UMass swimming and diving swept in West Point

By Anthony Chiusano

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Collegian File Photo

The Massachusetts swimming and diving teams left West Point, N.Y., without a win on Saturday, as the men’s and women’s teams both lost to Army in the second dual meet of the season.

Despite falling short, 163-137, the women’s team once again saw encouraging performances from Meriza Werenski, Katie Arnott and Zoe Judd in the pool.

Werenski, a freshman, contributed three first-place finishes for the day, improving her total to five wins in her short collegiate career. She timed well in the 500-yard freestyle (5:01.34), 1000-yard freestyle (10:16.77) and the 200-yard individual medley (2:05.19).

“She is fun to watch race,” UMass coach Bob Newcomb said. “I just like everything that she brings to the program.”

Arnott swept the breaststroke events for the second straight meet, winning the 100-yard and 200-yard races, with respective times of 1:06.65 and 2:24.65.

Judd was victorious in the 100-yard freestyle for the second straight meet and she narrowly missed finishing first in the 200-yard freestyle. Instead the junior was forced to settle for second place.

“Zoe and Katie have had great starts to their seasons, and I think the best starts they have had in their three years here,” Newcomb said of the juniors. “They are definitely leaders for the team by example and by what they’re doing in the water.”

The Minutewomen (1-1) also continued to shine on the diving board, as Michaela Butler followed up her record performance against Boston University last Saturday by once again sweeping the one-meter and three-meter dives.

Aside from Butler, Rachel Dushman, Mikhaila Eckhardt and Julia Jagannath also contributed points for UMass in diving events.

Koppel shines in loss

UMass’ men’s team (0-2) was left in search of its first win after the Black Knights defeated it by a score of 197-97.

Although the day ended in a loss, UMass coach Russ Yarworth stayed positive and said he continues to see improvement from his squad.

“I am excited about where we are headed,” Yarworth said. “The results haven’t shown in our dual meets yet, but we’re a championship-oriented program and that means being ready for the end of the year. And that’s what we’re working towards.”

One of the few bright spots for the Minutemen on Saturday was sophomore diver Josh Koppel, who improved to 4-0 for the season. He finished in first place for one-meter and three-meter diving, collecting 18 points for the day.

“He’s been working hard to continue to improve,” Yarworth said, “and it’s certainly starting so show up in his results.”

In addition to Koppel, Yarworth said that he was particularly impressed with Brian Stile’s performance in the 400-yard freestyle relay, which the sophomore recorded the fastest individual time in his 100-yard leg. His performance helped his relay team, consisting of Wiktor Karpinski, John Conway and Troy Nichols, win first place with a time of 3:10.86.

Looking forward, Yarworth said that helping the fifteen freshmen on the team become more “focused and mentally prepared” will help the team improve.

“I think (the freshmen) have to realize how intense college competition can be,” Yarworth said. “I’m going to try to jack them up to that level in our next meet.”

Yarworth will get this chance when the men and women return to the pool in two weeks, when they host back-to-back dual meets against Binghamton on Friday, Nov. 1, and Saturday, Nov. 2.

Anthony Chiusano can be reached at [email protected] and can be followed on Twitter @a_chiusano24.