By Jillian Shutt
The Broncs were able to record some fast times and big dives despite a loss to Lehigh Saturday. There were multiple first-place finishers for the Broncs; however, it wasn’t enough to come away with the victory.
The men fell by a score of 181-119 and the women lost 169-111.
“The meet versus Lehigh did not show our best results; however, everyone put forth a great effort throughout the entire meet,” junior Kelly O’Connor said.
Despite the outcome, Broncs Head Coach Steve Fletcher and Diving Coach Eric Blevins seemed pleased with the teams’ performances thus far.
“They have been working extremely hard this season and I am overwhelmingly proud with how they have competed so far,” Blevins said. “They will continue to do great things while improving and I am really excited for the rest of the season.”
Junior Johnny Funk was able to put up a lot of points for the Broncs with his first-place finish in the 100 back, 200 back and 100 butterfly on Saturday.
Additionally, for the women O’Connor was able to come away with two wins in the 200 butterfly and the 100 butterfly.
“Individually I swam all right at Lehigh. Both the 100 and 200 butterfly were pretty good swims for me,” O’Connor said.
Senior Brendan Cavallaro was also able to win both the 1-meter dive and the 3-meter dive for the men.
“I thought the divers did extremely well against Lehigh,” Blevins said. “Both Brendan and [sophomore] Trevor Hiller were competing with new and harder dives for the first time and they handled that pressure perfectly.”
Rider will jump back in the pool again Saturday at LaSalle in a tri-meet with Delaware. This will be a difficult meet for the Broncs as both of these teams have been competing very well this year.
“At the upcoming meet with LaSalle, there should be some great races,” O’Connor said. “They are a very competitive team; I think both teams could come out with a possible win.”
Some of the swimmers who have been top performers for LaSalle are senior Austin Thomas and junior Blase Szyszko for the men.
On the women’s side, sophomore Greta Reichert and freshmen Colleen Larkin, Lisa Woodman and Amina Wilson have been making big splashes.
There are a lot of underclassmen that LaSalle is relying on so hopefully Rider will prevail with a more experienced team.
Some of the athletes to watch on Delaware’s team include sophomores Paul Gallagher, Zach Lowe and Cole Clark.
For the women, senior Hannah Facchine, junior Courtney Raw and sophomore Shea Solt have led the Blue Hens.
As the season progresses for the Broncs, Blevins has high expectations for the men’s divers.
“Some of my goals have already been met this season, which would be to have both Brendan and Trevor compete at NCAA Zones,” Blevins said. “I would also like to see both of them placing in the top three at MAAC’s and ECAC’s and to make a huge splash at the NCAA Zone meet. If they were able to sneak into the NCAA Championship meet that would just be icing on the cake.”
The Broncs have started the season strong, putting up times and scores that normally wouldn’t be seen until the championship season. If this trend continues it will be a great season for the Broncs.
“Everyone has been working really hard,” O’Connor said. “We have a great chance to do really well at our upcoming invitational at Princeton University in early December and championships as a team. I look forward to seeing how fast everyone is going to swim at those meets.”