April 23, 2019 | 61° F

RU looks to rebound at home Invite

The Rutgers swimming and diving team returns to the Banks this weekend as it hosts the Frank Elm Invitational at the RU Aquatic Center.

The meet, named for legendary former Scarlet Knights coach Frank Elm, features competitors from more than a dozen schools, including Big East foe Pittsburgh, Delaware, in-state rival TCNJ and Fordham.

The meet takes place Friday through Sunday at 9:30 a.m., with finals beginning at 5:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, as well as 4:30 p.m. on Sunday to determine the winners.

Rutgers (1-3, 1-3) looks to rebound from a narrow defeat last weekend against West Virginia, in which it fell, 148-146, in Morgantown, W.Va. The Knights led most of the day and held a 144-133 lead going into the final event — the 200-yard freestyle relay.

Rutgers' "A" team of junior Brianne Lindblad, sophomore Taylor Curado and freshmen Emilie Kaufmann and Mary Moser finished first in the relay but were disqualified for a false start.

The Rutgers disqualification allowed West Virginia's "A" and "B" teams to finish in the top-two spots and grab enough points to pull off the come-from-behind victory.

"Any loss is tough, especially when it's that close of a meet," said captain Jen Betz. "I think we can all be proud of the performances we had. As a team, we are moving forward with a very positive attitude and putting that meet behind us. We're looking forward to racing them again at [the Big East Championships]."

While it is obvious that the Knights will have West Virginia in the back of their minds for the rest of the season, they must not lose sight of the task at hand. The Knights must focus on winning one race at a time and not trying to defeat all 14 or so of their competitors at once.

"We're preparing for Frank Elm like we would for any other meet," Betz said. "There are going to be a lot of great teams here, so obviously we want to compete well."

Lindblad gives Rutgers perhaps the best chance to win races on the swimming side, as she is unbeaten in the 100 and 200-yard backstroke this season and has been outstanding in relays. Curado and junior Jacquelyn Ward can also never be counted out of contention, and freshman Trisha Averill is someone to keep an eye on after a very strong performance against the Mountaineers.

On the diving side, Betz is always a threat to take any event, especially the 3-meter dive. But freshman Nicole Scott is on an impressive streak, as she took both the 1-meter and 3-meter dives last weekend in Morgantown.

"Nicole had an awesome meet last weekend, and she put a lot of great dives in the water," Betz said. "I think we all push each other to do our best and that is going to be a very positive thing for us as a team as the season continues."

Matt Canvisser

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