The Massachusetts men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams will head to Chestnut Hill this Saturday to compete in the New England Open.
The event will last for most of the day and will feature programs such as Rhode Island, Providence and host Boston College.
The meet will be the final tune up for the UMass teams before the Atlantic 10 Championships, which will be held Feb. 17-20. Both teams are coming off of an exciting home meet against Fordham on Senior Day, when sophomore diver Jason Cook had a record-breaking performance.
Last weekend’s A-10 showdowns were each team’s third race in two weeks and eighth total dual meet this season. After a compact part of the schedule, both teams will embark on a period of rest and mental preparation before the all-important conference championships. The meet this week is integral in giving experience.
“The New England Open is an opportunity for our kids that are not going to the Atlantic 10 to swim,” UMass women’s coach Bob Newcomb said. The Minutewomen will have six swimmers who will be competing in this weekend’s race. “That is their last meet of the season, and they’re going to swim as hard as they can.”
The Minutewomen who are competing in the A-10’s this weekend, as well as next, will have an opportunity to recharge and revamp. Newcomb stated that the most important thing for his swimmers to do during this time is to “sleep well, eat well, and get ahead of the academics.”
The race marks the last invitational the UMass teams will compete in. So far this season, both teams have been very successful in meets of this variety. The teams swam well in their last invitational, both placing first in Kingston, R.I.
Men’s coach Russ Yarworth had similar thoughts concerning this time of year. He made it clear that the most important thing to do is rest.
“We’re basically resting or sharpening, sharpening our skills and making sure we feel fast, and making sure they’re not tired,” Yarworth said.
The Minutemen have yet to slow down this season, as they have won three straight dual meets. Yarworth attributed that to the team’s work ethic and believes that in order to defend their A-10 title, they must get back to full strength.
“These guys have certainly done the work, so now we just want to stay healthy,” Yarworth said.
Jeffrey Engmann can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.