PISCATAWAY, N.J. (January 28, 2012) – Rutgers swimming and diving capped off its regular season on Saturday, bouncing back from its first loss of the season with a pair of victories against Fordham, 180-120, and Rider, 221-74, on Senior Day at the RU Aquatics Center. The Scarlet Knights jumped out to a fast start in the meet and never let up, concluding the year with a 9-2 overall mark- the most wins for the program since the 2000-01 season when it finished 11-2 – and an undefeated 4-0 record in BIG EAST action.
“We ended the season 9-2, coming off a 2-4 record last year, so we are really taking a step forward with the program.” head coach Phil Spiniello said. “We did great on the boards today and did great in the water today. I couldn’t be prouder of my seniors; they’re really stepping up and leading this program.”
The Scarlet Knights opened the session grabbing gold in the first three events, placing first and third in the 200 medley relay, a top finish in the 1000 freestyle and a first and third finish in the 200 freestyle. A pair of RU seniors Brianne Lindblad (Kent, Wash.), Trisha Averill (Renton, Wash.) kicked off the first two legs of the relay, while Taylor Curado (Highlands, Colo.) and Mary Moser (Wyomissing, Pa.) finished strong for the victory, clocking in with a final time of 1:45.77. Fordham narrowly snagged second, clocking in at 1:47.94, followed by Rutgers – Courtney Sepich (Ocean City, N.J.), Emilie Kaufman (Bothell, Wash.), Brittany Guinee (Berkeley Heights, N.J.) and Melanie Gaffey (Bohemia, N.Y.) – in third (1:48.04).
Sophomore Chelsea Rolin (Saint-Lazare, QC, Canada) swam the 1000 freestyle in 10:14.21, over nine seconds ahead of the rest of the field – her first of two top finishes on the day. Senior Michelle Berman (LaMirada, Calif.) placed fourth in the event (10:30 70). Jacquelyn Ward (Berlin, N.J.) took a three second victory in the 200 freestyle, while teammate Moser came up .01 short of second place, filing in at third with a time of 1:54.70.
Rutgers added to its early lead, placing second and third in the 100 backstroke, in addition to grabbing the top two spots in the 100 breaststroke. Sepich clocked in at 58.56 for second in the back, followed by Lindblad at 58.65 in third and Megan Caylor (Kenmore, Wash.) in fourth (59.65). In the 100 breast Averill took gold (1:04.17), sophomore Victoria Maqueda (Los Alamos, N.M.) snatched silver (1:07.42) and sophomore Allyson Perrotti (Branford, Conn.) finished with the bronze (1:07.71). Averill and Perrotti placed first and second in the 200 breast, with times of 2:19.37 and 2:29.92, respectively.
In the short distance freestyle events, Moser captured a top finish in the 50 free (24.12), while Curado touched the wall in the number two spot (24.60). Ward added her second top-finish of the day, touching at 53.20 in the 100 free. Kaufman took second in the event (53.64).
The Scarlet Knights also shined on the boards, taking first in the one and three-meter diving events. Katie Kearney (Mahwah, N.J.) and Nicole Scott (Toronto, ON, Canada) took the top spots on the one-meter board, while Scott totaled 311.70 points on the three-meter board, followed by Valentina Gordon (Metuchen, N.J.) in second (291.80) and Nicole Honey (New Hyde Park, N.Y.) in third.
The Scarlet Knights diving team will resume action at the BIG EAST Diving Championships on the weekend of Feb. 10, while the swim team will travel to the BIG EAST Championships Feb. 15-18.
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