PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Entering her third season as head coach of Rutgers swimming and diving, Petra Martin continues to raise the level of expectations both in the pool and off the boards for the Scarlet Knights with summer workouts in full swing.
RU enjoyed one of its most successful campaigns in recent memory in 2016-17, as it produced its best finish at the conference championships since it joined the Big Ten, sent five qualifiers to the NCAA Championships and had its second-straight Honorable Mention All-American in recent graduate Alyssa Black.
Martin’s team has bought into her vision for success that she brought to Piscataway when she arrived in 2015.
“Our entire team is here this summer, so the energy in and around the pool has been fantastic,” Martin said. “Everyone is putting a lot of effort into getting prepared for our long course meets this summer as well as for the 2017-18 season. We’ve seen a real commitment from our student-athletes.”
In addition to training six days a week for the next few months, Rutgers competes in a number of long course events during the summer, culminating with the 2017 US Open Swimming Championships at Nassau County Aquatic Center in East Meadow, New York from August 2-6. More information on that event can be found here.
“It’s important for us not just to train, but to compete in the summer so that we keep our competitive engines moving,” Martin said. “If you don’t compete for four or five months, it’s really hard to get back into it. We’re making sure we’re keeping up both our training and our competitiveness.”
Martin has also put an emphasis on recruiting, as the program continues to add depth and talent to its already promising roster.
“Everything is happening earlier this year, so we’re looking to get early commits before the season starts,” Martin said. “As we continue to get better, our recruiting as a team needs to keep on improving as well. Our team is getting a lot better with understanding the level of talent needed to achieve our goals, and bringing the right swimmers and divers into the program.”
Preparing for next season/schedule
As evidenced by last year’s schedule, Martin has not shied away from competing against some of the top programs in the country. Last regular season, the Scarlet Knights swam and dove against five Big Ten opponents (Illinois, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State and Purdue), and saw two opponents, the Buckeyes and Notre Dame, who finished in the top-25 of the final CSCAA Coaches Poll.
Next year is no different for Rutgers. Martin said RU will compete in an invitational at the University of Texas along with road duals with Illinois, Northwestern, OSU and Virginia Tech. The Scarlet Knights will also entertain schools such as Pittsburgh and Nebraska.
“It’s going to be challenging, but it’s essential to see these opponents in order to get better,” Martin said. “It might be a little rough during the regular season, put it’s going to put us in a better place and prepare us for Big Ten’s and NCAA’s.”
Follow Rutgers Athletics on Facebook (www.facebook.com/RutgersAthletics) and Twitter (@RUAthletics) for all of the latest news and updates. For specific updates regarding Rutgers swimming & diving, follow the program on Twitter (@RUSwimDive) and on Instagram (ruswimdive). The team is also on Facebook (facebook.com/RUSwimDive).