MEN’S 2004-05 OUTLOOK
The 2004-05 squad has the makings of one of the most outstanding teams in school history. The season will hinge on the leadership of a senior class of seven student-athletes. Five of the seven own or share school records. The team is led by captain Sean Smith, who returns from a great winter season in which he qualified for the US Olympic Trials in three events. However, Smith is rebounding from a serious shoulder injury suffered last spring in a water polo game. How well he responds will make a significant impact to the teams success.
Senior Jared Bench has proven to be one of the most accomplished divers in school history. Bench finished among the top three in the conference last year and owns school records. He is supported by courageous and ever-improving junior Olivier Giron, who has scored at the conference meet as well.
Ivan Morse will lead a group of young and capable teammates in the short speed events. Ivan is the fastest 100m swimmer returning to the BIG EAST Conference this year and is one of the top five in the 50 Freestyle. He will be joined by sophomore Zac Coppa, who helped Rutgers win its first-ever conference title in the 400 Freestyle relay. Sophomore Rob Horton should be much improved and freshman Jesse Applegate and Adam Papendick will be expected to contribute immediately.
Ivan Morse has NCAA’s within sight in the 200 Freestyle and is the fastest returning swimmer in the BIG EAST. Sophomore Bobby Daplyn is developing quickly and should be a force to be reckoned with this year. Proven seniors Smith and Josh Van Norman and sophomore James Keenan will all be key “players” here.
This should be the men's team's strongest area. Smith, the school record holder in the 1000 and 500 Freestyle, will vie for NCAA honors. Senior Joe Mammano is one of Rutgers’ all-time leading scorers in the distance events at the conference level. Juniors Jamie Miller, Jonathan Hupp and Chris Farrell will be major contributors. Keenan should improve dramatically this year from his freshman performance and newcomers Larry Rosa and Allan Bakes will add depth and strength to this group in training and meet performance.
Van Norman and Aaron Inkrott lead this facet of the Rutgers team. Van Norman has been the Rutgers stalwart the last two years leading off relays and placing in the conference finals. Both Van Norman and Inkrott have tremendous speed and are capable of being at the top of the conference. Freshman Scott Thompson and Colt Adams are expected to add a great deal in these events as will Robert Horton, Adam Papendick and Bakes.
Senior school record holder in the 200 breastroke Bill Dennis enters his final season at Rutgers. Dennis is a great racer and continues to improve following a year out with elbow surgery. Juniors Eric Jennings and Jonathan Hupp will be key performers for the Knights in duel meets, at the conference level and beyond.
Junior Tyler Clark is the fastest conference performer to return in the 200 Fly. Clark is an excellent 100 Butterflyer as well. Seniors Ivan Morse, Inkrott, Van Norman and Dennis all have great speed in the 100 and Smith is as fast in the 200 as Clark. Mammano, Farrell and Rosa will complete the 200 often in their program.
Smith was the conference champion in the 400 in 2003, but will have many challengers to repeat this year. Smith could be an NCAA scorer in this event. He will have a load of teammates right behind him, including Mammano, Hupp, Miller, Thompson, Rosa, Farrell and Adams. The 200 demands much more speed. Dennis and Van Norman are the third and fourth fastest swimmers returning to the BIG EAST Conference this year. They will have Clark, Thompson, Adams and Jennings all to support them.
WOMEN’S 2004-05 OUTLOOK
The 2004-05 Rutgers women's team is determined to create its place in school history. The small but respected veteran group of senior captain Kelly Roche, junior captain Molly Jones, sophomore captain Meghan Senso, senior Ruth Nichols, and juniors Kelly Harrigan, Allie Dean and Katie Kuczmarski are proven winners and leaders. They look to advance the tradition of women's swimming at Rutgers and move up the NCAA ladder. All have trained very hard over the summer months. They are supported by an excellent sophomore and incoming freshman class. Improvement will be necessary to achieve their goals, but they have been investing in themselves and in this season since last April.
Roche and Nichols, along with sophomore Sara Gault, lead the way for Rutgers in these events. Roche has the second fastest 50 and 100 freestyle times returning in the BIG EAST this year and acheived NCAA B cut times last year. Both Nichols and Gault had terrific summers and could qualify for NCAAs. They will have the support of freshman Angelina Colavito, who should compete for relay spots.
These events have been the strongest events on the women’s team for some time and this season should be no different. Junior Harrigan, an All-American, and Jones, an honorable mention All-American in 2002, will lead the way. Freshman Kierstin Koronowicz and Ashely Dunphy will add tremendously to individual and relay strength. Sophomores Sarah Bicknell, Allyson Parent and Annie Goldstein will also be very important to the teams success.
The distance events this year may be handled by "committee." Koronowicz, Dunphy, Jones, Parent and Harrigan will all be counted on to keep the Scarlet Knights in good stead during dual meets. Championship performances will be a result of showing ability in some of their variety of events during the year.
School and conference record holder Harrigan leads the way. She will have excellent support in sophomores Parent, Laura Fabiano and Goldstein. The addition of freshman Mindy Tang will add depth and speed to these events.
The Scarlet Knights have great quality in Gault, sophomore Allie Dean and the addition of freshman Catherine Hetzel. The major question in the breastroke core is the health status of Kuczmarski, who is a school record holder. She was slowed last year by a serious car accident during the summer of 2003. Her rehab is still in progress and it remains to be seen whether she will be competing or red-shirting this year. The addition of junior transfer Erin McKinley will add depth to the breastroke events.
The butterfly events will generally be in the hands of Dean, Bicknell, Tang, Fabiano, Nichols and Colavito. However, look for Harrigan and Koronwicz to step in from time to time. These women are a notch improvement away from being outstanding on a national scale.
Dean holds the school record in the 200 IM and will be supported by Gault, Koronwicz, Parent, Tang, and Hetzel. The success of the Scarlet Knights in these events will be critical to the teams success.
Sophomore Meghan Senso has already earned the title “diving captain.” She returns as a conference finalist and has the able support of junior Erica Moreland and freshman Sara Stiff. These three will be counted on in duel and championship competition to improve through the year as they are accustom.