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Relay team headlines meet win

Traveling on the road for the first time this season, the Rutgers swimming and diving team went to Norfolk, Va., on Saturday to compete against a pair of Beltway schools. They returned with two victories.

The Scarlet Knights defeated Old Dominion, 170-120, and George Washington, 204-79.The decisive performance left head coach Phil Spiniello feeling positive about the team.

“I’m happy that we walked away with two wins from the weekend,” he said. “I think we walked in there with a good mentality and focus, and we went in there to get the win, and that’s what we did.”

The two victories improved the Knights’ record to 3-0 this season. Their first win came Oct. 26, when they defeated Wagner at the RU Aquatic Center. The team’s fast start excites Spiniello, but he points to its strong strength of schedule in the second half of the season before losing perspective.

“It’s definitely a good start,” Spiniello said. “There are some really good teams on the schedule in the second half before we head into the Big East Championships meet.”

The performance of their relay teams this weekend was one of the highlights for the Knights. Rutgers’ two relay lineups finished first and second on the day, with the B lineup featuring freshman Joanna Wu, sophomore Greta Leberfinger and juniors Brittany Guinee and Mary Moser earning a first-place finish time of 1:45.20. The A squad finished close behind with a time of 1:48.77.

“I was really happy with our relay times,” Spiniello said. “Those were the fastest relays we’ve put forth this season, and that’s a really good sign.”

Leberfinger, Moser and Wu each grabbed individual first-place finishes, as well.

Wu began the spurt by earning a first-place finish in the 200-meter freestyle. Leberfinger then nabbed gold in the 100-meter breaststroke, as well as the 200-meter. Moser, who won both the 50- and 100-meter freestyle events, completed the first-place efforts for Rutgers.

The diving team also put forward an impressive performance. The Knights finished with the top-four scores in the 1-meter dive, as well as the top-three scores in the 3-meter. Junior Nicole Scott led the way, winning the 1-meter dive with a score of 282.45 and the 3-meter dive with 292.20 points.

The divers’ showing helped to provide a spark for the swimmers that lasted the rest of the day, Spiniello said.

“The diving events happened before the swimming events, so it was good to have the divers get the ball rolling,” he said. “It really got the swimmers excited to race, which is great. It was a total team effort this weekend.”

For updates on the Rutgers swimming and diving team, follow Mike Morton on Twitter @MortonTargum.

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