What Rider’s men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams accomplished at this past weekend’s MAAC Championships isn’t something that is accurately portrayed on a scoreboard, given both teams finished second.
What the team accomplished was setting nine conference records, 10 school records and 50 — that’s right, 50 — lifetime best performances.
With Loyola claiming two records and Marist earning only one, the Broncs swept the charts. The record-setting contenders for Rider consisted of Amanda Burke, Priscilla Modrov, Kellyanne Tomasula, Dylan Korn and Brianna Burns.
“Out of a possible 42 events in the MAAC Championships, Rider set conference records in nine of them,” said Head Coach Steve Fletcher.
On top of that, the men and women swept their respective awards for best swimmer and diver. Korn and Josh Rosenbluth were named men’s most outstanding diver and swimmer, respectively. On the women’s side, Burke and Modrov were named women’s most outstanding diver and swimmer, respectively.
“We earned those awards for male and female most valuable swimmer and diver,” Fletcher said. “We definitely performed very well and I’m definitely proud of our team’s efforts.”
Korn, who placed first on the one-meter dive, set a MAAC record of 308.85. Rosenbluth took first during each day of competition, claiming the gold in the 200 IM, 100 back and 200 back with a time of 1:50.32. Modrov set three MAAC records and was named the female Most Outstanding Performer of the meet. This was the second time she earned this award at the MAACs, the first being her freshman year. Burke won in the one- and three-meter diving events, setting MAAC records in both.
Every team strives to be the best in its field of competition, but a second-place finish should not overshadow what the team accomplished.
“It’s not what we expected, but needless to say everyone performed above and beyond,” Korn said. “Marist beat the men by 16 points so it was incredibly close. People were cutting significant time off their swims and people were placing in the top eight when we thought it just might have been the top sixteen.”
With a small senior class graduating, this young team will return a lot of the key components that saw its men and women come within sixteen points of victory.
“This is definitely a young team,” Fletcher said. “We have over 20 freshmen this year and we hope to do something similar this spring to get another big recruiting class. Next year will be a real opportunity for the team to develop in terms of depth and size and overall talent.”
While depth will be important for the team’s success next year, Fletcher stressed the importance of the leadership the departing seniors provided and how much it will be missed next year.
“We may be able to replace [the seniors] in numbers but it’s going to be hard to replace the leadership they brought to the team,” Fletcher said. “That is what remains to be seen moving toward next year.”