Brian Molloy ’13 of the swimming & diving team and Sandra Penas ’14 of the field hockey team, who both led their respective teams to conference championships during the 2012-13 academic year, were named the Rider University Athletes of the Year in August
Molloy, of Toms River, N.J., won four gold medals and a silver medal at the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championships In February, leading his team to the MAAC Title.
“I am very honored to receive this award,” said Molloy, who possessed the fastest time in the MAAC in the 100-meter freestyle, 200-meter freestyle, 500-meter freestyle, the 400-meter freestyle relay and the 800-meter freestyle relay, and recorded the eighth-fastest 1,000-meter freestyle time in 2012-13.
Penas, an international student from of Barcelona, Spain, was named the Most Valuable Player of the Northeast Conference Championship Tournament, leading Rider to the NEC title as a third-team All-American. Penas finished eighth in the nation in goals and ninth in the nation in points.
“I feel extremely honored to have received this award,” said Penas, a first-team All-NEC and first-team All-Region selection in 2012. “I wasn't expecting it at all.”
Penas compiled 20 goals and nine assists in 21 games, leading the Broncs to a 15-6 record, 6-1 in the NEC.
Molloy broke the oldest record in Rider’s Coppola Pool this season, the 100-meter freestyle (46.58) record that had stood since 1987.
“This award, along with the MAAC championship and the swim teams’ GPA over 3.0 is a great way to represent Rider swimming and diving,” said Molloy, who was undefeated in the 2012-13 dual meet season against conference opponents in his individual events. “I’d like to thank coaches Shannon (assistant coach Shannon Daly) and Fletch (head coach Steve Fletcher). I could not have achieved this award without them. All and all I feel this award is a great way to end a great career for me.”
In his Rider career, Molloy qualified for the pre-Olympic Speedo Grand Prix meet in three events and was a member of the first-ever relay in Rider swimming history to make an NCAA “B” cut in 2012. His 800-meter freestyle relay team broke the MAAC record set in 2009.
Penas will enter her senior season ranked third on Rider’s all-time scoring list (54 goals, 25 assists) with 133 points.
“Even though it is an individual award, I could have never accomplished any of this without my team, so I feel this award is for the team as well,” Penas said. “I’m very excited to start my last season at Rider, I want to have the best possible senior year and I really hope we can finally make it to the NCAA tournament.”
In Penas’ three years at Rider, the field hockey team record is a combined 50-12 and the Broncs competed in three NCAA Play-In games.