PISCATAWAY, N.J. – The Rutgers women’s swimming & diving team wraps up the dual meet portion of this year’s schedule hosting Nebraska in Big Ten action on Friday, Jan. 27 at 5 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 28 at 10 a.m. at the Rutgers Aquatics Center.
Admission is free on both days. Fans coming to the Rutgers Aquatics Center can register for parking here.
The Rutgers swimming & diving seniors will be honored prior to Saturday’s competition beginning at 9 a.m. Additionally, RU will celebrate its alumnae and 50 years of Title IX during Saturday’s meet.
The meet along with senior day will be streamed on B1G+.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Dive – 1-meter
200 Medley Relay
200 Free Relay
Dive – 3-meter
Dive – Platform (non-scoring)
400 Medley Relay
400 Free Relay
LAST TIME IN THE WATER
Rutgers women’s swimming & diving returned to the pool starting the second half of the season with a 181-110 victory over Villanova last Saturday.
The Scarlet Knights got a trio of event wins from sophomore Sofia (Lobova) Maksimova, senior Sofia Chichaikina and graduate student Rachel Kimmel. All three along with newcomer Valeria Egorova won the 200 medley relay (1:43.42) to open up the afternoon with Maksimova victories in the 50 free (23.09) and 100 fly (55.82), Chichaikina taking first in the 100 free (52.03) and 200 fly (2:01.95) and Kimmel winning the 100 breast (1:03.61) and 200 breast (2:17.87).
Other multiple victories included graduate student Alice Scarabelli in the 200 free (1:49.28) and 200 back (2:00.19) and Madison Murtagh in the 500 free (5:00.58) and 1000 free (10:19.87).
In addition to kicking off her Rutgers career swimming the opening leg of the winning 200 medley relay squad, Egorova also picked up a win in the 100 back (54.67) with the ninth fastest time in the RU record book in her debut.
Rutgers exhibitioned the 200 IM and 400 free relay. Kimmel posted the top time in the 200 IM (2:06.70) while Egorova, Maksimova, Scarabelli and Chichaikina were the fastest group of the 400 free relay (3:29.38).
On the boards, senior Savana Trueb won 1-meter (279.98) while sophomore Giulia Vittorioso was victorious on 3-meter (285.08) as the Scarlet Knights we
LAST TIME VS. NEBRASKA
Altogether the Scarlet Knights won six events highlighted by four victories by Sofia Chichaikinain a 210-143 setback in Lincoln last January.
Chichiakina registered the fourth-best time in the Rutgers record book with an NCAA B cut in the 200 fly (1:59.03). The junior also added wins in 50 free (23.19) and with the 200 medley (1:42.00) and 400 free relay (3:21.03) teams.
Alice Scarabelli collected a season-best 2:03.04 in the 200 IM and was the runner-up in the 100 back (55.87).
Other notable performances included a victory by Sofia (Lobova) Maksimova in the 100 fly (54.23) as well a second-place time in the 100 free (50.70), Tina Celik claiming third in the 200 breast (2:18.90) and Savana Trueb diving to third-place finishes on 1-meter (280.13) and 3-meter (304.94).
AROUND THE BIG TEN
Alice Scarabelli’s first-place time of 53.04 in the 100 back in a first-place finish at the Hawkeye Invitational in early December is currently fifth in the Big Ten.
The 200 medley relay team of Alice Scarabelli, Rachel Kimmel, Sofia (Lobova) Maksimova and Sofia Chichaikina currently hold the eighth fastest time in the league clocking in at school-record 1:38.95 at the Hawkeye Invitational, while the 400 medley relay squad of the same Scarlet Knights also hold the eighth fastest time in the conference with a time of 3:37.87 from the Hawkeye Invitational.
Giulia Vittorioso’s runner-up score of 272.85 on platform at the Hawkeye Invitational places her fifth among her Big Ten peers.
Three Scarlet Knights are less than a second outside the top eight of their respective events. Madison Murtagh is .60 seconds outside the top eight in the 1650 free after posting a time of 16:20.90 to win the event at the Hawkeye Invitational and Rachel Kimmel is .45 seconds outside the top eight in the 100 breast with her school-record time of 1:00.65 at the Hawkeye Invitational. Additionally, Sofia Chichaikina’s 1:58.22 in a runner-up performance in the 200 fly at the Hawkeye Invitational is a mere .07 seconds away from cracking the top eight.
Graduate student Rachel Kimmel was named the Big Ten Swimmer of the Week on Nov. 16 becoming the second Scarlet Knight to earn a Big Ten weekly award in 2022-23 and fifth to be named a Big Ten Swimmer of the Week since joining the league in 2014-15. The Fort Loundon, Pennsylvania, native helped set a new school record, collected two NCAA B cuts and moved up the all-time top times list in Rutgers’ annual meet with in-state rival Princeton last week. Kimmel swam breast for the 200 medley relay team that set a new Rutgers record with a time of 1:39.32 besting the previous record of 1:39.38 set by the Big Ten Championship podium-placing squad last season. Individually, Kimmel logged a time of 1:01.60 in the 100 breast to move up one spot on the all-time list to fifth and clocked in at 2:13.62 in the 200 breast moving up five spots to third on the all-time list after shaving 2.21 seconds off her previous season top time. Kimmel also placed third in the 200 IM against the Tigers with a time of 2:04.48.
