The Massachusetts men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams were both handed an identical 172-126 defeat on Saturday at Brown.
“Brown is a phenomenal team which we picked up and really raised up our schedule here in the early fall,” said Bob Newcomb, coach women’s swimming and diving in an interview on UMassAthletics.com. “We are just going all fall with really competitive meets.”
The Minutemen and Minutewomen each put together a solid performance in a weekend that drew a disappointing result as the teams combined for five first-place finishes.
While they came out empty in the win column, both sides put together a solid team effort this weekend.
“The dual meets to me are not as important and don’t hold as much weight as to how we do at the end of the year,” Newcomb said. ”I don’t really know if there’s a team on our schedule that will be light or easy, in fact I know we don’t have one.”
Men’s team focusing on quality
In the 100-yard freestyle, freshman Wiktor Karpinski touched the wall first with an impressive time of 47.04. The Willbraham native also took fourth place in the 200- and 500-meter free events.
Another underclassman who pitched in for the Minutemen was sophomore swimmer Hao Luong, who finished the afternoon with two top-three finishes. Luong took first place in the 200-yard backstroke, clocking in at 1:58:17, and finished third in the 200 fly.
Senior Eric Zeimetz rounded out the top finishes for the men on the swimming end with a first place finish in the 100-yard butterfly, timing in at 51.14. Zeimetz also snagged second place in the 200-yard fly event.
Two divers for the men performed well with first place finishes of their own. Senior Alexander Merkulov won the one-meter dive as he calculated a high score of 292.35. Josh Koppel was the leader in the three-meter event with the best score of 333.53.
Men’s coach Russ Yarworth doesn’t put as much thought into the wins and losses in the early meets of the season and looks for them to grow from facing such quality competition.
“It is going to be very challenging for them in the first semester so that their racing skills are developed by the time we get to the championship,” Yarworth said in an interview on UMassAthletics.com. “Our goal is to peak at the Atlantic 10 Conference Championship.”
Smith catalyst for Minutewomen
Underclassman Molly Smith was the catalyst for the Minutewomen in the pool Saturday afternoon, leading the team with two first-place finishes. She broke her own school record in the 1,000-meter free event with a first place result of 10:16.80. She also touched the wall first in the 200-yard backstroke event, clocking in at 2:08.19.
Freshman Jocelyn Yuen had three top two finishes of her own Saturday. She won the 100-yard butterfly event with the best time of 57.23 and gathered second place finishes in both the 200-yard IM and the 200-yard butterfly.
The rest of the top finishes for the Minutewomen were done on the diving board by senior Michaela Butler. Butler clocked in first in the one- and three-meter diving events. Her scores came in at 293.25 and 285.15, respectively.
Chris Corso can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @MDC_Corso.