UMass Athletics:

Recently in Swimming Category

Mollie Walker of the Daily Collegian profiles Owen Wright who had a strong performance at last weekend's dual meet against Brown despite battling the flu. Wright has been having a banner season overall for the Minutemen in the pool in a number of events.

(Shannon Broderick/ Daily Collegian)

Ryan Donovan of the Daily Collegian has a recap of the UMass men's and women's swimming and diving teams as they each took first place at the Colgate Fall Classic over the weekend to start the season. Both squads have high hopes for the season and Donovan writes that the successful performance sets the tone early.

Collegian File Photo

Attleboro Sun Chronicle: Locals lead @UMassMSwimDive team to A-10 title

Peter Gobis of the Attleboro Sun Chronicle has a story on local natives who helped the UMass men's swimming and diving team capture the Atlantic 10 Conference Championship last weekend. Head coach Russ Yarworth is highlighted as a native of Attleboro and the amount of success he has been able to bring to the program during his long tenure with the Minutemen.

Coverage of A-10 Swimming & Diving Championships

The UMass men's and women's swimming & diving programs collected a pair of top 2 finishes, led by the Minutemen's come-from-behind effort on the final day to capture their 15th team title in league history. Alessandro Bomprezzi was named the Men's Performer of the Meet, while Russ Yarworth and Mandy Hixon collected the Men's Coach of the Year and Men's & Women's Diving Coach of the Year, respectively.

The Daily Collegian has a preview of the Atlantic 10 Swimming & Diving Championships, which begins Wednesday at the Spire Center in Geneva, Ohio.

Tyler Fiedler of the Daily Collegian spent some time with UMass senior swimmer Michael Glenn last week and talked about his career, his coach and teammates.

Tyler Fiedler of the Daily Collegian spoke with UMass head coaches Russ Yarworth and Bob Newcomb on Monday about the recent Dartmouth Invitational.

Victor Pusateri of the Daily Collegian has a nice feature on senior Hao Luong of the men's swimming & diving team. Luong talks about the pride he feels in being a United States citizen and the joy of competing at the Atlantic 10 Championships each February.

Victor Pusateri of the Daily Collegian takes a look at the UMass men's and women's swimming and diving teams at the midway point of their seasons. He highlights several individuals who had strong starts to the year including Alessandro Bomprezzi from the men's team and Molly Smyth from the women's team.

Collegian: UMass men's and women's swimming and diving optimistic at midway point

Victor Pusateri of the Daily Collegian has a recap of the swimming and diving teams' sweep of Binghamton over the weekend.

Victor Pusateri of the Daily Collegian has a feature story on junior freestyle specialist Alessandro Bomprezzi.

     The Massachusetts men's swimming and diving team's season is underway and one swimmer that looks to carry over success from last year is Alessandro Bomprezzi.
     Entering his junior season, Bomprezzi looks to add to his impressive resume that includes being named team MVP last year and owning the school record in three different freestyle events.
     Last season was a coming out party for Bomprezzi, who emerged as one of UMass' strongest swimmers. The junior finished toward the top in the majority of his events, including winning gold in the 50-meter freestyle and bronze in the 1650-meter freestyle events at the Atlantic 10 Championship and breaking his own school record in the 1000-meter freestyle event against Fordham on Feb. 1.
     Bomprezzi joined the Minutemen as a freshman in fall 2012 from his hometown of Scottsdale, Arizona. When asked why he chose a school on the opposite side of the country he said, "Well UMass offers everything I need both academically and athletically. The engineering program has been growing in the past few years and that caught my attention."
     Now a veteran, Bomprezzi said it is important to him and his team that he continues to emerge as a leader. According to men's swimming coach Russ Yarworth, Bomprezzi has done just that.
     "He's worked hard in practice and has stepped up for this team," Yarworth said. "He's setting a good example for the younger guys."

Read the entire story here...

Collegian: UMass men's and women's swimming & diving both lose to BU

Tyler Fiedler of the Daily Collegian has a recap of the men's and women's swimming & diving teams' dual meet at BU from Saturday.

(Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian)

Tyler Fiedler of the Daily Collegian takes a look at the roster make-up of the men's swimming and diving program which features 19 underclassmen out of 29 athletes. Swimming coach Russ Yarworth and diving coach Mandy Hixon each say that despite the relative youth, the group is talented and ready to perform at a high level which is a trademark of the program.