Freshman Martyna Piesko was named the Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week on Nov. 2. She becomes the fourth Scarlet Knight to earn the rookie weekly award since Rutgers joined the Big Ten in 2014-15. The first-year Scarlet Knight won the 200 back with one of the top times at Rutgers, was a part of the winning 200 medley relay squad and was runner-up in four other events as she helped the Scarlet Knights to their first-ever victory over Purdue. Piesko won the 200 back in 1:59.48 marking the eighth fastest time in the Rutgers record book with a 3.31-second margin of victory. The Lublin, Poland native also swam anchor on the 200 medley relay squad that won with a time of 1:43.02 The rookie also captured runner-up finishes in the 100 back in 55.70 and as a member of the 200 free relay (1:34.14), 400 free relay (3:26.94) and 400 medley relay (3:50.81). The 400 free relay was edged out of first place by .17 seconds.
LAST YEAR IN THE WATER
Rutgers returns 16 letterwinners from last season including Big Ten Podium finishers Tina Celik (200 & 400 medley relay), Sofia Chichaikina (200 free, 400 & 800 free relay, 400 medley relay), Giulia Ghidini (200 & 800 free relay, 200 medley relay), Sofia Lobova (200 & 400 free relay, 200 & 400 medley relay), Alice Scarabelli (200 free, 200, 400 & 800 free relay, 200 & 400 medley relay), and Savana Trueb (3-meter).
The Scarlet Knights fostered a deeper squad for the 2021-22 season after a covid-shorten 2020-21 campaign and continued to make huge strides in the water. Rutgers captured its highest Big Ten Championship finish since joining the Big Ten eight years ago and finished 26th at the NCAA Championships, the highest finish for the Scarlet Knights since 2006.
Altogether the Scarlet Knights produced 10 podium finishes at the championships. Seven new Rutgers school records were established and 28 times/scores were recorded among the all-time top 10. Nine NCAA “B” cuts were collected, while six divers were sent to NCAA Zones.
On the boards, Rutgers sent two divers to the NCAA Championships producing an All-American with a finalist on platform and consolation round performer on 3-meter. At NCAA Zones, Savana Trueb was a runner-up on platform and finished third on 1-meter and fourth on 3-meter.
At the 2022 Big Ten Championships, the 800 freestyle relay reset the oldest record in the Rutgers history books breaking a 16-year record by 3.70 seconds.
The diving corps also made a splash with nine scores among the top 10, including resetting an eight-year-old platform record twice.
SUMMER WITH THE SCARLET KNIGHTS
Tina Celik swam to first place times in the 50 and 100 breast and 200 IM at the Borac Telegroup Grand Challenge in July while at the Slovenian Open Championship in August, had the top times in the 50 and 100 breast, was the runner-up in the 100 fly and placed third in the 50 fly.
Savanna Trueb is a member of the USA Diving High Performance – Tier 3 Senior squad. The senior was slated to be on the US roster for the 2022 World University Games this summer before competition was postponed until 2023. Last December, Trueb took seventh on platform at the USA Diving Winter Nationals and at the USA Diving Open Championship in August placed seventh on platform and 16th on 3-meter.
Rachel Kimmel won the 100 breast at the North Baltimore Aquatic Club (NBAC) Mid-Summer Classic to qualify for nationals. Her performance of 1:10.36 broke the 17-year-old pool record held by six-time Olympian and former 100-meter breast world record-holder Rebecca Soni. Soni also holds ties to Rutgers as the Freehold, New Jersey native swam club at the Sonny Werblin Aquatic Center with Scarlet Aquatics. Kimmel finished 18th at the Phillips 66 National Championships in July
Holly Prasanto advanced to the Women’s 1M Springboard final at the 2022 British Diving Championships in late May. She was among the top 10 divers and top eight British qualifiers to reach finals. During finals, Prasanto placed fourth among her countrywomen with a score of 238.05.
The 2022 Italian Spring Championships in April saw Alice Scarabelli hit the wall as the runner-up in the A final of the 200 free and was 0.34 seconds behind champion Alice Mizzau, a 2012 Olympic qualifier.
Rutgers women’s swimming and diving has earned 17-straight College Swimming Coaches Association of America Scholar All-American Team Awards.
The Scarlet Knights boasted a 3.54 grade point average during the 2021-22 academic year, the third-best among Big Ten programs. Rutgers swimmers and divers collected eight 4.0 GPAs during the spring semester and 17 Scarlet Knights registered a grade point average above a 3.5 with 13 receiving Dean’s List recognition.
Six Scarlet Knights were also bestowed CSCAA Scholar All-American distinctions including returning members Tina Celik, Sofia Chichaikina, Jenna Douglass and Alice Scarabelli. Each achieved a 3.5 grade point average or higher while collecting NCAA B cuts or advancing to NCAA Zone diving competition.
Rutgers women’s swimming & diving travels to the University of Michigan for the 2023 Big Ten Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships taking place Feb. 15-18.