PISCATAWAY, N.J. – The Rutgers women’s swimming and diving hosts the annual Rutgers Invitational at the Rutgers Aquatics Center beginning on Wednesday, Dec. 4 and running through Saturday, Dec. 7.
THE COMPETITION FIELD
This year’s Rutgers Invitational includes a seven-team field as the Scarlet Knights welcome men’s & women’s squads from UConn, Colgate, Columbia, American, Lehigh and Illinois (diving only).
LAST YEAR AT THE INVITE
Rutgers captured the 2018 Rutgers Invitational holding a multiple day lead over teams from Columbia and Queens.
Current sophomore Terka Grusova set a new Rutgers Aquatic Center Pool record (52.98) in the 100 back.
On the boards, senior Jenna Douglass was bested by former teammate by a quarter of a single point to take second on the 1-meter.
Additionally, fellow senior Francesca Bertotto won the 500 free six seconds ahead of the competition on day three and wrapped up action with a win in the 1650 free with a 20-second lead.
LAST TIME OUT
Rutgers won the first-ever battle for the Cannon Trophy between Rutgers and Princeton with 11 event victories and 24 new bests in a 163-137 victory.
Highlighting the victory over the Tigers was the 200 freestyle relay team breaking the Rutgers Aquatics Center record. A trio of freshmen and a senior in Elinah Phillip, Giulia Ghidini, Sofia Chichaikina, and Clare Lawlor finished with a time of 1:31.75, besting the record set by Columbia with a time of 1:31.95 and was .15 seconds shy of breaking the school record in the event.
Sophomore Terka Grusova led RU with three first-place finishes, which included a victory in the 100 backstroke (53.95) which was .1 second off a NCAA B cut time. In addition to leading off the 400 medley relay to a win, she also won the 200 back (1:58.54) and finished second in the 200 individual medley (2:01.40) with a career best.
Freshman Sofia Chichaikina picked up wins in the 100 freestyle (49.85), 200 butterfly (1:59.79) and swam the anchor leg on the 400 medley relay.
The diving squad was led runner-up performances on both the 1-meter (268.50) and 3-meter (266.54) by Sam Blanc.
B1G TOP TIME HOLDERS
Scarlet Knights currently boast the second and third best scores on the 3-meter in the Big Ten thanks to NCAA Zone qualifying performances against Iowa State back on Nov. 9. Samantha Blanc 208.85 and Marina Wilkins (302.80).
Diver Megan Demeo also ranks eighth on the 1-meter having collecting 272.75 during the Preseason Tuneup in mid-October.
The Rutgers Aquatic Center pool record holders of the 200 free relay squad are currently fifth in the events among the league’s competition with their time of 1:31.75.
Two-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week Sofia Chichaikina’s 100 individual medley time of 59.07 places her seventh, while her 100 free swim against Princeton in 49.85 puts her eighth.
Terka Gruzova’s 100 back performance of 53.86 against Princeton puts her name eighth among the conference competition.
Francesca Bertotto, meanwhile, comes in eighth in the Big Ten in the 1000 free after a time of 10:03.18 versus Princeton.
Rutgers has been honored with a trio of weekly awards from the Big Ten this season.
Sofia Chichaikina – Freshman of the Week (Nov. 13) – Finished first, second or third in seven events against Iowa and Iowa State.
Sofia Chichaikina – Freshman of the Week (Nov. 20) – Repeated weekly award after capturing victories in the 100 free and 200 fly and helping the 400 medley and 200 free relays to wins, including setting a pool record with the 200 free relay squad.
Terka Grusova – Swimmer of the Week (Nov. 20) – Won a trio of events – the 100 and 200 back along with the opening leg of the 400 medley relay.
Swimming for host Italy, Greco posted the highest world finish of the week from the Rutgers trio. She turned in a 59.70-second butterfly leg in the 4×100-meter medley relay finals helping Italy to place sixth. Greco also qualified for the semifinals in both the 50- and 100-meter butterfly events with matching 14th place finishes.
Grusova, competing for her native Czech Republic, went 3-for-3 in qualifying for semifinals in her trio of backstroke events and finished 12th in the 100, 15th in the 200 and 16th in the 50.
Additionally, head coach Jon Maccoll served as an assistant coach for the Czech Republic National Team.
Rutgers has also booked the USA Swimming TYR Pro Swim Series and the United States Olympic Trials on its schedule.
Rutgers swimming and diving placed a program-record six Scarlet Knights on the 2019 College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Scholar All-America individual awards list including returnees Federica Greco (Fly/IM), Lauren Boone (Diving) and Jenna Douglass (Diving).
To earn Scholar All-America designation, a student-athlete must have participated in the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships and achieve a grade point average of 3.50 or higher, either cumulative or during the semester of the corresponding championships.
The team earned its 11th straight CSCAA Scholar All-America Team Award in June with a team GPA of 3.53 and placed 12 on the Academic All-Big Ten list.
The Rutgers women’s swimming & diving team will host the Rutgers Invitational at the Rutgers Aquatics Center on Dec. 4-7.