Victor Pusateri of the Daily Collegian has his first swimming story of the year. He recaps the men's and women's teams' dual meet with Army from Saturday.

UMass senior diver Michaela Butler makes her return to the NCAA National Championships this Thursday. Butler shocked the diving world last year with her All-American performance on the one-meter dive while defeating several high level international and Olympic caliber competitors.

The Daily Hampshire Gazette has a local sports round-up which leads off with UMass diver Michaela Butler winning the 3-meter springboard at the NCAA Zone A Regional Meet. The performance has earned her a spot at the NCAA Championships next weekend in Minneapolis.

Jason Kates of the Daily Collegian has a recap of this past weekend's Atlantic 10 Swimming & Diving Championships where the UMass men took second place and the women finished third.

Michaela Butler making her mark at UMass

George Kostinas is a writer on Cape Cod who authored the following article on senior diver Michaela Butler. 

     It takes a special kind of person, a special kind of athlete, to compete at the highest level in any sport, and Michaela Butler of Dennisport is one of those.
     Butler is finishing off a terrific diving career at the University of Massachusetts, in which she has broken every school record in the 1-meter dive, and some in the 3-meter dive, and is the school's first All-American in that sport. 
     Last spring, her junior year, Butler finished fourth in the NCAA championships, which made her an All-America selection.
     To be named All-America one has to finish in the top eight at the NCAA championships.
     "No swimmer or diver at UMass has ever done that, either male or female," said UMass diving coach, Mandy Hixon. "And the program has been going on for 78 years or something like that."
     In addition, she finished 14th in the 3-meter dive, which was good enough for All-America honorable mention honors in that event.
     And finally, Butler is in the midst of a three-year undefeated streak in dual meets that will probably continue as she closes out her senior year.

Take a read at the full piece via this link...

Getting to Know Men's Swimming & Diving Coach Russ Yarworth

The Daily Hampshire Gazette did a Q&A with Men's Swimming and Diving Coach, Russ Yarworth. He has some funny answers you might enjoy reading! Here's a sample of some of answers.

Education: Attleboro High School, 1974; bachelor's degree in biochemistry from UMass, 1978; and a master's degree in exercise science from UMass, 1983
Who lives under the same roof as you? My wife, Sue, and all our critters
Children: None
Pets: Dogs -- Chili, a 15-year-old golden retriever, Buster, a 6-year-old Aussie mix, and Jep, a 3-year-old Aussie mix; a cat -- Mika, 14; and a parrot -- Marigold, maybe 50 years old or so
Hobbies: Camping, biking, swimming, kayaking, skiing, gardening
Book you'd recommend to a friend: Anything by Nelson DeMille
Favorite movie/TV show/musical group: Movie -- Mel Brooks' "History of the World" or "Monty Python and the Holy Grail"; TV Show -- "Seinfeld"; Group -- Joe Strummer and The Clash
Five things you can't live without: My wife, my dogs, my siblings, my stopwatches, my health
Last thing you purchased just for fun: A kayak
What's at the top of your bucket list? Skiing the Alps
Life-changing experience: Choosing to attend UMass. It gave me an education, a profession, and a home

On Saturday morning, head women's swimming & diving coach Bob Newcomb and riding partner Eric Heller will begin the final leg of their bicycle ride across america - Coast To Coast To Cure Cancer (C2C2C2 | Coast to Coast to Cure Cancer). Daily Hampshire Gazette writer Matt Vautour (@GazetteUMass) caught up with Bob earlier this week and talked to him about the journey.

For many of the over 5,000 riders who will get on their bikes Saturday afternoon in Sturbridge for the Pan-Mass Challenge, the 200-mile two-day ride will be the longest they've ever done.

For University of Massachusetts women's swimming coach Bob Newcomb, it's the climax of a summer filled with similar rides.

Newcomb and Eric Heller, the deputy director of UMass' Donahue Institute, have spent the summer biking across America, a journey they dubbed "Coast to Coast to Cure Cancer" or C2C2C2. They began in the sand of the Pacific Ocean overlooking the town of Seaside, Ore., and will complete their trek Sunday afternoon when they dip their bikes into the Atlantic Ocean in Provincetown.

UMass swim coach rides waves of support for cancer research

The NCAA News caught up with Massachusetts head women's swimming coach Bob Newcomb last week, just before he and fellow UMass staffer Eric Heller embarked on a 4,000-mile, 9-week journey to ride their bicycles from coast-to-coast in support of cancer research. Here's an excerpt from the piece that can be found on the NCAA web site or by clicking the link below.

Making waves is part of Bob Newcomb's job. But the head women's swimming coach at the University of Massachusetts is making one of his biggest splashes outside of the pool. Beginning June 8, Newcomb will bike almost 4,000 miles across the United States from coast to coast along with his friend Eric Heller to raise funds for cancer research.

UMass swim coach Bob Newcomb is logging 4,000 miles on two wheels this summer for a good cause. "Cancer affects almost everyone in some way, whether it's themselves, family, or someone else they know," Newcomb said.

The pair's intended route begins in Seaside, Ore. and ends August 4 in Provincetown, Mass. The last leg will see them join the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC), an annual 200-mile bike ride that raises money for research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. With the first ride occurring in 1984, the event has raised more than $375 million, with $37 million raised in 2012 alone.

Newcomb's web site and blog for the ride: C2C2C2 | Coast to Coast to Cure Cancer
The ride's Facebook page: Coast to Coast to Cure Cancer

Feature On Former UMass Swimmer Boopa Walsh

Former UMass swimming standout Boopa Walsh is now the head coach at Braintree High School. She talks about the impact of her seniors on this year's team. 

Mike Gillmeister of the Springfield Republican spent some time with the UMass swimming & diving teams last week and authored a piece on the season outlooks on the various strokes and specialties.

UMass swimmer excited to become an American citizen

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UMass men's swimmer Hao Luong has had a long journey to the University of Massachusetts, but not much can compare to what the sophomore back/fly specialist will accomplish today in Boston.

Daily Hampshire Gazette writer Matt Vautour sat down with Luong and head men's coach Russ Yarworth and penned the following piece on his journey to U.S. citizenship.

Hao Luong already feels like an American. Today, he'll make it official.

The sophomore on the University of Massachusetts swim team will officially take the oath to become a naturalized citizen at a ceremony at John F. Kennedy Library in Boston.

"I'm just happy and excited to become a citizen here," said Luong, a sophomore whose name is pronounced "how long." "It was one of my goals. When I passed the test this summer, it felt like I accomplished something."

The ceremony will be the end of a long journey for Luong, who turns 20 next month.

Job Baker of The Woonsocket Call has a feature on UMass swimming alum Chris Payson who is coaching the Shamrock Swim Club. Payson started the club at the urge of local swimmers and the group has grown from day one. 

John Torsiello of the Housatonic Times has a profile piece on UMass men's swimming freshman Alex Bieber.


Happy birthday to Katelyn Allocco of rowing, Andrew Henshaw of men's soccer, Erin Phinny of women's swimming, Jacob Reed of men's track and Hellah Sidibe of mens soccer!

Katelyn AlloccoAndrew HenshawErin PhinneyHellah Sidibe

Nick Canelas of the Daily Collegian has a recap of last weekend's swimming and diving sweep of Binghamton in a three-session meet on Friday and Saturday. The men won, 189-125, and the women won, 185.5-133.5. Joey Sbordon had the highlight of the meet, breaking an 11-year old pool record in the 400 IM in a time of 4:01.35. In fact, the senior smashed the old pool record by over a second and a half.

"I was actually a little surprised the boys swam as well as they did," said Russ Yarworth. "We've been training pretty hard lately so I wasn't sure if they were going to come in fatigued. But they got their heads together and swam well."

The Minutewomen were led by victories early on by freshmen Katie Arnott in the 200 IM (by over two seconds) and Zoe Judd in the 50 free. Chelsea Downing took first in the 500 free, leading a sweep of the top four places by UMass.

"I'm very happy with where we are at this time of year," said women's coach Bob Newcomb. "This was a great opportunity for us to see where we were at and I think we're in a great spot being only a third of the way into the season."

Sbordon leads way for Minutemen with record-breaking performance - Daily Collegian

Collegian: Swimming Teams Sweep Stony Brook

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Chris Corso of the Massachusetts Daily Collegian has a wrap-up on Saturday's swimming & diving sweep of Stony Brook at the Joseph Rogers Pool. The men were victorious 184-105, while the women cruised to a 181-117 win.

Both swimming & diving teams will be home again this weekend when they host Binghamton in a two-day meet Friday and Saturday.

UMass teams sweep Stony Brook - Daily Collegian

Happy Birthday: Oct. 25- Lauren Mark

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Happpy birthday to Lauren Mark of women's swimming and diving!

