team swam well during the meet and got better as the weekend went on. The first day didn’t get off to the best start, as Jack Watson, Michael Fracchiolla, Henry Lynch, and Paul Riter placed third in the 200 medley and lost by a little over two seconds.

Things got better though as the days went on though. Both Alex Volin and Fracchiolla broke records in their respective events. Volin broke the 200 IM school record with a time of 1:54.54, while Fracchiolla broke the school record in the 200 breaststroke preliminaries, with a time of 2:00.41, but then broke it again in the finals when he hit 1:59.30.

“Our morning sessions were not great, but we were able to respond well,” Bowser said. “I think overall we had about 65 percent lifetime best, and on top of that, we had seasonal best at about 80 percent. It wasn’t our best performance, but I think overall with what transpired throughout the season I think we did really well.”

What seemed to be the catalyst that separated the Profs from the first two schools was the back-end depth. The other schools had more of an advantage since diving seemed to be their strong suit. Bowser was adamant that his back-end swimmer would have to make the final spots. As the weekend went on, however, the team fell short of that goal, solidifying their third-place finish.

Throughout the big meet, Bowser made it clear that they wanted to win but were also concerned about his swimmer’s mental health. The dedicated coach took the time in between races to make sure that they weren’t stressing about their races too much.

“Really I worked on mental health between sessions, you know trying to keep them focused and keep them a little more in tune with expectations vs reality,” Bowser said. “A lot of times what happens within swimming is they’ll have expectations and goals and if they don’t reach it, it kind of sets them back, so you kind of have to put reality in their face and understand that sometimes swims just don’t happen and you just gotta get back on it…”

Even though the swim team’s season may be over, there still may be more swimming left in the season as Fracchiolla and Watson are possible contenders for the NCAA Division III Championships that are coming up in a few weeks.

Looking at the season as a whole, Bowser sees this season as a success regarding educational purposes.

“For me, it was learning what we need to do differently… Just that we can do to be better,” Bowser said.

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