Knights take opportunity to learn from DQ
The Rutgers swimming and diving team set several lofty goals for itself before this season, but it never expected that learning to deal with adversity would be on that list.
That is where the Scarlet Knights stand now, trying to evade the haunting memory of a disqualification in Morgantown, W.Va., that cost them the meet against Big East rival West Virginia.
The rebounding process began the weekend of Nov. 19 when 14 teams converged for the Frank Elm Invitational at the RU Aquatic Center. The Knights (1-3, 1-3) managed to emerge from the field relatively unscathed with a third place finish and a score of 1026 over the three-day event. Only Big East foe Pittsburgh and Bucknell, who finished with 1576.5 and 1157.5 points, respectively, bested their total.
Sophomore Taylor Curado paced Rutgers, capturing one of only three first-place finishes for the squad. Curado completed the 100-yard butterfly in 56.41, which was good for the victory. The win keeps her undefeated in the 100-yard butterfly for the season.
"The 100 fly has been the strength of my swimming and practicing," Curado said. "Training with the girls on this team has helped me to get faster. We push each other a lot in practice situations, which pays off during meets."
The other swimming victory for the Knights came in the form of junior Jacquelyn Ward, who took first in the 400-yard individual medley with a time of 4:24.11. Ward also came in second in the 200-yard individual medley and third in the 200-yard breaststroke, scoring valuable points for Rutgers.
The diving corps also added a win as freshman Nicole Scott placed first in the platform diving event with a score of 251.95.
Curado and Ward have both been contributors to the Knights impressive relay teams in the early part of the season. The team of Curado, Ward, junior Brianne Lindblad and freshman Mary Moser took third in the 200-medley relay at the Invitational.
These were the same relay team members, minus Ward and plus freshman Emilie Kaufmann, that disqualified at West Virginia.
"We were disqualified on our relay for a false start, which is where a girl leaves the blocks before the girl in the water has touched the wall," Curado said. "That race has taught us that we need to pay attention to small details, but it also showed us how fired up we could get when a competition comes down to the wire in a final race."
If these past performances are any indication — despite the slipup against WVU — Rutgers will be rolling come championship time.
"We are competing in a way that is setting us up to go extremely fast at the end of the season in championship meets," Curado said. "Individually, this is the hardest I have ever had to work in a practice setting, but I think it's going to pay off when championship season rolls around."