Swimming and diving teams split respective weekends

By Nick Bellofatto

Maria Uminski/Collegian

Both Massachusetts swimming and diving programs were welcomed to the Patricia A. Saunders Aquatic Center last weekend to battle Binghamton.

The Minutemen won their meet 162-157, proving they can win close road meets. The Bearcats swimming and diving program has never beaten the Minutemen squad, and this five point loss was their best showing since the two schools began competing in 2006.

The Minutemen now improve to 3-1 on the season and have won their last three meets, beating Stony Brook, Army and now Binghamton.

The Minutewomen lost to the Bearcats, 160-159, on the strength of two Bearcat swimmers who managed a first and third place finish in the meet’s final event, the 500-freestyle relay. This Bearcat push marked the first victory over the Minutewomen in team history.

“We performed at a very high level this weekend,” Bearcats coach Sean Clark said, “To compete with such a strong Atlantic 10 program, we needed everyone to contribute as much as possible.” 

Binghamton raced out to a fast start, winning both the men’s and women’s 200-yard medley relay. Four Bearcats, Joe Perez-Rogers, Phil Dzieniszewski, Jason Chen and David Gleason took first place in a new pool record time of 1:33.72.

On the women’s side, the combination of Brittany Detlef, Danielle Gallo, Tiffany Siu and Amanda Ciccone won the meet’s first event in a time of 1:49.63.  

The women continue to cruise throughout the meet behind strong performances by Ciccone, Siu and sophomore Olivia Baczek. Each of these BU swimmers won three races over the two-day event, while also swimming a leg in the pivotal 500-freestyle relay, which won them the meet.

“We expected our leaders to be strong, and Tiffany Siu and Amanda Ciccone did everything they could do,” Clark said. “But Olivia Baczek had a breakthrough meet, with wins in three key events that helped keep the meet close.”                    

On the men’s side, sophomore David Gleason, the defending America East champion in the 500 freestyle, touched first in the event with a time of 4:39.87. 

Several BU men placed first on the day including Perez-Rogers, Dzieniszewski and Chen. Junior Perez-Rogers took the 100 back in a time of 52.02.

Binghamton finished off its first dual meet exactly how they started it, winning the 500-free relay on both the men’s and women’s sides and earning a split victory between the two.

“We may have earned a bit of respect from our opponents in a hard-fought loss, but there’s no doubt that we were going full out for the win in our first dual meet of the year on our Parents’ Weekend,” Clark said.

The Minutemen are now 3-1 on the season, posting some impressive road wins, while the Minutewomen are 2-2. The next time the UMass squads will be in the pool is at the Terrier Invitational tournament, beginning Nov. 19 at Boston University.

The preliminary round of the Terrier Invitational tournament will run from Nov. 19 to Nov. 20, while the finals will begin Nov. 21 at 6 p.m.

Nick Bellofatto can be reached at [email protected]