Swimming Outlook 2015-16
College Swimming & Diving
Season Begins Saturday
LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ—The Rider University Swimming & Diving season begins October 10.
“This will be a full team effort,” said head coach Steve Fletcher about the overall season. “You need your depth to swim and perform beyond their personal expectations. The formula for success is to have your ‘star’ athletes well supported to ensure the success of the overall team.”
The Rider men are the four-time defending champions of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and are picked to win the MAAC Title again this year.
The Rider women won the MAAC Title in 2009 and finished runner-up five times since then, and are picked to finish second in the MAAC this year as well.
“The continued success of both programs, I think that’s one of the things that makes Rider attractive as a school,” Fletcher said. “As a student-athlete, you want to be part of a successful program and they all want to help maintain that.”
Molloy holds the Rider and the MAAC championship records in the 200 free (1:37.19) and the 500 free (4:22.74)
Martir finished in the top three in the MAAC in the 100 free (46.07), the 100 ‘fly (50.28) and the 50 free (20.66)
Cramer is an ECAC qualifier in the 200 free (1:39.1) and the 500 free (4:29.97) and is a former MAC Champion in the 1650 free.
The Rider women are led by senior Taylor Shelley (Wilmington, Del./Padua Academy), junior Ariana Palmer (Burlington/Burlington Township) and senior Erin Westcott (Unionville, Conn./Farmington), all members of the MAAC All-Academic team.
Shelley swims the 200 IM (2:09.52) and the 400 IM (4:38.97).
Palmer swims the 50 free (24.53), the 100 free (53.71) and the 100 fly (59.84).
Wescott swims the 100 back (59.86), the 100 fly (57.98) and the 200 fly (2:08.02).
The men’s and women’s teams welcome 18 newcomers, including 17 freshmen.
“This is a big freshman class, one that holds a lot of talent,” Fletcher said. “They have adjusted well to Rider but with competition beginning, Saturday will be an eye opener for them.”
After the UMBC meet, Rider hosts Fairfield for a MAAC meet on October 16 followed by a home dual against Lehigh on October 24.
“A goal was to have more home meets and add some balance to the schedule,” Fletcher said. “This is a tough pool to swim in and with the support of parents and fans we feel that gives us a home pool advantage. We get great support and the team certainly enjoys swimming at Coppola Pool.”
After traveling to Philadelphia to face Delaware and La Salle on November 7, the final home meet will be against MAAC-rival Marist on November 14.
Rider wraps up the fall semester with Princeton’s Big Al Open December 4-6.
“We’ve put together a competitive schedule, including Princeton’s Big Al,” Fletcher said. “That meet simulates very well what the conference championship will be like, with the physical and mental stress. We will see how we respond to that and develop the squad from there. Our goal is to peak with some fast swimming as we head into December and the Princeton meet. Overall, we are looking to swim fast and dive well and that will make the championships just another opportunity to prove themselves instead of a high pressure meet.”
After the annual winter training trip to Puerto Rico, Rider hits the road for dual meets at Seton Hall (January 15), at Georgetown (January 22) with the final dual meet at conference foe Monmouth on January 26.
“The overall schedule is challenging,” Fletcher added. “The conference is much better now for swimming and diving so we are swimming more dual meets against the likes of Fairfield and Monmouth.”
The MAAC Championships are February 10-13 in Buffalo, New York.