Swim and Dive: UMass defeats Bryant on senior day

The Minutemen and Minutewomen win big at final home meet of the season


Photo by UMass Athletics

By Corinne Arel and Marco Lopez

After nearly three months without a home meet, the Massachusetts swim and dive teams hosted its final home meet of the season in Amherst on Saturday. The Minutewomen (3-0) defeated the Bryant Bulldogs (2-4) 203.5-96.5 and the Minutemen (1-1) defeated the Bulldogs (3-4) 173-126.

The Minutewomen (3-0) won 11 total events over Bryant, led by senior Mia Flagiello who won the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:05.66 and the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:26.48. Flagiello also helped the Minutewomen to a win in the women’s 200-yard medley relay.

“I was really impressed with our ability to sweep several events, we finished first, second, and third in the 100 and 200 backstroke … Mia Flagiello as a senior was spectacular,” head coach Sean Clark said.

The Minutewomen also swept the diving events, with junior Emily Petrovich coming in first place in both the women’s 3-meter diving and 1 meter diving events. Senior Beth Luther came in second place in both events behind Petrovich.

“We only had two divers on the women’s squad and they finished first and second, and I think that sort of anchored everything for us, knowing that we could count on them to keep us in the game,” Clark said. “Top to bottom, everyone really brought it to the table.”

On the men’s side, the Minutemen (1-1) won nine events in their first win of the season. Junior Emerson Keifer led the Minutemen with two wins, in the 500-yard freestyle and the 1000-yard freestyle. Junior Tommy Cotner delivered victories for the Minutemen in the diving events, with a 237.90 winning score in the 1-meter dive and a 257.85 winning score in the 3-meter dive.

“The two key events for us on the men’s side were the 100 free and the 500 free in the second half, with Emerson’s win in the 500,” Clark said.

With Saturday being their last home meet, the Minutemen and Minutewomen also celebrated senior day.  The extra excitement and emotions helped fuel the team’s performance in the meet.

“The swim of the meet though was Lauren Stott’s 200 butterfly,” Clark said. “She’s primarily a backstroker for us, and I think she also just felt the wave of emotion and understood that everybody’s contributions were important.”

UMass’ excitement over the seniors didn’t just stop at the senior day traditions. Senior captain, Heath Brames, also had some impressive swims which included winning first place in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 47.89.

“[It was] a notable win, which was his first collegiate victory in his last home meet,” Clark said.

With just a month before the Minutemen and Minutewomen head to the Atlantic 10 Championships, the team is staying focused in training and continuing to support their teammates, especially while combating the difficulties with training and competing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Clark shared his saying, “It’s not just you out there, It’s UMass,” as Clark explained, “I’ve really seen a lot more evidence that we really are able to be there for each other and we’re willing to represent ourselves, our families, our teammates in a really positive and powerful way.”

The UMass swim and dive teams will head back to the pool on January 21 and 22 to participate in the Tate Ramsden Invitational at Dartmouth College.

Marco Lopez can be reached at [email protected]. Corinne Arel can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @CorinneArel_09.