Swimming and diving teams meet high expectations
The men’s and women’s swimming and diving team traveled to Providence, R.I., to take on the Friars, each winning their meet on Saturday.
Expectations were high for both the men and women. “We wanted to see our team get up and race, and that is exactly what we saw,” assistant coach Derek Sapp said.
The women’s team beat their Big East rival 176-119, earning the top time in 11 of 16 events. It was their fifth dual meet of the season.
Kerrie Kolackovsky had three individual wins and ranked first among the six Pirates who recorded first-place times. She finished the 100-meter breaststroke event with a time of 1:12.86 and the 200-meter breaststroke with a time of 2:28.85. Teammate Megan Mallon finished second in both events. Kolackovsky’s other victory came in the 50-meter freestyle, which she won with a time of 27.06.
“Kerrie is a very versatile swimmer, which gives us great flexibility when we are determining our lineups,” Sapp said. “She is always someone we can count on to get up and race regardless of the event.”
Gabi Levine picked up a win as well in the 100-meter backstroke. She finished with a time of 1:08.06.
The men’s team won for the fourth time in six head-to-head meets this season. Six different Pirates came up with wins as they beat Providence 175-118.
Matt Benson won both the 100-meter and 200-meter backstroke races, finishing with marks of 1:00.59 and 2:11.19, respectively.
“Matt Benson has continued to improve from meet to meet,” Sapp said. “He is definitely someone we can count on when we need someone to step up.”
James Logan and Ben Mitchell also won two events apiece, each sweeping their discipline. Logan was unbeaten in the breaststroke competition while Mitchell stood out on the diving board, twice surpassing 290 points for a six-dive set. No Providence diver scored more than 207 points in the competition.
According to Sapp, Mitchell qualified for the NCAA Zone Meet based on his performance in Providence. “Ben has been very strong on the boards for us this year,” Sapp said. “Our diving coach, PJ Hughes, is very pleased with how he is diving.”
Sapp said he was pleased overall. “Our team’s overall performance was good with both the men and the women,” he said. “We saw a lot of people, from freshmen to seniors, step up and finish races regardless of how they were feeling in the water.”
The men and the women will travel to Piscataway as Rutgers hosts a tri-meet with Georgetown and Villanova on Friday and Saturday. Start time is 4 p.m. on Friday.
Gary Phillips can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.