By Kristie Kahl
The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams overtook the defending conference champions in the teams’ first MAAC meet this season.
The men’s team came out on top with a score of 168 to Marist’s 132. The women’s team earned 175 points, while Marist fell with only 125.
“Defeating Marist was a really important win for us because it gives both the men’s and women’s teams the confidence that we need going into the rest of our season,” said junior Priscilla Modrov. “I think we showed the ability to keep focused and stay together as a team throughout the entire meet, which will help us in future dual meets and later at our conference meet.”
For the women’s team, rookie Briana Burns won the 200-, 100- and 50-meter freestyle races with two Broncs following in second and third.
Modrov added to Rider’s victory, claiming first place in the 200 butterfly, 200 breast stroke and 200 individual medley (IM) with a record time of 2:08.20.
Also for the Broncs, sophomore Kellyanne Tomasula took first in the 100 backstroke and junior diver Amanda Burke won the one- and three-meter dives.
“Some of the team’s strengths through the meet were the divers,” said Burke. “They all did really well. All the events in general were really good. We won basically every event and I think the most exciting event was when we got first, second and third in the girls’ 50 free.”
As for the men’s team, junior Josh Rosenbluth won the 100 and 200 back and the 200 IM and sophomore Scott Player placed first in the 100 free and the 100 butterfly.
Freshman Drew Modrov assisted the Broncs with a win in the 50 free while senior diver Dylan Korn earned first for the one- and three-meter dives.
“I think compared to last year we have definitely improved swimming-wise and our times are definitely a lot better than they were,” said Tomasula. “I was looking up times from last year and we have definitely improved, which will help us at the MAACs when we are trying to win or make other cuts for different and higher meets.”
The women’s 200 medley of Tomasula, Modrov, freshman Carmen Menendez and senior Stephanie Cosentino took first place with a time of 1:49.41.
Burns, senior Rebecca Sanbower, freshman Renata Stoehr and freshman Raquel Riestra claimed first in the 400 freestyle relay.
To top off Rider’s win, the men’s 200 medley relay of Rosenbluth, Player, Modrov, and senior Matt Bauer was first with a time of 1:36.29.
“Defeating Marist was probably one of the best feelings,” Burns said. “We haven’t beaten them in the past couple of years and even though I’m only a freshman, beating them was really exciting and definitely brought our team a lot closer because everyone was cheering and supporting each other throughout the whole meet.”
Rider’s men’s team is now 5-12 all-time against Marist, while the women hold a 7-10 all-time record against the Red Foxes.
“I think this win gave us a big confidence boost,” Burns said. “Going into the MAACs now, we know what Marist can do and they know what we can do. So we just want to keep working hard and having team spirit. We can definitely win the MAACs this year.”
The swimming and diving teams will face their next MAAC opponent, Loyola, in January before competing in the conference championships.
“This win has definitely motivated the team because we know that once we take on Loyola and win, then the MAACs will be ours also,” said Tomasula. “It’s like a stepping stone. You need to go one at a time before you reach your goal of winning the MAACs. I know we can do it and we all know we can do it. We are ready for anything.”
The Broncs will continue their non-conference schedule with a tri-meet against Lehigh and UPenn this weekend.