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Sophomore diver breaks school record for Rutgers

Another meet, another record broken.

Sophomore Addison Walkowiak set a new mark during the 1-meter dive event on Saturday for the Rutgers swimming and diving team at the Frank Elm Invitational. The Ballston Spy, New York, native posted a score of 321.80 on the dive, breaking the record of 306.90 which she set last season.

“It felt really great,” Walkowiak said. “That’s always one of my goals — to just keep breaking the records — and I achieved it, so it feels really good.”

Earlier that Saturday, before Walkowiak set the new school mark, junior Alyssa Black scored a 314.85 on the 1-meter dive, breaking Walkowiak’s 306.90 from last year.

“It felt really nice,” Black said. “Super excited. I didn’t realize that I could score that high and even after prelims, in finals, I scored above what I scored in prelims so that made me super excited to.”

Black’s record didn’t stand for long as Walkowiak’s 321.80 shattered it soon after.

“I felt really bad,” Walkowiak said on breaking her teammate’s new record. “I didn’t know how to react to it. I was just like, 'She had it for two hours and I took it back,’ and I felt really bad, yeah.”

The two teammates desires to set the diving records creates some inter-team competition, which is often beneficial and translates into successful turnouts at meets.

“It does and it’s the healthiest thing, the healthiest thing,” said head diving coach Fred Woodruff. “In a matter of fact, Addy (Walkowiak) and I were talking about that after the events ended that day and she was like ‘This is so cool, having a teammate pushing me is like you can’t beat it.’ That’s what we need.”

Woodruff was also proud of Black’s record breaking performance as well.

“I was so psyched to see Alyssa kind of starting to put it all together (when) she’s diving, you know. She’s right with Addy (Walkowiak),” he said. “And that’s great. It’s gonna make us all better. It’s gonna make the whole team better.”

Black agrees with Woodruff and thinks that having Walkowiak as a teammate will only improve her performance as a diver in the long run.

“Yeah, I love Addy (Walkowiak),” Black said. “She pushes me every day. I love having that type of teammate where we just feed off of each other’s energy and it’s really great to have that during practices when you’re both tired and worn out and it’s just a great atmosphere to be around.”

Overall, the Scarlet Knights had a solid turnout at the Frank Elm Invitational. 

Rutgers hosted the event at the Rutgers Aquatic Center on Busch Campus and the team finished in second place behind Navy.

“Absolutely, it was great,” said head swimming coach Petra Martin. “People were really pulling things together. All the stuff we’ve been working on this fall really came together this weekend and excited for the next couple of weeks and you know, we obviously gotta get back to work first thing tomorrow morning, but I’m really happy were we are as a team and the way things are moving.”

The Knights set several NCAA B qualifying times throughout the weekend.

Junior Rachel Stoddard finished with a time of 1:01.70 in the 100 breaststroke, a new school record, NCAA B time and personal best. Senior Joanna Wu had an NCAA B time in the 100 backstroke with a 54.03.

Senior Morgan Pfaff made several NCAA B cuts during the Frank Elm Invitational. In the 400-yard individual medley, Pfaff finished in 4:18.99 to earn first place. 

With a time of 2:08.83 in the 200-yard individual medley on Friday night, Pfaff set another NCAA B qualifying time and finished in second place in the event.

“As an individual, I was extremely happy with my swims,” Pfaff said. “Most of my times are actually just as fast as conference last year, so I’m very happy with that and excited for mid-season. It was the first time we got to put on a suit and race and it was really exciting.”

Pfaff enjoyed competing in front of a high capacity crowd at the Rutgers Aquatic Center.

“It was great,” she said. “I think (Saturday) really set us up well. We had really great swims, Rachel (Stoddard) had a pool record last night and then again tonight, we started off with Viera (Koprivova), Rachel (Byrne), Emily (Erwin), those girls threw down. Chantal (Asselin) had a great mile, it got me really excited and we all were feeding off each other’s great swims and really came together as a team.”

For updates on the Rutgers swimming and diving team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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