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Rutgers sends 8 to Swim Open Stockholm

Eight student athletes on the Rutgers swimming and diving team will travel to the Scandinavian region of Europe for the 2019 Swim Open Stockholm in Stockholm, this weekend.

The Scarlet Knights become the first program from the United States to compete in the international event.

The eight Rutgers student athletes were selected based on their success in the pool, as well as in the classroom.

Head coach Jon Maccoll and several other members of the Knights’ coaching staff will make the more than 7-hour flight to Stockholm for the four-day event. 

“We have a ton of elite international talent, and we have hungry American swimmers that need times in long-course meter format," Maccoll said. "The vision for this program is that we're building towards being one of the top programs in the country.”

For senior Vera Koprivova and freshman Turka Grusova, this weekend’s trip across the Atlantic Ocean will help them prepare for the 2019 FINA World Aquatic Championships, which will be held in South Korea after the conclusion of the spring semester.

Koprivova finishes her four years on the Banks as the record holder in three events: the 200 backstroke, the 400 freestyle relay and the 400 medley relay. The latter two were attained in the 2017 Big Ten Championships, during her sophomore year.

In her final season, the Trobuky, Czech Republic native shattered both the Rutgers Aquatics Center and the program record at the Rutgers Invitational, where she finished first with a 1:52.42 time in the 200 backstroke.

A two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree during her sophomore and junior years, Koprivova was 0.01 seconds short of becoming an All-American at the NCAA Championships, on March 23.

As a freshman, Grusova set a pool record of her own in the 100 backstroke with a time of 52.98 at the Frank Elm Rutgers Invitational, back in January. 

Two Knights included in the participation for the Swedish event are a pair of young swimmers in their first year at Rutgers. Freshmen Katie Dougherty and Kasja Dymek will travel to Scandinavia in their first year on the Banks. 

Dougherty and Dymek will be the youngest swimmers ever to represent a United States based program in the Stockholm Open. 

In their freshman seasons each of them placed fifth or higher in a pair of respective meets. Dymek finished third in the 200 fly at the Frank Elm Rutgers Invitational, and 10th at the 2018 Speedo Winter Junior Championships–East. 

Dougherty finished fifth overall with a season best time in 200 fly in the January meet against Princeton. She will also try to translate her success in high school as a three-time nationals winner, to the international stage for the first time. 

One Rutgers swimmer who began her career overseas will be making her return to Europe when the team travels. Junior Fredrica Greco, a native of Rome, Italy will compete for the Knights in Stockholm following a season in which she set personal best times in the 200 fly and 100 fly. 

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

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