Rider at NCAA Zone ‘A’
The Rider University swimming and diving team sent five divers to the NCAA Zone A meet, hosted by Virginia Tech. on March 10-11.
“This event was a good learning experience for the younger divers,” said diving coach Eric Blevins.
For the Rider men, senior Trevor Hiller (Galloway Twp./Absegami) finished 31st out of 44 with a score of 263.10 on the three-meter board and he was 33rd out of 46 on the one-meter board with a score of 236.75.
Sophomore Wayco Bailey (Casper, Wyo./Natrona County HS) placed 34th with a score of 243.10 on the three-meter Monday and he was 43rd on the one-meter (218.35) Tuesday afternoon.
“Wayco improved a lot from last year,” Blevins said. “He gained over 40 points on the one-meter and 35 points on the three-meter.”
A two-time Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Diver of the Meet, Hiller was a three-time NCAA Zone qualifier and he placed 25th on the three-meter and 29th on the one-meter at the zone meet as a junior. As a sophomore, Hiller was 18th in the one-meter finals at the 2012 NCAA Zones and scored 272.85 in the three-meter preliminaries.
Hiller qualified for the 2014 Zone meet with a 328.35 one-meter score and a 355.05 three-meter score, both against Lehigh University.
“Trevor had another rough middle session but nailed the last dive of his collegiate career," said Blevins. "Since day one, Trevor has worked hard to improve He is a two-time conference Diver of the Year and has two MAAC Titles and an ECAC Title. He has been a huge asset to the team and a great leader. He has raised the bar for the rest of the divers in the program and he will be missed.”
Bailey made his second NCAA Zone appearance. As a Rider rookie, he placed 37th in the three-meter dive and 43rd on the one-meter board. This season, Bailey qualified for NCAA Zones with a score of 307.425 on the one-meter and 345.90 on the three-meter, both against Lehigh University.
For the Rider women on Monday in the one-meter competition, freshman Kelly Toner (Fort Washington, Pa./Upper Dublin) was 46th out of 51 with a score of 184.95 and she finished 46th of 47 divers on the three-meter board (175.60).
Freshman Heather Lonkert (Moon Township, Pa./Moon Area) was 51st on the one-meter with a score of 125.10.
“Kelly had a pretty strong meet,” said Blevins. “Halfway through the six dives, she was in contention for the finals (top 18). This is a great experience for her.”
Sophomore Emma Billerbeck (Urbandale, Iowa/Urbandale) placed 47th on the three-meter board (164.65) Tuesday afternoon.
Billerbeck, Lonkert and Toner all made their first appearance at the NCAA Zone meet.