It was a tale of two teams for Rider swimming and diving when it visited the University of Delaware for a tri-meet this past weekend, as the men defeated Delaware and LaSalle and the women lost to both.
The men won a tight one over Delaware, scoring 155-145, but were able to exert a bit more dominance in beating LaSalle 174-126. The women were bested by Delaware, 178-117, but managed to keep it closer with LaSalle, 153-147.
“It was a very competitive matchup,” said Head Coach Steve Fletcher. “We’re starting to show that we’re tired and my goal as a coach is to try and get the team to be more disciplined in practice and training.”
Sophomore Drew Modrov paced the men, claiming victory in the 50-, 100- and 200-yard freestyles, and was named MAAC Swimmer of the Week for the second week in a row.
“Being able to win all my events in such a close meet really makes those wins that much more gratifying,” Modrov said.
Senior Josh Rosenbluth backed up Modrov by winning the 100- and 200-yard backstrokes and the 200-yard individual medley (IM).
His victory in the IM gave Rider just enough points to be able to clinch the close call over Delaware when they later won the 400-yard freestyle relay with the team of Modrov, sophomore CJ Kohner and juniors Brian Brady and Scott Player.
“I knew I had to win the event for us to have a shot at winning the meet with the 400-free relay coming up,” Rosenbluth said. “After the race I got out and made sure all four relay team members were pumped up and got the whole team screaming their heads off to get the guys excited.”
Junior Kellyanne Tomasula and senior Priscilla Modrov each won two events for the women. Tomasula claimed the 100- and 200-yard backstrokes and Priscilla Modrov took home the 200-yard fly and the 200-yard IM.
Junior Amanda Burke continued her success for the diving team, handily winning the women’s one-meter dive by just over 118 points and the three-meter dive by just under 87 points. She earned MAAC Diver of the Week honors for the fourth consecutive time.
“I think after the U-Del and LaSalle meet I feel like the hard work is paying off,” Burke said. “What I am doing now is not close to what I was doing last season right now.”
Burke set a school record in the three-meter dive for the six-dives championship list with her 340.65-point performance.
But the men’s side of the diving team was unable to extend its dominance in quite the same way. Although junior Paul Apostolakis did take gold in the three-meter dive, he lost the one-meter by a mere 2.9 points.
“The loss was a big motivation for me because it was a wake up call [that] not every meet is going to come easy,” Apostolakis said. “I know I have to work hard so that I’m ready for every meet to win and do my best.”
Apostolakis was also able to set a school record in the three-meter six-dives championship list with his 315.2-point performance, breaking the mark set by ’07 graduate Dylan Korn.
The Broncs will face some major competition at the “Big Al” Invitational at Princeton University from Friday, Dec. 5 to Sunday, Dec. 7. Rider will take on host Princeton, the University of Florida, the University of Utah, Colombia and Brown.
“The conference championship environment is very competitive, and there is a lot on the line,” Fletcher said. “Going to a meet like this gives [the athletes] a taste of that stress early in the season, and it gives us something to evaluate.”