Lauren Mark

Nick Canelas of the Massachusetts Daily Collegian has a recap of last weekend's swimming and diving meet at Army where the women pulled out a tough 151-149 victory and the men fell to a very talented Black Knight's squad, 177-122.

The swimming and diving teams will be back in action at home this weekend when they host Stony Brook at the Joseph Rogers Pool in the Boyden Building at 1 p.m.

Men's team struggles, while women pull through at Army - Daily Collegian

Collegian: Swimming & Diving Teams Open Up Season

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Taylor Snow of the Massachusetts Daily Collegian writes a wrap up of the swimming & diving season opener from the weekend in which the men's team tied Boston University, 149-149, while the women fell to the Terriers, 177-122. Both teams saw some terrific individual performances, including divers Alexander Merkulov and Michaela Butler, and freshmen stepping up for both teams in their collegiate debuts, including Hao Luong, Zoe Judd, and Katie Arnott. The Minutemen and Minutewomen travel to West Point, N.Y. this weekend for tough tests against talented Army squads.

Swimming and diving teams open up season - Daily Collegian

Merkulov and Luong were honored on Tuesday when they were named Atlantic 10 Performer and Rookie of the Week, respectively.

Bobianski: Ironman Of The Beach

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Ryan Bobianski

The 37th Annual Cape Cod Livesaving Competition was held last Wednesday at Nauset Beach. The lifeguarding competition is held each year as an opportunity for the lifesavers of Cape Cod to show off their skills as well as keep those skills sharp. As is often the case, a UMass swimmer was leading the way, this time it was incoming freshman Ryan Bobianski, who for the second year in a row took the Ironman title as well as a first place finish in the co-ed run paddle to lead the home Nauset Beach team to victory.

Bobianski joins Russ Yarworth's squad in 2011-12 as an IMer and fly specialist. A native of East Longmeadow, he owns five individual high school records and is the 2011 Mass. Division 2 State Champion in the 200 IM.

Happy Birthday: August 10- Dorothy Polatin

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Happy birthday to Dorothy Polatin of women's swimming and diving!

Dorothy Polatin

Happy belated birthday to Joey Sbordon of men's swimming & diving who celebrated his birthday on July 15. Happy belated birthdays to football's Antoine Tharpe, and Tyler Major, Molly Papish of women's swimming & diving, Patrick Holmes of men's soccer, who all celebrated their birthday on July 16.  

Joey SbordonAntoine TharpeTyler Major

Molly PapishPatrick Holmes

Happy belated birthday to Vance Walberg and Gary Correia of men's basketball and Michael DiMarco of men's swimming and diving!

Vance WalbergGary CorreiaMichael DiMarco

Bob Newcomb In Pan Mass Challenge Again

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UMass women's swimming coach Bob Newcomb is once again riding in the Pan Mass Challenge, the annual bike ride across the state of Massachusetts. The event is the single largest fundraiser for the Jimmy Fund at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Newcomb is riding for the fourth time, and has so far raised nearly $19,000 for the Jimmy Fund in his previous PMC appearances. This year he needs to raise at least another $4,200.

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has always done a great job of helping spread the word on Newcomb reaching his goals, and this year he covers it once again.

Below is Newcomb's letter to potential sponsors:

Why I ride

If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people- Thich Nhat Hanh

My 2011 Pan Mass Challenge ride is motivated by family. I dedicate this ride to my parents while my wife, Judi, and daughter, Olivia, volunteer during the event. The family is working together so that someday we might be able to help find a cure for cancer.

The PMC is the single largest contributor to the Jimmy Fund at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Last year, the PMC raised over $30,000,000. This year on the weekend of August 6th and 7th, I will be one of over 5000 riders who will be making our way across Massachusetts to raise money for cancer research.

I ride as a member of the Patriot Platelet Pedalers (try saying that three times fast). The PPP is committed to increasing team fundraising and blood platelet donations. Platelets have been a big concern in our family. Olivia, my second daughter, had ITP (a platelet disorder) and responded well to treatment. This just increases my family's connection to the PMC!

This is my fourth year riding and over the years we have raised nearly $19,000. In order for me to participate again, I need to raise at least another $4200. As always, ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of the money I raise goes directly to the Jimmy Fund. I hope you can help me with this project. Any size contribution will be greatly appreciated.

