Upcoming Dartmouth Invitational an opportunity for Swim & Dive to show progress

Only two meets remain before A 10’s for both men’s and women’s teams

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Upcoming Dartmouth Invitational an opportunity for Swim & Dive to show progress

(Collegian file photo)

(Collegian file photo)

Caroline O'Connor

(Collegian file photo)

Caroline O'Connor

Caroline O'Connor

(Collegian file photo)

By Ben Painchaud, Collegian Staff

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Heading into their penultimate meet of the season before the Atlantic 10 championships, the Massachusetts swimming and diving teams will look to show progress this weekend at the Dartmouth Invitational.

Both teams have been competing and working hard over break, and now that the spring semester has begun, the athletes have adjusted well to once again balancing school and swim.

“It’s always challenging when we go from such a long break back into the swing of things, but we all have kind of like our routine that we get into once classes start, so it’s actually easier for us because we know exactly what to expect,” senior Rachel Grant said. “It helps us manage our time better.”

Over the break, both teams picked up dual-meet wins, with the women defeating Bryant on January 12 at home on senior day, and then handling URI at home three days later, winning 185-110. The men also picked up a win on senior day against Bryant, 188-112, but have not competed since.

“We’re a little beaten up, just because intersession was very difficult mentally as well as physically,” junior Harry Ortof said. “But we are just trying to work back into it and prepare for Dartmouth, prepare for Fordham, and get ready for A-10’s.”

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Ben Painchaud/Daily Collegian

Men’s head coach Russ Yarworth and women’s head coach Bob Newcomb are pleased with the progress of their teams up to this point.

“Fantastic as far as swimming goes. Excellent as far as academics goes,” said Yarworth on how he rates his team at this point of the season.

“I think we’re sitting at a really good place. The team is training the way we want them to and doing the kind of repeats and the types of things that they need to do to have success at the end of the season,” offered Newcomb on his team’s progress. This invitational will also give the women some competition in the 4 IM and the 1650—”events they’re not usually in.”

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Ben Painchaud/Daily Collegian

After this weekend’s invitational, both teams will travel to Fordham on February 2 for their last dual-meets of the year. A little less than three weeks later, they will take off for Geneva, Ohio to compete in the A-10 Championships—the climax of the season for both squads—which run from February 20 through the 23.

“I think it’s just a sort of ‘hone our racing’ mentality,” Ortof said. “Sort of, like, try to feel good when you don’t feel good. Classes just started, you’re a little tired, you’re getting an opportunity to race and get up and go, and you got to just try and do the best you can.”

“It’s not super important for us to have our best times at a meet like this,” said Grant, “but it’s really important that we practice our race routines and kind of just keep that attitude that we have for A-10’s for the rest of the season.”

Ben Painchaud can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @Ben_Painchaud.