Rutgers breaks seven records at AACs
Behind seven school record-breaking performances, the Rutgers swimming and diving team claimed third place at the AAC Championships this past Wednesday-Saturday in Louisville, Ky.
The Scarlet Knights finished with 572 points, placing behind No. 13 Louisville (977) and Southern Methodist (624.4), but ahead of Connecticut (459.5), Cincinnati (431) and Houston (337).
The finish was the Knights’ best performance at a conference championship meet since the 2004-05 season, when they placed third at the Big East Conference Championships.
It was also Rutgers’ best performance under head coach Phil Spiniello, who was named AAC women’s swimming coach of the year following their showing in the meet.
“It’s a very exciting and incredible honor,” Spiniello said. “It reflects on our program as whole and how far we’ve come in the last four years.”
Sophomores Joanna Wu and Morgan Pfaff led, who combined to break six records in the meet, led the Knights.
Wu was the only Knight to win an event at the championships, claiming a gold medal in both the 100- and 200-yard backstroke, breaking both school records in the process.
Wu was also a member of the 400 medley relay team along with seniors Brittany Guinee, Mary Moser and junior Greta Leberfinger.
Rutgers finished third in the event, surpassing its school record set in the 2013 Big East Championships.
Pfaff finished with two silver medal performances in the 200- and 400-yard individual medley races.
Both performances broke two long-standing records for the Knights, ending a six-year record in the 200 I.M. and 12-year record in the 400 I.M.
Guinee broke her previous record set in the 2013 Big East Championships during the finals of the 200-yard butterfly, finishing just ahead of Pfaff, who also broke the record time.
But during the preliminaries, Pfaff swam a time of 1:59.03, which topped both Guinee’s and her own finals time, making Pfaff the new 200-fly record-holder.
“We certainly have some young talent on this team and we’re going to keep moving forward and keep raising the expectation as we go, and I think that’s how you become a nationally ranked program,” Spiniello said.
Senior Allyson Perrotti also broke a school record in the 200-yard breaststroke, placing fifth in the event.
For diving, senior Nicole Scott put forth an impressive performance in her final conference championships.
Scott earned a silver medal with a score of 268.55 in the platform dive and also claimed fourth place in the 1-meter dive.
The Knights also had positive performances from some swimmers who made their first ever appearance at the championships.
Freshman Chantal Asselin and Barbra Brottman finished 11th and 12th, respectively, in the 1650 freestyle behind senior Chelsea Rolin and junior Brogan Lee, who respectively finished in eighth and ninth place.
Brottman also finished in fifth place in the 400 I.M., just three places behind Pfaff’s record-breaking performance.
“We didn’t let anything stand in our way along the way,” Spiniello said. “We went in this weekend and took care of business and swam and dove to the best of our ability.”