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Walsh propels UMass to first dual meet victory

This past Saturday, the team accomplishment of the first dual meet victory of the season came with individual honors for Massachusetts’ Athlete of the Week, Elizabeth Walsh.

The Massachusetts  swimming team beat Army, 166.5-127.5, and Walsh was named UMass/Dinn Bros. Athlete of the Week for her performance.

Walsh, a senior, won the 200-yard freestyle (1 minute, 57.44 seconds) and the 200-yard backstroke (2:11.60), along with a 400-yard freestyle relay victory. UMass coach Bob Newcomb said Walsh has been “thriving” so far in her senior season.

Junior Jennifer Corriveau, along with freshmen Amina Meho and Julie Myagar joined, Walsh in the 3:36.74 relay win. Myagar also won two events on her own.

“Magyar has exceeded our expectations this year,” Newcomb said, who called her the performer of the meet.

She captured first in the 500 freestyle with a time of 5:11.64, as well as in the 1000 freestyle (10:39.59).

Corriveau notched first in 100 backstroke (1:01.14) and finished behind Meho’s 53.65 time for third in 100-yard freestyle (54.39).

Juniors Jessica Starosielec and Meghan Nowak finished alongside each other twice.

Starosielec beat Nowak by .03 for second place in 100 breaststroke (1:08.34).

The 200 breaststroke had a similarly close finish, with Starosielec’s 2:27.10 out-touching Nowak’s 2:27.40.

“Meghan Nowak’s 200 Breast was by far the fastest she’s swum,” Newcomb said. “I would call that single best performance of the meet.”

Other contributors to the women’s victory were sophomore Kayla Tegeler, junior Tavis Potter and diver Hannah Swift.

Sophomore Hannah Swift won the 1-meter event with a score of 225.89, and placed second for three-meter.

Tegeler won the 200 fly (2:09.81) and Potter won her first event of the year with a 200 IM time of 2:13.65.

A week after the men beat Boston University they dropped the meet at Army, 183-117.

The loss to Army hinged on losing three-fourths of the events, a reverse showing of how the Minutemen performed against the Black Knights last year.

“This was basically a mirror image meet,” said men’s coach Russ Yarworth. “We were hyped to perform like we did last year here against Army, when we won 12 of 16 events. They were just charged up, and won 12 this year.”

The Minutemen were led again by the diving team and had one individual swimming event victory. Freshman Jorge Fortin finished first in the 200 freestyle with a two-second improvement on his time a week ago (1:43.27).

“He has been a pleasant surprise this year,” said Yarworth, who noted that Fortin has been very receptive to coaching on his mechanics.

Sophomore Jason Cook captured victory in 1-meter and 3-meter diving, with scores of 344.18 and 310.95. Minutemen were in the top three places for 1-meter diving, with juniors Adam Duffield and John Clark in second and third. Duffield also placed second in the 3-meter event.

Following a final-race victory last week to win the meet against BU, Juan Moliere had two second place finishes – one by .01 of a second. The senior had a 50-freestyle time of 21.32, but was out-touched by Army’s Daniel Folky.

Moliere also earned second in 100 freestyle (46.85) and was named A-10’s first Performer of the Week, the third time he’s earned the honor.

Juniors Chris Howard and Trevor Ziegler joined Moliere and Fortin for a 400 freestyle relay victory in the final race of the meet, beating Army by less than a second (3:07.88).

“We won the last event of the day, and that shows we didn’t give up,” Yarworth said.

Massachusetts will host Stony Brook in their dual meet opener on Oct. 31, at 1 p.m.

Daniel Herberholz can be reached at dherberh@student.umass.edu.

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