Swim and Dive: Minutewomen beat BU 155-145, Minutemen fall 155-143

UMass hosts first meet in nearly two years

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Caroline O’Connor / Daily Collegian

By Marco Lopez, Collegian Contributor

The Massachusetts Swimming and Diving teams split their opening meet against Boston University on Saturday in Amherst, with the women winning 155-145 and the men losing 155-143.

Saturday’s meet was the first held in Amherst since the start of the pandemic. It was also the first home meet for new head coach Sean Clark, who coaches both teams. Clark took over after the 2019-20 season for retiring long-time coaches Russ Yarworth and Bob Newcomb. Yarworth coached the men’s team for 41 seasons and Newcomb coached the women’s team for 36 seasons.

“This was a pretty big event for me personally because this was my first home contest as the head coach of the program, and against one of our fiercest rivals,” Clark said. “First home meet in like 18 months, so we were really excited to see what could happen.”

The Minutewomen (1-0) won 10 total events in their 155-145 victory over the Lady Terriers (0-1). Sophomore Megan Mitchell helped the Minutewomen win three events as she took first place in the women’s 100-meter backstroke and 200-meter backstroke, and helped the team win the 200-meter medley relay. Bella Snyder’s endurance led UMass to victories in the 500 and 1000-meter freestyles.

“Megan Mitchell was just ferocious in the backstroke events, and Bella Snyder, we rely on her as our distance ace, and such great support for them all the way down the line up,” Clark said.

On the men’s side, the Minutemen (0-1) won seven total events in a 155-143 loss to the Terriers (1-0). Just like the women, the men were also able to dominate the backstroke events with Junior Noah Witt winning the 100- and 200-meter events for UMass.

Junior Jamie MacDonald was impressive with wins in the 100- and 200-meter butterfly and a second-place finish in the 200-meter individual medley.

“Jamie MacDonald in the butterflies and even in the [individual medley] really put some great swims together,” Clark said of the junior’s performance.

In addition to the swimmers, both the Minutemen and Minutewomen picked up wins in the diving championships. Junior Emma Petrovich won the Women’s 1-meter diving event with a score of 265.43, and junior Tommy Cotner took the Men’s 1-meter dive with a score of 278.03. Cotner was also the runner-up in the Men’s 3-meter diving event.

As the UMass swim and dive teams get ready for the Terrier Invitational in three weeks and their next team meet against Bryant University in January, conditioning will prove to be important to stay in shape for the next competitions. The Minutemen and Minutewomen are already physically fit, but continuing to keep their foot on the gas in training will help the group take the next step forward.

“I don’t think we’ve ever been this physically fit ever…we really are making a big push with sports performance…we have more skills, more ability in the water, now that we’re stronger and more physical out of the water,” Clark said of the team’s conditioning.

The UMass swim and dive teams will take the pool again Nov. 19-21 when they participate in the Terrier Invitational at BU.

Marco Lopez can be reached at [email protected].