Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Swim and Dive: Minutemen finish third and Minutewomen finish seventh in Atlantic 10 championship

Tommy Cotner wins most outstanding male diver
Nina Walat/ Daily Collegian (2019)

The Massachusetts swimming & diving teams wrapped up its’ seasons on Saturday after four days of competition at the Atlantic 10 championships in Geneva, Ohio.

The Minutemen (1-5, 0-1 A-10) finished in third place out of eight teams in the A-10 with 458 points and the Minutewomen (4-4, 0-1 A-10) earned seventh place out of 11 teams with 255 points. George Washington University won both the men’s and women’s A-10 titles.

“That was one of the most satisfying coaching experiences of my career,” head coach Sean Clark said. “For all we’ve gone through the last couple of years to finally have a full season of almost normal, we enjoyed it, we worked hard for it and we enjoyed some great results.”

The men’s diving team put together a stellar overall performance in the championship, translating its regular season success into postseason success. Tommy Cotner, with a gold medal in the 1-meter dive and a bronze medal in the 3-meter dive was named the A-10 most outstanding male diver. As a result of the performances of Sean O’Dell, Andrew Bell and Cotner, UMass diving coach Sam Baluzy was named the A-10 diving coach of the year.

“On the men’s side especially, we needed every single point we could get to keep our overall team’s spot. And the divers were essential in that,” Clark said.

Going into the final event of the meet, the 400-yard freestyle relay, the Minutemen were ahead of Davidson by 3.5 points for the third-place spot. In the relay, Davidson finished fourth and UMass finished fifth, allowing the Minutemen to take third place by just 1.5 points.

Multiple school records went down over the course of the competition. Jack Artis broke one of the longest standing records in UMass men’s swimming history, breaking the school record in the 200-yard breaststroke with his 1:57.59 final time to earn the silver medal. The record, held by Billy Brown, had stood since the 1999-00 season.

Two Minutemen Individual Medley school records were also shattered, with Sam Haddad’s sixth place 1:48.08 swim in the 200-yard IM and Jamie MacDonald’s fourth place in the 400-yard IM preliminaries.

“It was a wonderful distribution of wealth. [Haddad and MacDonald] have been really pushing each other in practice every single day to the absolute limit. So, to let them share some of the glory is very satisfying for me,” Clark said.

The Minutewomen were able to break just as many school records as the men. Megan Mitchell, Maggie Desmond, Summer Pierce and Caroline Mahoney led the 200-yard medley relay team to the school record with a 1:40.56 time in a sixth place finish.

Individually, both Pierce and Beatriz Olivieri broke the 200-yard butterfly school record. Pierce earned a 2:00.13 finals time and Olivieri came three hundredths of a second behind her with a 2:00.16 finals time.

With the season now over, both teams will set their sights on next season with hopes of building on the successes of this year.

“We only have higher and higher expectations,” Clark said. “Both of the relay records that were broken on the women’s side, everybody is coming back. On the men’s side, the whole 400 relay team is coming back, including Sammy Quigg who had our all-time fastest split. We’re bringing in fast swimmers and we’re making them faster.”

Marco Lopez can be reached at [email protected].

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