Press Release courtesy of Rutgers Athletics.
Rutgers swimming and diving head coach Petra Martin has named seniors Karli Rymer and Larissa Neilan, along with sophomores Clare Lawlor and Meghan Moses as team captains for the 2017-18 season.
The Scarlet Knights finished the 2016-17 season with five NCAA qualifiers, the most for the program over the past decade, while earning its highest finish in the Big Ten Championships since joining the conference for the 2014-15 season. In her third season as head coach, Martin’s captains represent a mix of talent, experience and ability to band a group together.
Rymer is a three-time competitor in the Big Ten Championships, and enters her final season “On the Banks” as a seasoned leader and an extension of the Rutgers coaching staff in the pool. The Long Branch, N.J. native is working toward a degree in public health, and also competes in National Lifeguarding Competitions in her spare time.
“Karli has grown immensely as a person and a student-athlete over the last three years,” Martin said. “She is determined, communicates well and is very passionate about the values of this team. She is very good at keeping things in the right perspective, and is always ready to do whatever is necessary to keep pursuing our goals.”
Neilan produced an NCAA “B” cut time in the 200-yard breaststroke as a junior, and returns for her swan song as one of the most experienced Scarlet Knights on the Rutgers roster swimming in breaststroke and individual medley events. Hailing from Orange County, Va., she is finishing up a degree in public health while working year-round as a swim instructor.
“Larissa has an exemplary work ethic, and just like the rest of captains, has a great moral radar,” Martin said. “She symbolizes the perfect definition of grit. She is someone we can count on in all aspects of our team’s life, and she will always put the team first before her needs.”
Lawlor enjoyed a breakout rookie season in 2016-17 with multiple high finishes in freestyle and relay events, all while showing her coaching staff that she can be relied on as a leader despite her age. The Orland Park, Ill. native is an exercise science and applied kinesiology major, and already has one school record (400-yard freestyle relay) and two Big Ten Championship finals to her name, scoring a total of 18 points for the Scarlet Knights in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle events with two NCAA “B” cut times last winter.
Over the summer, she placed in the Top 24 at the U.S. Open in the 50 Free, qualifying her for next year’s USA National Championships.
“Clare is a warrior; confident and tough,” Martin said. “She remains calm under pressure and loves to compete, but is also honest with herself and others. She is fully devoted to this team and pushes us toward our true potential and future success.”
Moses’ leadership has not been limited to swimming, as the sophomore becomes a team representative on Rutgers’ Student-Athlete Advisory Committee in 2017-18. In the pool, she picked up valuable experience as part of various freestyle relay teams during her rookie year. Hailing from Fremont, Ohio, Moses is a biology major with a love for all things watersports, including wakeboarding, jet skiing and wake surfing.
“Meg is well spoken, and has the ability to deliver a message in a way that people understand and will respond to,” Martin said. “She is very coachable, loves to learn, and doesn’t shy away from challenges while staying positive and focused in any situation.”
The Scarlet Knights unofficially open the new season with an intrasquad meet on Tuesday, Sept. 26 at the Rutgers Aquatic Center before the first invitational of the year on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 6-7 at the Florida Gulf Coast University Classic.
Follow Rutgers Athletics on Facebook (www.facebook.com/RutgersAthletics) and Twitter (@RUAthletics) for all of the latest news and updates. For specific updates regarding Rutgers swimming & diving, follow the program on Twitter (@RUSwimDive) and on Instagram (ruswimdive). The team is also on Facebook (facebook.com/RUSwimDive).