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May 8, 2017

UMass swimming and diving take on Terriers

The Massachusetts swimming team will head to Boston to compete in the three-day Terrier Invitational beginning Friday, while the diving team heads to Harvard for the Harvard Diving Invitational. The Minutemen are looking to win the invitational for the fourth consecutive year, while the Minutewomen will look to improve upon their third-place finish last season.        

 Both swimming and diving teams are coming off of a one-week layoff, after defeating Binghamton in impressive fashion in their third home meet of the season. This weekend presents a different challenge for both teams as they will compete in their first invitational of the young season.

Invitationals usually feature several teams, and are spread out over an extended period, allowing swimmers and divers the proper amount of rest to put on strong individual performances over the course of three days. They consist of preliminary races in the morning, followed up by final meets in the afternoon. Although the beginning of the season was heavily loaded with dual meets, the next part of the schedule is more balanced, with both teams competing in three invitationals overall this season.

This weekend’s invitational features some of the top swimming programs across the Northeast, and will be held at Boston University’s competition pool

The Minutemen defeated the Terriers earlier this season by a slight margin (153-147). The Minutemen won the race in exciting fashion, pulling ahead of the Terriers in the last race of the day. Since then, the Terriers have gone 3-1 in their dual meets. In the first Mid-Major Swimming and Diving Poll released this week, the College Swimming Coaches Association ranked the Minutemen 10th, two slots ahead of the Terriers.  

The Minutewomen will be competing against the top-rated Mid-Majors women’s swimming and diving team at BU. The BU women are undefeated so far this season, and their unblemished record includes a victory over the Minutewomen earlier this season. The event will also feature future dual meet opponents in Yale University and Boston College.

In last year’s Terrier Invitational, the Minutemen had several strong individual performances and came out on top. Among those who had strong contributions were Joe Sbordon, who as a freshman helped the 1650-freestyle as well as the 400-freestyle relay team win. On the women’s side, team captain Elizabeth Walsh performed very well, and was among the top-point earners for the Minutewomen. This year’s team features many underclassmen, and this will be their first race of this variety.

Each team has started their season out in strong fashion, as they both have earned a 3-1 record in dual meets. The teams hope to continue their strong swimming in a meet that will be their last race before Thanksgiving break. The meets will kick off on Friday at 10 a.m, followed by the same start time Saturday and Sunday.

Jeffrey Engmann can be reached at jengmann@student.umass.edu.

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