Rutgers enacts revenge in win over Terriers
Saturday came and went but the Rutgers swimming and diving team came away with a dominant victory over Boston University, winning by an 83-point margin, 191-108.
The Scarlet Knights (5-1) recorded 13 first-place finishes out of 16 events, in addition to eight second-place finishes and eight third-place results.
“I was thrilled with how we performed yesterday as a team as a whole,” said head coach Phil Spiniello. “This is a meet we lost to Boston University last year and they are a very good team. Our focus all week in practice and throughout the meet and the week was swimming and diving to the best of our ability and the score took care of itself off of that.”
The day started off on the diving boards, where Rutgers’ three divers were dominant. The trio of freshman Addy Walkowiak (257.50), sophomore Alyssa Black (254.15) and freshman Morgan Engal (250.10) finished first, second and third respectively in the one-meter dive.
Walkowiak (308.10) and Black (254.20) were then able to take first and second in the three-meter dive.
Spiniello felt that the great start on the boards got the swimmers pumped up and excited for the rest of the meet. It showed.
In the 200-yard medley relay, the Knights grabbed the first two spots on their way to victory.
The team of junior Joanna Wu, senior Greta Leberfinger, junior Morgan Pfaff, and junior Sara Coyne got a time of 1.45.68 for first place. Senior Lindsey Gibson-Brokop, freshman Larissa Nielson, freshman Karli Rymer and sophomore Meghan Kiely earned a time of 1.48.34 for second place.
Wu and Pfaff were two swimmers who really stood out for Rutgers.
Wu was able to take first place in three events on the day – the 100-yard backstroke (56.73), the 200-yard backstroke (2.01.82) and the 50-yard freestyle (24.27).
Pfaff also thrived taking first place in three events– 100-yard butterfly (57.46), 200-yard butterfly (57.46) and 200-yard IM (2.05.38).
“Morgan and Joanna are really growing into their role on the team over the last three years and they are extremely hard workers and dedicated to the program,” Spiniello said.
Rutgers secured the top three spots in the 100 breaststroke. Senior Greta Leberfinger hit the wall first at 1:04.02, followed by freshman Larissa Neilan at 1.06.53 and sophomore Rachel Stoddard 1.09.27 in second and third, respectively.
“I thought I did very well,” Leberfinger said. “I’m not focused on the times right now. They weren’t bad, but they weren’t my season’s best. I think overall we as a team did pretty well.”
Although not as impressive as Wu and Pfaff, Coyne was able to secure two wins on the day in the 100-yard freestyle and 200 freestyle with times of 53.06 and 1.54.12.
Oddly enough, while Rutgers took on Boston University (4-1), the men’s Yale and Boston teams were facing off. Each event alternated between the men and women. Spiniello felt the Knights used this to their advantage to get extra rest and strategize for the next event.
Leberfinger pointed to the difficulty of the set up of the pool as another problem. The warm up pool was on a different floor so the team was never on deck completely as a team, but it was able to overcome.
With a month long break until Rutgers return to action, Spiniello felt this win was a very crucial one.
“I’m hoping it gives us the momentum through next month because our next competition isn’t for a month,” Spiniello said. “I’m hoping that winning yesterday will help us to stay focused for the next four weeks as we prepare for the second half of the season.”
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