Swimming and diving teams get mixed results in home opener

By Kaitlin Boyer

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Maria Uminski/Collegian

The Massachusetts men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams had different outcomes against Army at their home-opener on Friday.

The women finished first in 11 events and beat Army 170-122, while the men came up short, 172-123.

Although the Minutemen did not come out victorious on Friday evening, John Conway, Hao Luong and Josh Koppel were the standouts for the team.

Conway, a sophomore, finished first in the 50-yard sprint freestyle with a time of 20.99 seconds and third in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 47.83. By placing in the top three in each of these events, Conway alone was able to give UMass 12 total points.

Luong swam in two events as well. In the 100-yard backstroke, the sophomore finished in first place at 52.16 but missed first place by just .41 seconds in the 200-yard backstroke.

Additionally, on the diving boards, Koppel and senior Alex Merkulov made contributions to the team. Koppel came in second place in the three-meter, with a score of 265.87, while Merkulov took third in the three-meter and one-meter races.

“We got about what I expected,” UMass coach Russ Yarworth told UMassAthletics.com. “Great effort, not the best swimming we put in, but great standouts. John Conway (with) 20.9 in the 50 (had a) great swim.

“All in all, it was a nice step in the process to what we are trying to do.”

Minutewomen come out victorious

The Minutewomen had a much better outing on Friday against the Black Knights.

Molly Smyth conquered the competition, as she claimed first in two different events. Smyth finished first in the 1000-yard free, with a time of 10:19.34, and the 500-yard freestyle at 5:08.79. Her victories gave UMass a total of 12 points.

“I think it went well at this time of the season,” Smyth said in an interview with UMassAthletics.com. “The 500 was a little more painful later on after the 1000. All of us are working harder now and all of us are showing everyone what we got. I just hope to continue working hard and hopefully getting better by the end.”

Jocelyn Yuen, a freshman from Princeton, N.J., dominated in the fly races. She took first in both the 100-yard and 200-yard fly with times of 56.94 and 2:08.49, respectively.

Amina Meho, Anna Cavanaugh, Cassie Sosnovich and Zoe Judd swam the 400-yard free, setting a pool record time of 3:33.82 for the Minutewomen. This race significantly helped to contribute to the win for UMass.

In diving, the women snatched the top three spots. Senior Michaela Butler took first in the both the one- and three-meter events. Her dives received scores of 263.25 and 272.92. Right behind her was Mary Atkins in second with 255.22 points and Molly Elkins in third with 255.22.

“I am very pleased with the way we are swimming right now this early in the season” UMass coach Bob Newcomb said. “We have two very solid medley relays now and I think it is a great way to get the meets started when you can really rely on the people going off and starting your event off.

“We are still very early. We are continuing to work on raising techniques, stroke techniques, and the conditioning. Our goal is not what we do against Army. Our goal is what we do at Atlantic 10s in February.”

UMass will be back in the pool on Nov. 2 at Binghamton University.

Kaitlin Boyer can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter at @MDC_Boyer.