By Josh Veltrie
The recent snowstorms have caused headaches not only for professors and students, but also for the coaches and student athletes on certain teams.
This week, the wrestling team and the swimming and diving team both have had to deal with events postponed because of snow. Wrestling was set to host Hofstra on Wednesday, but that was postponed to Feb. 17. For swimmers and divers, the MAAC Championships were set to begin at Loyola (MD.) on Thursday, and go until Saturday, but those events were also postponed a week because of the snowstorm.
“We are going to try and take advantage of this extra week of rest,” said Steve Fletcher, head coach of the swimming and diving team. “We’ve performed very well in past years when we had extra rest before postseason events, so hopefully we can do the same thing next week.”
Athletic Director Don Harnum has had a busy week. It started with the rescheduling of the Hall of Fame dinner that was set to take place Saturday, Feb. 6, but is now going to occur in June. On Tuesday, Feb. 9, Harnum canceled the wrestling meet and moved it to next week. At that time he had been told that the start of the MAAC Championships for swimming and diving had been moved 48 hours to Saturday, Feb. 13. But on Wednesday, the 48-hour postponement was changed to a week.
“You don’t want to cancel on a forecast,” Harnum said. “We try to wait as long as possible to cancel, and I think the league did a good job with the MAAC Championships because there were people from all over competing in it.”
The swimming and diving team is looking to repeat the performances it had in last year’s MAAC Championships, where the women’s team came in first with the men’s team finishing second.
“It’s very frustrating because we have been looking forward to this meet since the beginning of the season,” senior diver Amanda Burke said. “I think it is a little last minute, but I think the possibility of it being postponed has been inside of our heads after hearing about the weather.”
The good thing for Rider is that none of the league games played by the sports programs is too far for buses to travel, so the teams and Harnum don’t have to worry about canceling flights and the cost that comes with that, according to Harnum.
With the winter season coming to a close in a month or so, these postponements and cancelations are just a warm-up for Harnum as he believes the time the weather really affects the sports calendars is still to come.
“Our toughest time with athletic events is in the spring,” Harnum said. “We are factoring in rain and events that take two days, such as a baseball series.”
By Josh Veltrie