Rutgers hosts first quad meet of season
It’s a big weekend for the Rutgers swimming and diving team.
The Scarlet Knights return to the pool Friday for their first meet in two weeks. The Knights play host to three former Big East foes in Villanova, Georgetown and Seton Hall in a quad meet at the Rutgers Aquatics Center on Busch campus.
The competition will last two days. The first portion of the event will begin on Friday evening and the second leg will continue on Saturday morning.
“Meets like this, where you have competitions back-to-back over multiple days are a great way to get ready for February for Big Tens and NCAA’s because some of those big meets are multi-day events,” said head coach Petra Martin. “For our team, you know, being exposed to settings where we’re going back to back like this is important because they learn how to prepare better, how to recover in between sessions, how to keep up their intensity individually but also as a team.”
In its last outing, Rutgers put forth a superb effort and in return picked up a deserved victory against Wagner. At the Rutgers Aquatic Center on Oct. 23, the Knights scored 195 points to beat the Seahawks who scored 102 points.
Rutgers secured 10 individual wins at the meet.
Junior Rachel Stoddard earned victories in the 100-meter and 200-meter breaststroke events. She posted a time of 1:05.08 in the 100-meter breaststroke and time of 2:22.07 in the 200-meter breaststroke. Her time in the 200-meter breaststroke is a season best for the Hillsborough, New Jersey, native.
Sophomore Thomasin Lee also swam for a season best time against Wagner. In the 1,650 freestyle, the Lindstrom, Minnesota, native finished in first place with a 17:45.26.
Senior Morgan Pfaff put together two first-place finishes. She had the fastest times in the 200-meter butterfly and the 200-meter medley. In the 100-meter butterfly, she did not earn first place but finished in second. Her time of 2:05.72 was a season best.
In the 100-meter backstroke, senior Joanna Wu had a time of 55.54 to finish in first. Wu, the first Big Ten Swimmer of the week honoree in Rutgers history, also placed first in 200-meter backstroke with a time of 2:02.22.
The unit of junior Meghan Kiely, Pfaff and Stoddard earned first in the 200-meter medley relay with a finishing time of 1:45.40.
Junior Alyssa Black had a successful performance in the 1-meter and 3-meter dive events, putting forth first-place finishes in each. She had a score of 319.95 in the 3-meter dive and a 295.34 in the 1-meter dive.
To prepare for this weekend, Stoddard has been focusing on the small details and nuances during practice this week.
“In practice this week, our coach always gives us something to work on,” she said. “I’m just trying to focus on the little details and stuff like that.”
Villanova is currently on a hot streak at 2-0 in dual meets thus far. The defending Big East Champions travel to Piscataway after beating UConn on the road by a margin of 175-152.
Wu considers Villanova to be the main rival at the meet.
“We’ve faced these people before,” Wu said. “For the past three years, we’ve been against Villanova, Seton Hall and Georgetown. Villanova is usually our rival at this meet. The coach is a Rutgers (alumnus)."
Garden State rival Seton Hall currently sits at 5-2 on the season in dual competition. Similar to the Knights against Wagner, the Pirates earned 10 individual wins in their previous meet against Providence and scored 189 points on the Friars.
Meanwhile, Georgetown has struggled. The Hoyas have just one victory to four defeats in dual meets this year. Although the team fell to Davidson 166-132 in their previous meet, the Hoyas had some success individually, earning seven wins.
Rutgers has done a nice job of supporting one another during competition, Wu said.
“We’ve been doing really well for the past couple of meets of supporting each other in and out of the water,” Wu said. “I think one of the things we can improve is bring that same atmosphere, especially with a quad meet like this. We’re going to need everyone’s support and everyone needs to, you know, be on their game and you just can’t really afford to have someone that’s not in it right now.”
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