September 19, 2019 | 52° F

Knights prepare for final tune-up before campaign

Photo by Jennifer Kong |

Senior Jacquelyn Ward posted four first-place finishes last year at the Sonny Werblin Invitational, where the Scarlet Knights compete today in their first intrasquad meet. The event is Rutgers’ first since the Big?East Championships, where it finished seventh out of 11 conference teams.

With the season around the corner, the Rutgers swimming and diving team looks to get a jump on the challenge presented by competing in the Big East.

Head coach Phil Spiniello wants to see one thing when his team hits the water in its intrasquad meet today at the Rutgers Aquatic Center.

“I want to see learning,” Spiniello said. “I’m looking for every member of the team to get up and race and learn something that they can use when we have our first dual meet down the road.”

This particular event is different than the others ahead. The intrasquad meet does not count toward its record and serves as a tune-up for the Scarlet Knights.

Divers match up against each other while swimmers look to improve on their techniques, which will help them as the season continues.

“The team is split in half,” Spiniello said. “We have a red team and a white team, which will go head-to-head with each other.”

The two teams participate in a series of events during the intrasquad meet to help them get ready for the upcoming season.

The event is Rutgers’ first action since the Big East Championships in February, when it finished seventh overall out of 11 teams.

“It’s an opportunity for us to get up on the blocks and race and compete,” Spiniello said. “It gives us a chance to shake out the rust before we hit our dual-meet season ahead.”

Coming off a 1-2 record in dual meets last year, the second-year coach welcomes his first recruiting class this season and wants to see it in its first action as freshmen swimmers.

“I’m looking to get them racing experience and some diving experience for the divers,” Spiniello said. “I want them to apply what they learn when we get into the competition season.”

The intrasquad scrimmage is one of two warm-ups before the Big East season begins. Former swimmers and divers join the team next Saturday on campus as they participate in the alumni meet.

After the Knights host the SWRC Invitational Oct. 21-22, they begin their season in Storrs, Conn., where they face off against Georgetown, Villanova and Connecticut.

Bradly Derechailo

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