Your tax-deductible donation can be made in several ways. A check made out to "PMC/Jimmy Fund" can be sent directly to me in the enclosed envelope or I can come and pick it up. You can also make a credit card donation on the internet at Click on the egift button in the upper left corner and use my egift code- BN0032.

I ride with the names of my parents on my jersey. Fifteen years ago cancer took my father and presently, my mother's lymphoma is under control. If you would like to dedicate your donation to someone you know that has been affected by cancer I would be happy to put their name(s) on my shirt also. Just send me the name(s) along with your contribution and they can make the ride with me.

You can see a picture from my 2008 shirt on the back of this letter or on my PMC profile. Go to and click on PMC Profiles in the left column and follow the links to my gallery.

Feel free to call or email me if you have any questions. So many have helped us accomplish this over the years. Thank you for any support you can provide.

Bob Newcomb

Happy Birthday: May 17 - Keane, Merkulov, Torres

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On May 17, we celebrate a trio of birthdays: senior hockey player Brian Keane sophomore swimmer Alexander Merkulov and sophomore baseball pitcher Dennis Torres.

Brian Keane  Alexander Merkulov  Dennis Torres
On Cinco De Mayo, we wish Happy Birthday to rower Rachel Spielberg and swimmer Sarah Kanellas on May 5.

Rachel Spielberg  Sarah Kanellas
On April 25, we wish Happy Birthday to the following: field hockey sophomore Kara Charochak, track sophomore Nick Otis, lacrosse assistant coach and former All-American goalie Doc Schneider and swimming junior Kayla Tegeler.

Kara Charochak  Nick Otis  Doc Schneider  Kayla Tegeler
On April 21, we wish Happy Birthday to women's runner Anne Blackney, men's basketball forward Raphiael Putney and men's swimmer  Andrew Thurston.

Anne Blackney  Raphiael Putney  Andrew Thurston
On April 6, we wish Happy Birthday to senior swimmer Jessica Starosielec. Enjoy your big day!

Jessica Starosielec

Three UMass April Fool's Day Birthdays

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On April Fools Day, three UMass student-athletes celebrate birthdays. Happy Birthday to basketball junior Trey Lang football junior Brian Ostaszewski and sophomore swimmer Emily Rookwood.

Trey Lang  Brian Ostaszewski  Emily Rookwood

Happy Birthday: March 31 - Max Butler

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Happy Birthday to swimmer Max Butler on March 31. 

Max Butler

Happy Birthday: March 30 - Bank, Mayne, Sekurski

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A trio of birthdays for UMass student-athletes on March 30: swimming senior Gillian Bank, softball junior Stephanie Mayne and swimming freshman Danielle Sekurski.

Gillian Bank  Stephanie Mayne  Danielle Sekurski

Happy Birthday: March 25 - Cook, Saunders

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On March 25, we wish Happy Birthday to diver Jason Cook and hockey forward Shawn Saunders.

Jason Cook  Shawn Saunders

Happy Birthday: March 23 - Carelli, Duffield

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On March 23, we wish Happy Birthday to freshman women's lacrosse player Melissa Carelli and senior diver Adam Duffield

Melissa Carelli  Adam Duffield

Backler: Hitting The Wall In Style

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Dan Guttonplan of the Newburyport News has a great feature on UMass men's swimmer Dan Backer. The story focuses on Backler's college jounrey - from having his program cut at Rhode Island, to transferring to UMass, to being an Atlantic 10 Champion in multiple events, exceeding the expectations of many.

"He can walk away from the pool, after winning that 100 breast, holding his head high," Head Coach Russ Yarworth said. "I couldn't have predicted he'd swim that fast. It was one of the highlights of my coaching career. It was one of those swims -- I'm getting goose bumps thinking about it."

Four UMass birthdays on March 3, best wishes for a happy day to hockey sophomore Mike Donnellan, freshman swimmer Matt Grippo, sophomore quarterback Jesse Hunt and senior track runner Brian Tino.

Mike Donnellan  Matt Grippo  Jesse Hunt  Brian Tino

Nick Bellofatto of the Daily Collegian has a story on the UMass Swimming & Diving teams' performances at the A-10 Championships this past weekend in Buffalo. The Minutemen claimed their fifth-straight and 13th overall title, while the Minutewomen put in a very strong performance, placing third. It was a tremendously successful meet on both sides as numerous school records fell. In addition, the following individuals were recognized:

Women's Most Outstanding Diver: Molly Elkins
Women's Diving Coach of the Year: Mandy Hixon
Men's Most Outstanding Rookie: Chris Inglis
Men's Most Outstanding Diver: Jason Cook
Men's Co-Coach of the Year: Russ Yarworth
Men's Diving Coach of the Year: Mandy Hixon

  • Atlantic 10 Conference Recap
  • Recap
  • Happy Birthday: March 2 - Conor Dunn

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    Happy Birthday on March 2 to junior diving Conor Dunn.

