By Kim Leder
Late in January, the Rider swim and dive team competed in its last meet before vying for the MAAC Championships this month. Heading to Buffalo, N.Y., from Feb. 16-18, the Broncs will have to be sharp to come out on top.
“It has been a privilege to be considered a leader for the team this year,” senior Kori Kraus said. “Myself and the other seniors are looking forward to taking on the MAAC conference and swimming to win.”
With a solid regular season, the team hopes to meet the standards of its coaching staff and win a MAAC Championship.
“The women’s team has come so far from where we were last year,” Kraus said. “We are much more mature than previous years and we cannot wait to prove what a strong team we have become.”
With quality teams competing for the same title in about a week, the Broncs still feel confident they can beat conference rivals and perennial favorites, Marist and Loyola (MD).
“Rider has always been a top competitor at this meet,” Kraus said. “Loyola and Marist have always been our main competition but I am confident we can both pull through and win.”
Sophomore Trevor Hiller, a diver for Rider, said that Rider is “expecting to win,” something that hasn’t happened for the men’s team since 2004. For the past four years, the men’s team has fallen short, placing consistently in second place. The women’s team last took home the title in 2009.
“[Both teams] are expecting to go into this championship meet and swim [and dive] our best, and we have a great chance at coming out on top,” Kraus said.
With the competition lasting three days, rest and preparation will be important for the men’s and women’s teams in order to reach their goal of a MAAC crown.
“We need to focus on staying strong and keeping a positive attitude, especially on the second and third day of the meet,” Kraus said. “These three-day meets can wear you down mentally and physically but if we stay supportive of each other, we’ll definitely be the team to beat this year.”