Minutewomen beat Vermont and Binghamton, Minutemen fall to Binghamton

Megan Mitchell sets pool record in 200 yard backstroke

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Nina Walat / Daily Collegian

By Marco Lopez and Lucy Postera

It was an eventful afternoon of competition in the Massachusetts swim and dive teams’ first home meet of the season. Multiple pool records were broken in the Massachusetts women’s swim and dive team’s (2-2) 178-122 win over Vermont and 228-72 win over Binghamton. The Massachusetts men’s swim and dive team (0-3) lost to Binghamton 172.5-127.5.

“I was pretty impressed with our ability to perform at this time of year,” head coach Sean Clark said. “We rested a bit for the Terrier Invite, and then with the Thanksgiving break we didn’t quite know what to expect but we got into it.”

UMass started off strong, with Megan Mitchell, Maggie Desmond, Summer Pierce and Caroline Mahoney earning first place in the 200-medley relay with a time of 1:45.82, setting a pool record. There were top finishes all over for the Minutewomen, who proved to be victorious overall at their first home meet of the season.

“We’ve been waiting for this for too long, I actually love this pool, it’s fast. How many pool records did we break? five? six? That’s the most I’ve seen in quite some time,” Clark said. “This was a great competition, Vermont (2-3, 1-1 America East) swam well, Binghamton (1-6) swam well, and UMass swam well. This is what college athletics should be. We’re right up on each other and really trying to push each other into the next level.”

Mitchell had a stellar performance, helping UMass not only earn a new pool record for the medley relay, but also breaking the pool record in the 200 backstroke with a time of 2:02.78 and winning the 100 backstroke with a time of 56.43. Anna Kwon took first in the 200 IM with a time of 2:10.73, and second in 200 free with a time of 1:57.03. The Minutewomen also took home first in the 200-freestyle relay, with the team of Kirsten Ardis, Mitchell, Mahoney, and Desmond earning a time of 1:36.54.

“One of my regular sayings that helps along with that is ‘It’s not just you out there, it’s UMass’ you’re not there alone, you’re not doing it by yourself. You’re doing it for us, you’re doing it with us,” Clark said. “I think we’ve really started to gel as a team. Even though it’s an individual sport, you can’t do it alone, you got to have a group, and we have an amazing group.”

The meet started with the diving events, which were dominated by both the Minutemen and the Minutewomen. Emma Petrovich finished first in the women’s 1-meter diving event with a 264.3 score and Andrew Bell won the men’s 1-meter dive with a 324.65 score. Petrovich and Bell also won the 3-meter dive event for UMass.

“I think for sure our top performance was  [Bell] on both the 1-meter and 3-meter boards, he’s top 5 all-time, made the zone cut,” Clark said. “It’s a thrill to watch him go here as a freshman. [Petrovich] on the boards made zones on the 3-meter, her best score in a long time.”

The Minutemen fell to Binghamton (4-2) but had some strong performances despite the loss, their third of the season. Noah Witt and Eric Eastham finished with the top two spots in the men’s 200-yard backstroke, with Witt winning it with a time of 1:54.04. Sam Haddad took home the 200-yard breaststroke with a 2:08.73 time.

Both teams have one month off until the next meet against Bryant on Jan. 7 at 1 p.m. The long layoff will allow time for the teams to recover but also an opportunity to train and prepare  for the rest of the season and the Atlantic-10 championships in February.

“One month off from competition, that’s the hard thing. We have to train through it, you have to stay in top shape and even work harder to prepare through it, to get better, to take the next step forward,” Clark said. “We can’t be satisfied with where we’re at.”

Lucy Postera can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter at @lucypostera. Marco Lopez can be reached at [email protected]