Oliver Wyeth shines in UMass men’s swimming and diving victory over BU

By Christopher Marino

Shannon Broderick/Daily Collegian
(Shannon Broderick/Daily Collegian)

Excitement in the crowd boiled over in one of the final swimming events Saturday at Boyden Gymnasium, as the 50-yard freestyle went to the Massachusetts men’s swimming and diving team. The Minutemen not only won the race, but amassed 16 points with all three of their swimmers finishing in the top three.

The victory capitalized a successful day for UMass in its only home meet of the year until Senior Day in January, as the Minutemen defeated Boston University 176-122.

While UMass consistently finished ahead of the Terriers Saturday, every race was intensely contested with top performers from each team finishing neck-and-neck with each other.

However, the Minutemen won first place in 10 races, three of which were achieved by sophomore Oliver Wyeth, who set a new men’s swimming program and a Joseph R. Rodgers pool record in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 49.42 seconds.

Wyeth also won the 200-yard backstroke (1:49.14) and the 500-yard freestyle (4:38.28) Saturday. He added another victory to his tally as the lead leg of the 200-yard medley relay that bested BU.

The Minutemen’s diving team grabbed both first and second place in the 3-meter dive with total scores of 339.98 and 236.40 from Trent Kindvall and Nolan Burns. The two finished in the same order in the 1-meter dive earlier in the day.

Following a 187-120 defeat at Army last week, there was an added piece of importance to this matchup, according to coach Russ Yarworth.

“I told them today’s a big day and they know what our tradition is here, they needed to go out there and do what they could do,” Yarworth said.

Minutewomen fall to Terriers

On the women’s side, the Terriers bested the Minutewomen 166-129 to hand UMass its second consecutive loss in dual meets.

While not thrilled with Saturday’s overall outcome, Minutewomen coach Bob Newcomb said he came away encouraged by some individual performances.

“I think the team is focused, we’ve been swimming better. We swam significantly better today than we did two weeks ago so I’m pretty happy with where we are,” Newcomb said. “We’ve ran into two of the best teams we swim against the last two weekends. Our goal is to be very competitive and I’m happy with where we are.”

Rebecca Quirie earned first place in the 200-yard individual medley (2:15.48) along with two second place finishes in the 100 and 200-yard backstroke races. Jocelyn Yuen added two second place finishes of her own in the 100 and 200-yard butterfly races, along with Steph Campo (500-yard freestyle) and Ansley Baker (100-yard breaststroke).

Like the men’s side, the Minutewomen divers also earned first and second in both diving events. Emma Roush led the way with 18 points in two first place finishes.

Newcomb stressed the progression of his team moving forward, adding he was impressed with the high quality of UMass’ recent workouts.

“The idea is to get them to race better every week and to work on things…It’s all about getting better every week,” Newcomb said as he stressed Saturday’s finish was positive for the team’s continued growth.

The UMass men’s and women’s divers head to Connecticut Nov. 7 for their next meets while all the swimming and diving competition follows the next week at Brown on Nov. 14.

Christopher Marino can be reached at [email protected]