Rutgers welcomes 9 teams to Piscataway for Frank Elm Invitational

The Rutgers swimming and diving team will host the 10-team Frank Elm Invitational this upcoming weekend, Nov. 17-19, at the Rutgers Aquatic Center. 

After coming off of a split of wins and losses in their last event, the Scarlet Knights look to stay in the win column in this 10-team contest. The teams being represented at the Frank Elm Invitational will be LIU Post, LIU Brooklyn, Liberty, Columbia, James Madison, Navy, Central Connecticut State, Wagner and Bridgeport.

Head coach Petra Martin is treating this meet with urgency but is using it as preparation for the Texas Invitational.  

“This is a higher level preparation meet for us, for the invite at Texas, after Thanksgiving. We are obviously going to be pushing things and do what we are supposed too,” Martin said. “We are going to be going hard this whole week as practice goes, we want to make sure we don't miss a beat so that we are ready for Texas in two weeks.”  

Looking to continue a truly dominating season thus far will be junior Francesca Stoppa and sophomore Federica Greco, both coming off of great races in the 200-yard butterfly, in the penta-meet event. Stoppa finished in first, and Greco touched the wall right behind her. 

For diving, senior Addison Walkowiak is firing on all cylinders in the early part of this fall season, with a season-high score in the three-meter dive and wins in both one and three-meter events at last week's penta-meet. Walkowiak will also be partaking in both events at the Frank Elm Invitational, according to Martin.   

Martin praised the dedication of Walkowiak, who won her fifth Big Ten Diver of the Week award, after her top-notch performance last weekend at the penta-meet.

“She definitely was excited about getting the recognition, and we are very happy for her. She's a hard working kid, very driven. It's her senior year so she really wants to leave a mark on the program,” Martin said. “There's still more to come.” 

Rutgers enters the weekend currently standing with five wins and four losses in meets. In the Big Ten, the team has staved off rival Illinois but has come up short against Northwestern.

Martin also spoke on where her team is at right now and its mindset moving forward for the rest of the season. 

“We are moving. Workouts are hard now and we are in the full swing of things when it comes to preparation, so we are right in the middle of it,” Martin said. “The focus level on what we are doing is strong and we are happy with what they have been doing at practices.”

This will be the last event at home for nearly two months. The next time the Knights will be at the Rutgers Aquatic Center will be on Jan. 12, 2018 to face off against Yale. 

Following the matchup against Yale, Rutgers only has three more events at home: a two-day meet with Nebraska on Jan. 26-27, 2018, the ECAC Championships on Feb. 23-25, 2018 and finally wrapping up the season by hosting the NCAA Zone Diving Championships on March 5-7, 2018.

The next event overall for the Knights will be on Nov. 29 to Dec. 2 at the University of Texas for the Texas Invitational. Martin, as well as her entire team, is looking ahead to the Texas Invitational and toward the end of the season as well. 

“We are keeping an eye on the end of the year and what's coming up next. Kind of, looking at the bigger picture,” Martin said. “That's what's important, that's what we need to pay attention to.”

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

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