Ramapo Hosts NJAC Conference Meet against Rowan

Photo by Justin Roth

The Ramapo women’s swim team defeated Rowan University 164-98 on Saturday, improving their overall record to 6-2 on the season, and to 2-1 in the New Jersey Athletic Conference.

It was the first time women’s swim team defeated Rowan since the program returned to Ramapo in 2007.

The Roadrunner’s men’s team was defeated 163-99, snapping their five-meet win streak and fall to 6-2 overall, and 1-2 in the conference.

“My men are really, really good,” Ramapo head coach Gary Orr said. “It’s just a tough time to swim.”

He explained that the Rowan men’s team is not much better than his squad, but that his team was tired from swimming in this dual meet occurring toward the end of the year.

However, Orr said that the women were ready for this meet.

“We were geared up for it.  My women are so dialed in right now. They’ve risen to the occasion every meet,” Orr said.

The women had seven 1-2 finishes and one 1-2-3 finish, sparking lots of momentum throughout their victory.

“In a swimming dual meet, that can swing from a big lead to no lead, you can increase the lead,” said Orr.  “You can have a 24-point swing in one race, so it’s huge.”

Ramapo senior Lauren Keller, who won all four of her races, said that starting the meet with a 1-2 finish in the 400-yard medley relay was important for her team.

“In a close meet like this, getting ahead right away is great for morale and momentum,” added Keller.

Fellow senior Jamie Stein said that a 1-2 finish would “help the team get more pumped up for all of the following events to come.  It’s also important because it’s always better to start a meet stronger and be ahead so we don’t have to play catch up at the end.”

Stein picked up a strong victory for the Ramapo women in the 100-yard butterfly, finishing eight seconds ahead of the other swimmers.

“Being able to come first in a race is always a good feeling,” said Stein.  “It’s proof that all my hard work is paying off.  It doesn’t only feel good because I came in first but it also makes me feel good because I was able to win that race for my team.”

Orr said Stein just “did what we asked her to do, swim a smart race,” adding that training played an important role in how she swam that race.

The men and women combined to win four of the first five races after the midway point of the meet, sparking yet another momentum swing.

“You have to [start with that momentum],” said Orr.  “Sometimes, other teams don’t come out with fire. If they had reversed those [races] on us, that big lead we had at the break would’ve disappeared on us very quickly.”

The coach added that the men’s loss was somewhat expected coming into the meet.

“I didn’t max out my lineup,” he said. “We’re getting ready for the championships. They’re deeper than I am.”

Both Ramapo squads will start competing in the Metropolitan Conference Swimming and Diving Championships in New Brunswick, NJ on Feb. 20.

“MET’s is going to be crazy,” said Keller. “Big meets like this are an entirely different game than dual meets.”

Orr said that his team is well prepared for the Metropolitan Championships, and has been working towards the meet all season long.

“My whole season is always based on the championships,” said Orr. “We are swimming dynamite.  We really think this is going to be the best year Ramapo has ever had.”