    Conor Dunn

    On the first day of March, we wish Happy Birthday to football senior James Carven and senior swimmer  Jennifer Corriveau.

    James Carven  Jennifer Corriveau

    Five UMass Birthdays On Feb. 25

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    Big day for the UMass birthday brigade with five birthdays on Feb. 25. Let's celebrate with 
    basketball senior Hashim Bailey, men's track junior  Andrew Erwin, men's lacrosse freshman goalie Reed Goodhue, men's track sophomore  Conor Megee and sophomore swimmer Tim O'Neill.

    Hashim Bailey  Andrew Erwin  Reed Goodhue  Conor Megee  Tim O'Neill

    Happy Birthday: Feb. 24 - Menozzi, Skrajewski

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    Happy Birthday on Feb. 24 to senior swimmer Jony Menozzi and sophomore men's soccer player Dominic Skrajewski.

    Jony Menozzi  Dominic Skrajewski

    Swimming Signee Honored By Kansas City Star

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    UMass men's swimming signee Michael Glenn was honored last week by being named the Kansas City Star High School Athlete of the Week. The Blue Valley West High School senior set two pool records at the Kansas City boys swimming and diving championships, winning the 200 IM in 1:54.45 and the 500 free in 4:43.68.

    Happy Birthday: Feb. 5 - Muka, Negm, Prince, Sullivan

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    A quartet of UMass student-athlete birthdays on Feb. 5. Celebrating today are women's soccer junior Natalie Muka, men's soccer freshman Nigel Negm, field hockey freshman Hannah Prince and swimming junior Liz Sullivan.

    Natalie Muka  Nigel Negm  Hannah Prince  Liz Sullivan

    The Daily Collegian's Jackson Alexander has a preview of the swimming & diving teams' Senior Day meet against Boston College. In the story, Jackson points out how the Minutemen and Minutewomen are carrying a lot of momentum after sweeping the Rhode Island Invitational against Atlantic 10 opponents last week as they prepare for next month's Conference Championships.

    The Senior Day meet begins at 4 p.m. at the Joseph Rogers Pool with Senior Day festivities taking place approximately 15 minutes prior. The meet will be televised on CBS 3 Now and online on UMass All-Access. At 2 p.m., a ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held as the new Nowak Dryland Facility will be dedicated at Boyden Gym.

    Happy Birthday: Jan. 13 - Arikian, Waldie, Zeimetz

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    Happy Birthday on Jan. 13 to Assistant Athletic Trainer Lacy Gunn along with soccer's Ben Arikian, softball's Candace Waldie and swimmer Eric Zeimetz

    Ben Arikian  Candace Waldie  Eric Zeimetz

    Also, best wishes for a happy birthday to Assistant Athletic Trainer Lacy Gunn.

    Swimming Blog From Puerto Rico: Snooze You Lose?

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    Another day has found its way to evening which means that the team gets a little bit of time before another early practice tomorrow. For this blogger that means that I have 10.5 hours to watch the playoff game before the most annoying alarm clock goes off at a crisp 6:05 AM. At this morning's recovery practice numerous other attacks occurred, teammates are getting hit like crazy, by now you are wondering what could possibly be wrong, the answer: BEES! the casualty count is up to 5 and the potential for more attacks is always present as it seems we are swimming in their homeland.  Aside from the near death experiences that happen each time we jump in the water the practice ended smoothly which means we got to go home to eat bagged cereal and nap by the pool.  Of course the sun went dormant right as we decided make our way towards the pool which meant there was more reason to watch the first half of the Ravens game before practice.

    We started practice with a good abs set which as usual included doing everything we could not to do what Russ said but then we hit the pool and the pain began. The D-Crew did a non stop IM set that did not look like any fun and the Mid-D crew did a pace 200s set that everyone really got into. The team left the pool in pain but that was nothing a car ride of reggae tone and a trip to subway would not cure. Now I am off to find the best hot tub in this resort to spend a few of my remaining 10.5 hours of rest in.

