Knights post several top-five finishes at Invite
For the Rutgers swimming and diving team, its first meet provided a positive start to the season.
The Scarlet Knights impressed at the two-day Sonny Werblin Invitational, which began Friday.
“Normally it’s pretty hard to get into the groove in the first meet of the season, but as a whole the team did pretty well,” said senior swimmer Mary Moser.
Saturday featured a solid performance from Rutgers as the team completed several top-five finishes.
Moser was part of a few of those finishes, including the 200 butterfly where she finished second to classmate Brittany Guinee.
In the 100 butterfly, Moser secured the victory while senior Allyson Perrotti finished third.
The 200 breaststroke was Rutgers’ best overall individual finish, as the team captured the event’s top-three spots.
Junior Greta Leberfinger placed first followed by freshman Rachel Stoddard. Sophomore Morgan Pfaff finished third in the race.
The 200 freestyle relay was the Rutgers relay teams’ top finish, as it had two teams place first and second in the event.
Junior Lindsay Gibson-Brokop, sophomore Sophie Newton, Guinee and Moser held off Rutgers’ other team of freshmen Julia Kudryashova and Meghan Kiely, sophomore Sarah Coyne and Leberfinger.
“The teams worked well together even though some of the teams were different than usual,” Moser said of the relays. “Everyone went out there relaxed which was a very good thing to see.”
Senior diver Nicole Scott won the 1-meter event with freshman diver Rebecca Gross taking second.
“This was a great start to our season with this meet,” said Scott of the team’s performance. “I’m very excited to see where this team can go this season.”
The Knights were equally successful Friday.
Sophomore Joanna Wu dominated the 500 freestyle, touching the wall nine seconds ahead of the second-place finisher.
Pfaff took the 200 individual medley, which featured four Rutgers swimmers in the top five finishers.
Moser won the 50 freestyle with 24.22 seconds.
Rutgers produced a one-two finish in the 400 medley relay in the final race of the day.
Moser, Pfaff, Netwton and Leberfinger defeated the team of senior Chelsea Rolin, Perrotti, Wu, and Guine.
The relays would not be the Knights’ only one-two finishes.
Scott won the 3-meter dive with a score of 313.60, and Gross took second place with 277.75.
With its performances this weekend, Rutgers left the pool with some confidence entering the rest of the season.
But head coach Phil Spiniello believes there is more work to be done.
“We definitely need to work on the details including our starts, turns, and finishes,” Spiniello said. “Our swims need to be more detailed in that regard.”
He was still pleased with the Knight’s effort.
“For them to race like we did at this stage of the season was very good to see especially with the intensity of training as we prepare for February,” Spiniello said. “This was a great start to our season and I’m very happy with our swimmers and divers.”
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