PISCATAWAY, NJ – The Rutgers men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams knocked off Connecticut in their BIG EAST openers on Saturday afternoon at RU’s Sonny Werblin Recreation Center. The women won handily, 166.50-131.50, while the men’s squad pulled out a 153-147 nail bitter against the Huskies.
On the men’s side, one of the highlights was the performance of the men’s 200 free relay, which took first place overall and helped the Scarlet Knights score enough points to edge past Connecticut. The tandem of Jessie Applegate (Princeton, NJ), Adam Papendick (Kinnelon, NJ), Bobby Daplyn (Vineland, NJ) and Ivan Morse (Pleasanton, CA) edged out Connecticut by just 32 seconds to take first place.
In the 1-meter dive, senior Jared Bench (West Babylon, NY) 292.19 points and took first place comfortably. Teammate Oliver Giron (Fairfax, VA) finished in third place with 213.14 points. Bench also claimed first place in the 3-meter dive, racking up 336.90 points.
Sean Smith (Oklahoma City, OK), the school record-holder in the 500 free, took first place in the event with a 4:39.16. Trailing by 17 points, the momentum of the meet changed when Tyler Clark (Granada Hills, NY) and Morse finished first and second in the 100 butterfly. Clark swam a 51.22 while Morse was just one-tenth of a second behind at 51.23.
Smith and Clark scored seven points as they finished second and third, respectively, in the 200 individual medley. Smith also took top honors in the 1000 freestyle (9:35.73) while Morse was the winner of the 200 freestyle (1:41.80). Josh Van Norman (San Diego, CA) scored nine critical points with his first place showing in the 100 backstroke (52.74) while Clark won the 200 butterfly (1:54.03) and Morse took top honors in the 100 freestyle (45.70).
On the women’s side, the Scarlet Knights were led by Kelly Harrigan (Bristol, CT), Kierstin Koronowicz (New Windsor, NY) and Catherine Hetzel (Metuchen, NJ). Harrigan won the 200 butterfly (2:04.36) and 500 freestyle (5:02.88) and was also on the winning 200 medley relay team. Koronowicz, meanwhile, won the 200 freestyle (1:52.56) and 100 freestyle (52.55). Hetzel also was a multiple-event winner.
Allyson Parent (Glen Falls, NY) scored 6.5 points in the 1000 freestyle as she tied for first place with Connecticut’s Cassie Novak (10:16.02). In the 100 backstroke, Rutgers had the first and second place finishers, as Hetzel and Allie Dean (Buffalo, NY) finished back-to-back with times of 1:05.01 and 1:06.50, respectively. RU also swept the 50 freestyle, as Ruth Nichols (Raleigh, NC) won the event with a time of 24.12. Teammate Angelina Colavito (Las Vegas, NV) was second (24.31) and Ashley Dunphy (Palm Springs, CA) was third (24.71).
In the 100 freestyle, Rutgers scored 13 points with Koronowicz taking first place and Sarah Bicknell (Pleasant Valley, IA) in second place (53.26). Hetzel won the 200 breaststroke (2:21.59) while Bicknell took top honors in the 100 butterfly (57.66).
In the diving events, Meghan Senso (Neenah, WI) finished second in the 3-meter (232.05) and 1-meter (221.85) dives.
The Scarlet Knight men and women return to action on Sunday, Nov. 21 when they travel to Princeton, NJ, to face the Tigers beginning at 1:00 p.m.
Complete Results --http://www.besmarttinc.com/rudual/ResultsRUVSUCONN04.htm