    Side Story: Today something happened that I for one have never seen since I have been a member of this team. Russ always threatens to leave members behind that are not in the vans on time for practice and today... IT HAPPENED. Pete Sacco was sooooo tired from our morning recovery practice that he passed out in a hammock for 5 HOURS! that is 1 hour less than most of the team is getting every night! He went to his room and wondered why everyone was gone and than noticed that the vans left 15 minutes earlier. A punishment is still pending votes have been made for A) Distance Lane for a day B) 100s fly C) Cleaning the bathrooms at the pool or D)Nothing... results to come later.

    Random thoughts:

    -DO NOT watch the wild card round of the playoffs with any patriot fan while their team has a bye...friends can't be turned on mute like the TV can.

    -It is pointless to fill up your water bottle with ice before practice as it will be warm before practice even starts

    -Why don't I ever see the Puerto Rico quarter in the United States?

    -Tang is an equal or better substitute for Powerade.

    A B&O Production

    Be Great

    By Kyle Jennings

    Swimming Blog From Puerto Rico: Para(dice)

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    As the seventh day of  our training trip draws to a close, we find ourselves rapidly approaching our return to Amherst. With the second cycle of of our three-cycle training program complete, the team has maintained the same consistency in our workout intensity. This morning, during our only practice of the day, we completed a long warm-up and played a game much like the the Three Kings Game. This particular game also revolved entirely upon chance so naturally we didn't allow Brian Schmidt within a 10 foot radius of the various factors that decided what our set would be. In addition to rolling dice to determine how much we swam, we also had to pick a number from a stopwatch and select a card from a deck of cards. Despite it being the end of another intense cycle, we once again grinded it out in anticipation of our afternoon off.

    After practice the entire team packed up and drove out to the picturesque Luqillo Beach. I think it's safe to say that this place makes me never want to go back to Cape Cod or any beach for that matter ever again (even you, Jersey Shore). We have no sympathy for Tom Hanks in Castaway because yes, he was stuck on a similar type of island by himself but he atleast had a volleyball to play with. We were stuck throwing a coconut around like a football for a half hour. Actually, we threw it around for about 2 hours and it was probably the most fun we had all day. But I digress, besides playing catch we participated in normal, mature activity; throwing sand at eachother, a no-holds-barred battle royal in the water (complete with drop-kicks and powerbombs galore), and of course, splashing the girls team and running away giddily. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we are the future leaders of America. Embrace it.

    After the obligatory taking (and inevitable ruining) of pictures we finally headed back to San Juan where most of us had a quick dinner and got back just in time to watch the NFL playoff games. Spending all that time in the sun today naturally takes a lot out of us so it looks like another quiet night of recovery to prepare for the next and final training cycle before we head back to Amherst.

    That is all.

    Random Observations:

    -"We ice bro's, not shoulders." -Eric Zeimetz

    -There is never an inappropriate time for Men at Work

    -Seahawks? Really?

    -It's much harder for swimmers to enjoy themselves at the beach than normal people (a lot of awkward and confused standing around is usually involved).


    By Trevor Ziegler,258&outquality=90&squareoutput=255,255,255&ext=.jpg&iconifyVideo=true&wm=1


    Hola muchachos y muchachas. This is the B of the B&O blogging from sunny (ish) San Juan. Thursday night was unusually quiet around the team hotel. From what I saw, the majority of the team made good use of the hotel's hot tubs, beds, and tv's in order to rest up for Thursday morning practice. After finishing this morning's practice, I'm sure none of us regret being lazy for one night. Today looks like the first actual beach day of the trip and we plan on taking full advantage of it (after a quick nap, of course). Two more practices left until our next single-practice day and the team is making plans to visit one of the nicer beaches around the island.

    As the trip progresses it seems as though the sanity level of our team is rapidly decreasing. Though it may cause concern to outsiders, this is a normal trend around this time of year. It's the most identifiable on the pool deck where we could easily be mistaken for a team of four year olds jacked up on endless cans of Mountain Dew. I, for one, have come to terms with my temporary immaturity and have recently learned to embrace my gift (curse?).

    Throughout the trip, Russ has been giving cryptic hints and ambiguous answers when we ask him about what the next practice will be and today was no different. Therefore, I am off to take a nap in order to maintain at least some level of sanity before tonight's inevitable grind.

    Random Observations:

    -The George Foreman Grill is the greatest thing to happen to the Earth since oxygen.

