Massachusetts Daily Collegian

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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 and Minutewomen face arduous competition at Tate Ramsden Invitational

Growth is on the horizon for UMass swim & dive
Nina Walat
Daily Collegian (2019)

The Massachusetts swim and dive teams fell short of victory at the Tate Ramsden Invitational against Dartmouth College and Northeastern University in New Hampshire on Friday and Saturday. The Minutewomen (2-4) lost to Northeastern (5-1) 273-51 and Dartmouth (2-7) 254-69. The Minutemen (1-2) fell to Dartmouth (2-6) 240-94.

The invitational marked the final multi-team event of the season for both teams before the Atlantic 10 championships in February. The invitational wrapped up a difficult training schedule for UMass and allowed the teams to see where it stands one month away from the conference championships.

“I think it was a really important meet for us to be able to explore what we’re capable of under difficult situations,” head coach Sean Clark said. “It gives us a little bit of relief to try some new and different events to expand our skills. I think we came away with a number of best times and a lot to be proud of.”

Senior Megan Mitchell started off the meet for the Minutewomen with a personal best of 5:13.19 and a 10th place finish in the women’s 500 freestyle, just 27 milliseconds before Dartmouth’s Sophie Wiener, who placed 11th with a 5:13.46 final time. Mitchell got a second personal best with a time of 55.00 in the 100 freestyle.

“On the women’s side is where we’re exploring things a bit,” Clark said. “I think [Beren Cakiroglu] really responded, we pushed her into the 500 freestyle, she usually does mid-distance, so we tried a little bit of distance and came away with a lifetime best on that. And then she also did the 200 backstroke which is not a usual thing, and she was our top performer and came away with a really nice time there.”

Cakiroglu finished 12th in the 500 freestyle and ninth in the 200 backstroke, with times of 5:14.76 and 2:06.97 respectively. Following her in the 200 backstroke was fellow teammates Lindsay Burbage and Hannah McIver. Burbage placed 10th with 2:12.07 and McIver finished 11th with 2:12.60.

Junior Anna Kwon started off the second day with a 56.98 in the women’s 100 butterfly with a sixth-place finish. Kwon also got a season-best time of 53.41 in the 100 freestyle, beating Dartmouth swimmer Emma Gao by one-hundredth of a second.

In the women’s 200 freestyle relay, Ashley Calderon, Caroline Mahoney, Maggie Desmond and Mitchell came in fifth place with a final time of 1:37.06.

The Minutemen brought home three gold medals on day two of the invitational, two coming from sophomore diver Andrew Bell. Bell placed first in both the one-meter and three-meter events, with scores of 320.25 and 359.65 respectively.

“[Bell] is really starting to heat up at the right time,” Clark said. “[A-10] performer of the week last week and we just really want him to continue to be confident and to just be ready to do his pack of six dives every time he unleashes on the boards. I think he’s having fun doing it and I know we’re having fun watching him explore his limits.”

Senior Juan Montori secured the third gold medal for the Minutemen in the 100 breaststroke, finishing with a time of 58.88.

“I got to say [Montori], we let him do some interesting events for him that he doesn’t normally do. By far our top performer on the men’s side, he won the 100 breaststroke, and in the 200 butterfly he’s pushing himself up the top of the conference,” Clark said.

Also in the men’s 100 breaststroke, Jack Artis followed Montori closely, finishing just under a minute with a time of 59.33 and picking up a second place win. On day one, Montori and Artis had another close finish in the 200 individual medley. Montori placed fifth with a time of 1:58.30 and Artis finished right behind him with a 1:59.48. Senior Sam Haddad came in second place in this event with a final time of 1:54.64.

In the men’s 500 freestyle, sophomore Sammy Quigg finished fourth with a time of 4:42.43, recording a personal record. While Dartmouth swept the podium, Emerson Kiefer and Aydin Erkan finished fifth and sixth behind Quigg with times of 4:47.21 and 4:51.87.

Grant Beebe out-touched Dartmouth’s William McClelland in the 100 butterfly to get the bronze with a time of 50.93, which prevented Dartmouth from sweeping the podium. Wilson DuBois placed third in the men’s 1650 freestyle, where he finished with a time of 16:45.01.

With the season coming to a close, the Minutemen and Minutewomen begin a taper period of training to get ready for their final head-to-head meet of the season against Fordham on Saturday Feb. 3 at 1 p.m. in Bronx, New York.

“I really know that our whole team is ready to start the journey into taper,” Clark said. “We’ve been doing a lot of double days, heavy lifting, drylands and I think bodies are starting to request that we begin a little more normalcy right as school starts.”

Devin Lippman can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @devinlippman. Marco Lopez can be reached at [email protected].

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