Freshman Sbordon owning freestyle events

By Kyle Predki, Collegian Staff

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For many students, winter vacation is a time to relax. But for the men and women of the Massachusetts swimming and diving teams, it was all but relaxing.

With a month consisting of two invitational meets and ending with two dual meets in the last weekend, the UMass teams have been working hard. And with less than a month until the Atlantic 10 Conference Championships, hard work and key performances will be the winning strategy.

For the men’s swimming and diving team, the top performers aren’t aiming at anything less than perfect. Junior Juan Moliere has kept his momentum right through the break finishing in the top spot of his normal events, the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard freestyle. Four out of six of Moliere’s competitions resulted in first-place finishes for the junior, with the other two being second-place showings to fellow Minuteman Chris Howard.

Freshman Joey Sbordon has also been tough to beat. For the third time this season, Sbordon has earned the honor of A-10 Rookie of the Week, this time honoring his performance in the Rhode Island Invitational. Sbordon has numerous wins this season and has yet to be beaten in his strongest events, the 500-yard freestyle and 1,000-yard freestyle. Sborodon’s only loss was a second-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle.

Freshman Jason Cook remains the men’s top diver, as he extended his winning record with four top spots last weekend, two in both the 3-meter and 1-meter dive. And as Cook sat out during the Rhode Island Invitational, sophomore Adam Duffield claimed a first and second-place spot and proved UMass’ depth in diving.

After a dominating 191-109 performance against Boston College this weekend, Colgate reminded the women that their top performers are needed most if they want to claim the A-10 Championship.

For the Minutewomen, senior Karen Upperco is far from falling from her first-place finishes. In the last six diving events for the women, Upperco has taken first in each event. In her last competition at Joseph Rogers Pool in Boyden Gym, Upperco broke her personal record with a score of 297.45 in the 3-meter diving event.

Christa Narus also kept her winter break a busy won by posting seven wins in the last three meets. Narus notched three of those wins in the 200-yard freestyle, and two in both the 100-yard and 200-yard butterfly stroke. As a senior, Narus is a solid part of the women’s swimming team.

The effort from the team also comes from many different swimmers and divers. Sarah Hortsmann and Hannah Swift are always nipping at Upperco’s heals in both diving events as they round out the top three consistently. Freshman Kathryne Chalikis has put a few wins of her own on the score sheet while Chelsea Downing, Elizabeth Walsh and Jennifer Corriveau keep notching top-three finishes in their respective events.

Kyle Predki can be reached at [email protected]