UMass preparing for conference championships
In approximately a week and a half, the Massachusetts men’s swimming and diving team will attempt to win an unprecedented fourth-straight Atlantic 10 title. But as the race gets closer, the Minutemen continue to simply prepare themselves one day at a time. The A-10 Championships will be held in Buffalo, N.Y., on Feb. 17-20.
“As long as you’ve done the work, there’s no such thing as too much rest,” said UMass men’s coach Russ Yarworth.
The Minutemen didn’t compete in the New England Invitational over the weekend, and will go into the A-10 Championships with more than two weeks since their last meet. Throughout the season coaches Bob Newcomb and Yarworth have stressed that the vigorous schedule, which is composed of dual meets and invitationals against strong programs out of the conference, are ultimately preparation for the Minutemen for the conference championships. Nevertheless, UMass hopes the time off will help rejuvenate their bodies and keep them sharp, as they remain focused on their ultimate goal.
The Massachusetts womens swimming and diving team had a strong showing in the race, finishing fourth in the meet, which was also held in Buffalo last year.
Six members of the Minutewomen competed in the New England Invitational over the weekend. The invitational was held in Chestnut Hill, Mass., and featured several schools from the Northeast. Swim programs from Keene State College in New Hampshire, as well as Providence College and Bryant University in Rhode Island, and host Boston College competed in Saturday’s meet.
The Minutewomen took advantage of the opportunity to hit the water and performed well. Sophomore Dorothy Polatin had a very strong day, as she emerged victorious in the 500 yard freestyle. She did so in impressive fashion, defeating the second-place finisher by nearly six seconds, while also placing third in the 200 yard freestyle event.
The first event of the day was the 200 freestyle relay, with the quartet of senior Ashley Dress, freshman Erin Phinney, Lauren Mark and Dorothy Polatin finishing second with a time of 1:46:55. The team was slightly more than two seconds behind first place finisher BC. In the 100 yard breaststroke, freshman Lauren Mark finished forth with a time of 1:10:22. Freshman Danielle Sekurski competed in the 200 women’s butterfly event and placed fifth.
Several of the Minutewomen who competed in the race on Saturday will be instrumental to the team next season, as they will attempt to fill the spots of five graduating seniors.
Jeffrey Engmann can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.