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Rutgers wins 5-team Invitational

This past weekend, the Rutgers swimming and diving team traveled to Hamilton, N.Y. to face off in the Justin Jennings Memorial Invitational, hosted by Colgate.

The meet included five teams in Le Moyne, UMass, St. Bonaventure, the Scarlet Knights and the host team. Rutgers won this lopsided matchup by almost 500 points, with a total score of 1317.5. 

Following behind the Knights were the Minutemen, with a score of 866.5, the Bonnies with 538, the Raiders with 415 and the Dolphins with 143.

In all of the events Rutgers competed in, it consistently placed in first — 14 times to be exact — and often were placed in the top 5 for events it didn't win.

One impressive display from the Knights was junior Francesca Bertotto. Like in the last meet, Bertotto performed well in the long-distance events. 

In the 500-yard freestyle, she set a new pool time record, coming in at 4:55.00, and also placed a new all-time pool record in the 200-yard with a time of 1:53.52. Bertotto also finished the 1,650-yard freestyle event in first place with a time of 16:59.21. 

Along with Bertotto, junior Federica Greco did not shy away from a good weekend, as well. Greco won four individual events over the two-day event, including the 100- and 200-yard butterfly events. She also finished first in the 100- and 200-yard individual medley races. 

As Greco continues to sail through the water, it goes to show that Rutgers has a good future ahead in not only the long-distance category, but short distance, as well.  

Another highlight from this record-breaking meet were the team medley relays in three of the events the Knights competed in, as they finished first in each. 

The combination of junior Meghan Moses, freshman Terka Grusova, junior Clare Lawlor and Greco won the 200-yard freestyle relay. 

Rutgers also won the 400-yard freestyle relay, on the backs of junior Alexandra Fabugais-Inaba and Grusova. Then, the Knights not only won, but set another pool record for the 200-yard medley. 

These impressive displays are symbolic of how tight knit and strong the team is in the relay events. The combination of individual talent, not only makes for individual event wins, but record-breaking team events as well.

As mentioned before, Grusova had an incredible start in her collegiate level debut. Grusova won the 100- and 200-yard backstroke events — setting the pool record in the 200 with a time of 2:02.67. 

On the diving front, senior Rachel Byrne, in her first event of the season, won the 3-meter diving event with a score of 284.85. By winning this event, Byrne has qualified for the NCAA Zone A championships later this season. 

Along with individual event wins, Bertotto increased her event win count to 15, while Greco now stands at eight event wins, with four wins this past weekend.

“They didn’t just win the pool, but also the energy battle of on the deck. We competed with intensity in every heat of every race. There are a few things we can execute better, but it’s hard to envision a better start to the season,” said head coach Jon Maccoll.

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

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