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

UMass women’s swim and dive break pool record in 186-114 win over Vermont

Minutewomen break record in 200-medley relay en route to first win
Nina Walat
Daily Collegian (2019)

In its first road meet of the season, the Massachusetts women’s swim and dive team came away with its first dual meet win of the season over Vermont. UMass (1-2) thoroughly defeated Vermont (5-2), 186-114 in Burlington.

Earlier in the season, the Catamounts defeated the Minutewomen at the NJIT invitational. In that meet, Vermont finished first and UMass finished second. The previous defeat fueled the team to a dominant win on Saturday.

“We were ready for the chance of revenge, they topped us earlier in the season so we were really ready to travel onto their turf and see what we could make happen,” head coach Sean Clark said.

The Minutewomen set the tone early on, helping them take control of the meet. In the first swimming event, the team of Megan Mitchell, Lindsay Burbage, Summer Pierce and Maggie Desmond broke the Vermont pool record in the women’s 200-yard medley relay with a 1:45.32 time. The time surpassed the previous 1:45.43 record set by Northeastern in January 2018.

“Everywhere we go we kind of leave our mark, leave an impression this year,” Clark said. “We broke a pool record up there at UVM, the women’s 200-medley relay, no team has ever been faster in that event. We just want to continue to leave a positive impression and leave it all in the pool so that we know we’ve done all we can do.”

Beren Cakiroglu also helped set the tone early with a razor-close first place finish. The freshman finished with a time of 1:54.19 to win the 200-yard freestyle, closing just hundredths of a second ahead of Vermont swimmer Jackie House who finished with a 1:54.22 time.

“We are in a wonderful situation to have such great senior leadership and then to have a freshman class to embrace that and mirror it for the future,” Clark said. “[Cakiroglu] smashed a 200 freestyle victory by mere hundredths at a real important time, early on in the meet we needed to establish ourselves and that just sort of opened the door for us.”

Mitchell continued another superb season in the pool with several wins on the day. She helped the team earn victories in the 200-medley relay and 400-yard freestyle relay. Individually, Mitchell helped the Minutewomen win both the 100 and 200-yard backstroke events.

“I think our strong swimmers continued to roll through the season,” Clark said. “[Mitchell] had a particularly strong couple wins on her back. It was also nice to get [Desmond] a win in the 50 [yard] free back in her home state, she’s our only Vermonter.”

Coming off an Atlantic 10 co-performer of the week award on Nov. 29, Pierce continued dominating in the pool with another stellar performance against the Catamounts. Pierce was a part of the record-setting 200-medley relay time while also taking home wins in the 200-yard butterfly and 100-yard butterfly.

“[Pierce] has really been the most pleasant, almost surprise of the year for us,” Clark said. “We were lucky to have her decide to come back. And she’s just been enjoying every opportunity to grow for herself, to help our underclassmen figure things out. And it’s just been enjoyable to see her have some more mastery over the sport and to really just have some fun and enjoy the success.”

The diving team also took care of business with a dominant showing over Vermont. Shreeya Sinha took first place in the 1-meter diving event with a 240.98 score while Salem Howes finished second with 238.88 points. In the 3-meter dive Sinha and Howes also finished first and second, respectively.

After the win, the Minutewomen get over a month off before returning to the pool for Senior Day in Amherst against Bryant on Jan. 6 at 11 a.m. In the meantime, the team will spend time training on campus in January and will head to Florida for a winter training trip to start the new year.

“I think we’re just so intent on fulfilling the promise of this team,” Clark said. “I’ve been thoroughly impressed with their work ethic. Our team dynamics are better than they’ve ever been. And it’s just such a wonderful group of women to work with.”

Marco Lopez can be reached at [email protected].

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Massachusetts Daily Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *