The Rutgers University women’s swimming and diving team honored their seniors with a big win over the University of New Hampshire, 205-91. The meet was originally scheduled to take place last weekend, but Winter Storm Jonas made that impossible. Because travel could not be rescheduled, the meet was conducted as a “virtual meet”. That meant each team swam in their home pool and sent each other results.
In another twist, New Hampshire actually swam the day before Rutgers, in a regularly scheduled home meet against the University of Maine. UNH was able to defeat Maine 161-125, and the results of that meet were matched up with Rutgers swims the next day.
The Scarlet Knights got great performances from two stroke specialists. Both Rachel Stoddard and Francesca Stoppa each won two events. Stoddard’s wins came in the 100 and 200 breaststroke. In each case she led a Rutgers sweep.
For Stoppa, it was the first home meet in her Rutgers career after she joined the team at mid-season. The Italian has a long course personal best under 1:00 and is a likely NCAA qualifier for the Scarlet Knights.
Also taking first in two events was diver Addison Walkowiak. She won both the 1M and 3M diving by big margins.
The lone bright spot for the Wildcats came from longer freestyle races. Distance swimmer Jess Harper captured the tough 1000/500 double. In the 1000 she was nearly thirty seconds ahead of the next closest competitor. Liza Baykova’s early speed was too much for the competition, she won the 200 freestyle on the strength of a blazing first 100.
Rutgers is now just two and a half weeks away from the B1G Championships at the University of Michigan. New Hampshire will compete in their conference championship just eleven days from now.