In the last meet of the season, the Rutgers Invitational, the St. John’s men’s and women’s swimming teams looked to qualify even more of its swimmers for the upcoming Big East Championships.
Going into the meet the teams had already compiled a combined 50 Big East A cut times to go along with numerous Big East B cut times.
When all was said and done out in Piscataway, not only would the teams add to their Big East totals but they would also change their personal record books as well.
Of the 16 swimmers who competed in the meet, 14 of them set new personal best times and added three more Big East A cut times as well as three additional Big East B cut times.
The story of the meet was freshman Gosia Rodzik. Rodzik would swim a time of 58.50 in the 100-meter butterfly, breaking the SJU varsity record by almost a half-second.
The record was held by Christina Evans, who set the previous mark in 1997.
Another freshman, Jennifer Brunette, also posted a Big East A cut qualifying time in the 200-meter breaststroke, swimming a time of 2:25.00.
She also recorded a Big East B cut time of 1:08.95 in the 100-meter breaststroke, along with Amanda Test who added a Big East B cut qualifying time of 2:26.65.
The men’s team would also add their fair share of Big East qualifying times.
Sophomore Ryan Nolan had a career day, posting two Big East A times and one B time.
Nolan clocked his two Big East A qualifying times in the 50-meter free and 100 backstroke with times of 21.44 and 52.98 respectively.
He also added a B cut time in the 100 free, swimming a time of 47.59.
The Red Storm will look to continue their successful season at this year’s Big East Championships, which will take place in East Meadow from Feb. 20-22.
The men’s team had an outstanding and consistent season and finished with a record of 8-1.
They will look to improve on last year’s fifth place finish at the Big East Championships.
With strong swimmers such as Pawel Sokolowski, Milos Cerovic and Gregory Danner, the men’s team poses a tough challenge at the Big East Championships.
As for the women, they finished the season 5-5, but were able to qualify more swimmers for the Big East Championships than in previous seasons.
They have competed and improved throughout the season.
With upperclassmen leadership and talent from Melissa Kolackovsky, Elizabeth Malinowski and Laura Nuudi, plus the team’s strong younger swimmers, this squad has the ability to make some waves at the Big East Championships and improve on last years 11th place finish.
What will be hard to improve on were the 11 school records the teams broke at Big Easts a year ago.
Six swimmers who broke records that day included Malinowski, Kolackovsky and Danner.
With the talent on both rosters, it should make for an interesting and exciting weekend in East Meadow.