April 17, 2014

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Swiming and diving teams finish middle of pack at Upper Valley Invitational

Collegian File Photo

The Massachusetts men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams finished third and fourth, respectively, in the two-day Upper Valley Invitational at Dartmouth this weekend.

The Minutemen tallied up a total score of 654.5 points, falling short of first place finishing Dartmouth (1,109 points) and runner-up Boston University (716 points) in the standings. The women’s squad racked up 516.5 points for the weekend, falling behind Dartmouth (1,007.5), BU (729) and Northeastern (706.5).

Through the two-day invitational, the Minutemen grabbed a fair share of Top 10 finishes. A notable event for the men in day one was a second place finish in the 200-yard relay team race — swimmers John Conway, Wiktor Karpinski, Tim O’Neill and Colin Mulcahy — which tapped in with a group time of one minute, 25.56 seconds.

The Minutemen also saw four Top 10 finishes in the 1,650 yard freestyle, led by junior swimmer Chris Inglis. The 2011 Men’s Rookie of the Year placed third with a time of 16:38.20. Trailing Inglis was Alessandro Bomprezzi in fourth, Kyle Vieira in sixth and Matt Grippo in ninth.

Inglis would also have some success in the 200-yard freestyle, which is an event he is very familiar with at the Dartmouth pool. The Mashpee, Mass., native holds the pool record of 1:40.62 in the event and this time around finished seventh with a time of 1:44.92 time.

Eric Zeimetz had an impact on the UMass final score with his performance in the 200-yard butterfly when he snagged third place with his 1:56.09 finish.

The senior attributed the team’s success to coach Russ Yarworth’s preparation.

“We just got to keep pushing the team harder and harder and pushing ourselves harder,” Zeimetz said in an interview with UMass Athletics. “Russ does a great job of making ourselves mentally focused when we are down.”

The top diver for the men’s team was freshman Josh Koppel, who has shown much promise this season. The Latham, N.Y., native finished second in both the 1- and 3-meter dives on the boards.

As these meets are important, Yarworth and the Minutemen have their eyes set on winning their seventh consecutive Atlantic 10 Championship.

“The upcoming competitions are really for fine tuning and sharpening and seeing where we are at,” Yarworth said. “We’ll focus on those but obviously the focus is the Atlantic 10 Championship.”

UMass has its final tune-up before the A-10 tournament when it travels to Fordham this weekend.

Minutewomen finish fourth at Upper Valley

The Minutewomen totaled nine Top 10 finishes on just the first day in their fourth place showing.

Junior diver Mary Atkinson finished in first place with a career-high score of 293.75. Behind her were Molly Elkins (third place), Rachel Dushman (eighth) and Mikhaila Eckhardt (ninth).

In the second day of diving, Atkinson continued her dominance of the boards with a second place finish in the 1-meter dive. Atkinson finished with a total score of 258.80 in the event.

“This was a tremendous step forward for Mary Atkinson,” UMass coach Don Newcomb said. “I’m really proud of her performance this weekend.”

In the pool, freshman swimmer Jocelyn Yuen made her mark in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:08.22, which was good for a second place finish. On the second day, Yuen continued to outshine all of the other swimmers in the pool with two first place finishes in the 100-yard butterfly (57.39 seconds) and 200-meter butterfly (2:06.27 minutes).

“Jocelyn Yuen had a really good weekend,” Newcomb said. “She has been real consistent this year with everything she has done.”

Sophomore swimmer Zoe Judd tallied three top-five performances on the weekend. Judd took third in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 24.35 seconds. In the second day, Judd placed third and fourth in the 200-yard (1:54.58 minutes) and 100-yard freestyles (53.60), respectively.

Newcomb is hoping his team can gain some rest and relax before it heads to the Bronx, N.Y., to take on Fordham in its final meet of the season before the A-10 tournament.

“I think the biggest thing is this weekend is one more opportunity to race,” Newcomb said. “I don’t look at it as a real gauge of where the team is. It’s one last race to take it right into a rest before the A-10’s.”

 

Chris Corso can be reached at ccorso@student.umass.edu and followed on Twitter @MDC_Corso.

 

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