Brunner, Dunn Compete Nationally for Swimming and Diving


Swimmer Tara Brunner and diver Molly Dunn represented Fordham nationally. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

By Jimmy Sullivan

It was a great season for Fordham junior diver Molly Dunn and senior swimmer Tara Brunner, but the two weren’t done when the team’s season ended.

Dunn earned the right to compete at the NCAA Zone Diving Championship on March 12 an account of her career-best score of 273.15 in the one-meter diving event against Manhattan College all the way back in December, which she won. Dunn also finished in fourth place in the same event in February’s Atlantic 10 Conference Championship and came into the Tournament on a high.

At the Zone Diving Championship, which was held at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, Dunn put up a very respectable score of 204.40, which put her 51st out of 64 competitors. Dunn will be back next season and will look to build on this year’s strong performance. She was able to do the same thing from last year into this year, which included earning women’s Performer of the Week honors on Dec. 11.

While Dunn will be back with the Rams next season, senior Tara Brunner had one last chance to compete as a Fordham swimmer just days later.

Brunner qualified for the CSCAA National Invitational Championship in Cleveland, Ohio after medaling seven times at the Atlantic 10 Championship and becoming just the second Ram to ever do so. She started with a 28th-place showing in the 50-yard butterfly, but this would mark by far the worst finish of the invite for the Fordham standout.

Brunner qualified for the “A” final in the 50-yard freestyle and earned a sixth-place finish with a time of 23.04 seconds, which was 15 hundredths of a second faster than her preliminary time. She then reached the “B” final of the 100-yard butterfly competition, which she won with a time of 53.70 seconds, a personal best in her second-to-last collegiate event.

Amazingly, however, that was not her best performance of the championship.

Brunner was at her best when her best was required in the final event of her career, the 100-yard freestyle. She reached the “A” final with a time just under 50 seconds, and reached the podium in that event with a bronze-medal winning time of 50.09 seconds.

With the scintillating performances of Dunn and Brunner in the books, the 2018-19 Fordham Swimming season has concluded. The Rams will miss Brunner next season, but head coach Steve Potsklan and his staff will be thankful to have Dunn back for one last ride at Rose Hill.