The swimming and diving team rang in the New Year in tip-top shape with tough competition against Navy and Penn as the Broncs prepare to compete at the MAAC Championships.
On Jan. 1, the men’s team was ranked 18th among the Division I national mid-major team power rankings as compiled by collegeswimming.com. As of that point, the Broncs were the only MAAC school ranked.
The Broncs started off 2009 by making a name for themselves at the Tennessee Diving Invitational, where junior Amanda Burke made it clear she was a force to be reckoned with. Burke placed fourth in the finals for the three-meter dive before claiming second place during the finals of the one-meter dive. She missed winning the competition by less than seven points at the 17-school national competition.
Rider moved on to split a MAAC meet against Loyola on Jan. 17. The women’s team claimed a 170-131 win over the Greyhounds while the men fell 176-124.
For the women, sophomore Brianna Burns won the 50 free, 100 free and 200 free, while junior Kellyanne Tomasula took first place in the 100 back, 200 back and 200 IM. Senior Priscilla Modrov added to the Broncs’ victory by winning the 100 fly, 200 fly and 200 breast. Burke shut out the competition, winning the one-meter and three-meter dives. The women’s 200 medley relay, consisting of Tomasula, Modrov, Burns and senior Ericka Kriedel, also claimed first place with a time of 1:48.20.
For the men’s team, sophomore Drew Modrov won the 50 free and 100 free, while freshman diver Brendan Cavallario won the three-meter and one-meter. The men’s relay, consisting of junior Brian Brady, junior Scott Player, sophomore CJ Kohner and Drew Modrov, placed first with a time of 3:10.56.
The Broncs finished their regular season schedule in a competitive tri-meet against Navy and Penn. Navy overtook the men’s team 196-87, while Penn won 187-105. The women’s team lost 190-110 to Navy as Penn claimed a 191-109 victory over Rider.
For the men’s team, Drew Modrov placed first in the 50 free and 100 free, with both wins coming against a Navy squad that entered the meet ranked No. 1 in the Mid-major Division I teams poll.
“It’s a confidence booster when someone beats a swimmer or diver from Navy or Penn [because it] motivates them to do better and stay focused,” Burke said.
Senior Josh Rosenbluth won the 200 back and finished in second place in both the 100 back and 200 IM. Cavallaro placed third overall in the three-meter dive with a score of 275.95, finishing ahead of all the Penn divers.
The men’s 400 relay consisting of Brady, Kohner, Drew Modrov and sophomore Ryan Nelthropp claimed second place with a time of 3:15.75.
For the women’s team, Priscilla Modrov won the 100 fly, 200 IM and 200 fly, while Tomasula won the 100 back and placed second in the 200 back. Burke claimed first place in both the one- and three-meter dives.
“I think we did well even though Navy and Penn are very tough competition,” Burke said. “It gives some of our athletes a chance to step up and swim or dive against better competitors.”
The Broncs will begin their postseason at the MAAC Championships starting Feb. 12 in Baltimore.