GLASSBORO, NJ – Seniors Veronica Alferez and Emily Kopchick and junior Erin Quay have been named captains for the 2020-21 Rowan University women’s swimming and diving team.
“Different leadership strengths are needed for a program to cultivate great team culture and success and our captains highlight the best of what is needed for the women’s swimming and diving program to accomplish just that,” stated second-year head coach Elise Blaschke. “Alferez, Kopchick and Quay are going to prove to be a dynamic group of leaders with their passion, knowledge and understanding of what it means to be a member of the program.
“As we navigate a world outside of our comfort, I believe the captains will prove to be empathetic, encouraging and reliable,” continued Blaschke. “Each of the three athletes has had a profound impact on the program and their teammates, while bringing light and humor when needed most.”
Last year, Alferez was a member of the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) first team in the 400 individual medley and 500 freestyle and on the 800 freestyle relay. She also received All-Conference honorable mention in the 200 butterfly. At the Metropolitan Championships, Alferez won the 400 individual medley in 4:35.63, which improved on her school record. She took first (5:03.24) in the 500 freestyle and third (2:09.77) in the 200 butterfly.
The 800 freestyle swam a winning and school record time of 7:46.51.
“Alferez has developed an incredible work ethic during her years as a Prof,” Blaschke said. “Pair that with extensive swimming experience and she has proved that discipline yields results. Accompanied with an easy going spirit, there is no question why her teammates look up to her.”
Her junior year, she earned All-Conference first team in the 400 individual medley and on the 800 freestyle relay. Alferez was the 2018 NJAC Rookie of the Year and the Rookie of the Meet at the Metropolitan Championships. Alferez received NJAC All-Academic honorable mention. A Rowan Scholar-Athlete, she is majoring in accounting. Prior to Rowan, Alferez attended Elmwood Park Memorial High School.
At the 2020 Metropolitan Championships, Kopchick came in first in the 100 breaststroke with a school record time of 1:04.67. She had a second place (2:26.19) in the 200 breaststroke. Kopchick was on the first place 200 (1:45.63) and 400 (3:51.63) medley relays. The 400 medley’s time was a Rowan record. She earned All-Conference first team in the 100 breaststroke and the 200 and 400 medley relays. Kopchick was also on the NJAC second team in the 200 breaststroke and 400 freestyle relay.
“Kopchick proves to be a silent leader both as a student and athlete; setting a high standard for what it means to be both academically and athletically driven,” commented Blaschke. “Emily has made tremendous improvements in her time as a Prof. She has a wealth of knowledge about the sport and grit that inspires those around her to work harder.”
Kopchick qualified for the 2019 NCAA Championships on the 200 medley relay. At Mets that year, she swam on the 200 medley relay that finished in 1:44.53, which was a new school mark. A biochemistry major, Kopchick is a Rowan Scholar of Distinction. From Mullica Hill, she received NJAC All-Academic honorable mention.
“Quay continues to take care of the program both in and out of the pool with her energy and humor,” said Blaschke. “Erin can be counted on to do the right thing, tackle situations and be vocal when it’s needed most. As a junior, I am excited to witness her leadership evolve.”
Quay swims the sprints. Last year, she had season best times in the 50 (26.13), 100 (57.31) and 200 (2:04.98) freestyles at the Metropolitan Championships. A graduate of Cherry Hill High School East, Quay is majoring in biological sciences.
In 2019-20, Rowan captured the NJAC title for the fourth straight season and the Metropolitan Championship for the third consecutive year.