INDIANAPOLIS – Sophomore Vera Koprivova broke her school record in the 200 backstroke to highlight Rutgers swimming and diving’s last day at the 2017 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships in Indianapolis.
The Scarlet Knights finish the championships with one program record and an Honorable Mention All-American in senior Alyssa Black, who secured the honor on Friday in the 3-meter dive. RU’s five competitors were the most since 2006, as Rutgers has had eight participants at NCAA’s in head coach Petra Martin’s first two seasons in Piscataway.
“The NCAA Championships is certainly one of the toughest meets in our sport to make and to be able to improve here is very special,” Martin said. “It has been a very good year for us. We put in strong building blocks and look forward to the preparation for next year, which starts now.”
Koprivova hit the wall with a time of 1:53.74 in the 200 backstroke to break her previous school record of 1:53.94 set at the 2017 Big Ten Championships last month. Her finish was good for 31st in the field to close out her first NCAA appearance. Koprivova also competed in the 100 backstroke on Friday.
“Vera's new team record in the 200 backstroke and moving up several spots was certainly exciting,” Martin said. “The whole meet was a very good and valuable experience and she is someone that will learn things from it in order to keep on improving.”
Sophomore Francesca Stoppa closed out her championships with a time of 1:57.79 to finish 34th overall in the 200 butterfly. The Trento, Italy, native added a mark of 53.88 on Friday in the 100 butterfly.
“Francesca's swim wasn't as good as we needed it to be,” Martin said. “We have several things that need to be changed moving forward. If she incorporates those changes, she will be on a completely different level.”
Sophomore Rachel Byrne made her NCAA debut in the platform dive. Byrne finished the event with a score of 225.15, good for 29th overall.
“Rachel’s debut on the tower was a very strong performance as well and we are excited to see her grow and continue to improve,” Martin said.
Rutgers concludes an impressive 2016-17 campaign, as the Scarlet Knights produced a ninth-place result at the 2017 Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championship in Februarys, their best finish since they joined the conference in 2014. Five program records were broken in the pool, while three divers qualified out of the Zone A Diving Championships for NCAA’s for the first time since head diving coach Fred Woodruff joined the program in 1993. RU also finishes with an Honorable Mention All-American (Black, 3-meter) in back-to-back season.
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