Swim and Dive: Men’s and women’s team head to Bryant for first meet of the second semester

Both teams’ first time competing in almost two months

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Swim and Dive: Men’s and women’s team head to Bryant for first meet of the second semester

Nina Walat

Nina Walat

Nina Walat

By Joseph Aliberti, Collegian Staff

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After a long 53 days of no competition, the UMass men’s and women’s swimming teams will return to the pool when they face off against Bryant.

The Bulldogs have had almost as much time off as the Minutemen and Minutewomen, not competing since Dec. 8.

The Bryant men’s team (4-2) has their only losses from Boston College and UConn, while the women’s team (5-3) has lost to the same two teams along with Boston University.

The Minutemen (4-1) have won their last three meets, with their only loss coming against Army, and the Minutewomen (4-2, 0-1 A10) have won three of their last four meets heading into Friday.

Although UMass has not been competing, they have been training, even going on a 10-day trip to Puerto Rico for some team training while on break.

“We had them do 15 workouts in 10 days, but also took a couple afternoons off, because you can’t just bury them,” said women’s coach Bob Newcomb. “There was a good balance of working hard, but also not overdoing it, and just giving them a little time to hang out.”

They seemed to make the most of the trip, and men’s head coach Russ Yarworth called it “one of the best training trips we’ve ever had.”

Regardless of competition coming up and the adjustment of coming back from break, the training schedule for both teams has not been much of a concern for either coaches.

“We kept right at it,” said Yarworth. “They got a day off because of the earthquake (in Puerto Rico) and then we started the next day with a light workout, and now we’ve been grinding and working really hard.”

“I thought they did a really good job maintaining what they were supposed to be doing over the break while they were gone,” said Newcomb. “Training has just been phenomenal. I’m really happy with where they are at right now.”

Newcomb and Yarworth both don’t need fireworks to be pleased at this meet, rather they just need to make sure their teams are on the right track to be where they need to come time for the A-10 championships in four weeks.

“Ideally, what we’re trying to do is get them back into race mode and getting them up on the blocks against competition again,” said Newcomb. “This is really going to show why the girls have worked so hard. I think they’re really tired, but I think they’re excited about being able to race again.”

With this being the first race for UMass in almost two months, the focus is on getting re-adjusted to racing in the pool.

“Hopefully they’ll be anxious to compete, since they haven’t since [the Terrier Invitational],” said Yarworth. “The most consistent thing around this time of the year can be inconsistency [in swimming performance]. They’ve been training hard, listening, and have dry-landed hard (out of pool exercise), so hopefully they’ll be able to put it together.

The Minutewomen will also not be heading to Smithfield with a full team, as Newcomb stated that there was an “incident” that occurred in which some members of the team will not be traveling with their team for the meet.

The meet will take place Friday, Jan. 17 in Smithfield, Rhode Island at the Chace Athletic Center Pool, diving will start at 11 a.m., while swimming will start at noon.

Joseph Aliberti can be reached via email at [email protected] or followed on Twitter @JosephAliberti1.