    -Bagged cereal tastes better.

    -The maximum number of laptops in one room during a training trip should be 1 (not four, freshmen).

    -All reggaeton sounds exactly the same (seriously).

    Live long and prosper, UMass Aquatics.

    B&O OUT.

    By Trevor Ziegler

    Swimming Blog From Puerto Rico: No Pain No Gain

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    We woke up today to hopes of terrific weather for the first time since we have been here and it seemed as though our dreams were going to come true. During the first practice of the day the sun was out and spirits were high and with good reason it was a semi recovery practice. The water was still colder than anyone wanted but that will happen when the sun hides for an entire week. Once we got back to the hotel and were ready to catch the rays and relax for the day the sun disappeared behind cloudy skies which just meant more reruns of sportscenter for most of the team.

    The second practice was a grind for all the practice groups, we did some IM work in the Mid-D and D groups. Everyone in the Distance lane left the pool in the most pain since we arrived and that will happen when the number in front of the IM is 400.

    On the ride back the question was asked to Russ, "What is practice going to be like tomorrow?" and his response was "Get a good nights sleep and find out." With that being said, I'm Out.

    Be Great

    A B&O Production

    By Kyle Jennings

    Swimming Blog From Puerto Rico: Three Kings Day

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    Today was our annual Three Kings workout where we all get in teams and risk it all to swim a 50 meter sprint and usually end up losing and get the pleasure of swimming a 200 meter race instead. Brian Schmidt's trip continued to be unlucky as he and his group had to do the most 200s today at 5 which brought him to a total of 20 over his 4 year career (UMass Swimming Record). The other Senior Captain, Dan Backler, had the luckiest practice ever recorded as he and his group got all 50s. The angriest sprinter award goes to Beau Garufi this year as he was none to pleased with his team's continual gambling and losing thus giving him more 200s then a sprinter ever wants to do.

    After the workout we had the rest of the afternoon off, some of the guys went to the rain forest as others decided to stay around the poolside and lounge around taking fairly regular trips to the hot tub because the sun is rarely out and the wind is always blowing.

    The swim team would like to give a shout out to Richard Huntley and his family, he is an alumni of the program and while we are here we are using the Huntley gym to lift.

    When I was given access to this blog Russ had to give me a password, anyone care to guess at what he made it?

    A B&O Production

    By Kyle Jennings

    Swimming Blog From Puerto Rico: Fun In The Rain

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    The UMass swimming teams are in Puerto Rico for their annual training trip. Periodically throughout the trip, members of the team will be posting blog entries to update fans on how the trip is going. Below is Kyle Jennings' first entry from Tuesday night. You can find more blog entries at


    It all started with a hectic trip to the airport with our Captain, Brian Schmidt, losing his wallet minutes before we were supposed to be on the 4 AM bus to Logan. He apparently wrecked his apartment in minutes searching for it and then came on the bus late with his passport only to find his wallet in his book bag...the bus was quick to show their appreciation. Logan was a mess as usual but we got out eventually and landed in Puerto Rico safe and sound (sadly Russ made it with us as well so we will actually be doing some work while we are here).

    The Trip has opened with 2 days of successful practices. The sprinters did a pretty intense workout this afternoon from what I could see, it involved quite a bit of dry land along with wearing clothes in the pool. As a Distance/Mid-D swimmer I assumed it was just a game of dress up but from the looks on their faces after practice it must have been pretty tough. The D-Lane did a 2000 meter pull for time this morning which could not have been comfortable. The Mid-D group as has had a few very solid practices.  Eric "zippy" Zeimetz has put up a strong performance in the 100s sprint we have done Dan Backler has been no slouch in the Breaststroke department.

    It has never been harder to get in the water in the morning as the water is colder than Boyden, which I did not think was possible and the sun has yet to be seen while we are at practice. It has rained a decent amount since we arrived and the wind is blowing a strong cold breeze. Some of us have even worn sweatshirts by the pool during our off time.

    Everyone seems to be having a good time, the freshman have been running around with their heads cut off as its their first training trip but all is good with the rest of us. Tomorrow we have our annual Three Kings workout so look forward to an update tomorrow.

    That is all for now, I am off to go see Arkansas beat Ohio State.


    A B&O Production

    By Kyle Jennings

    A quartet of birthdays on Jan. 3. Best wishes to women's track sophomore Christina Chapman, women's swimming freshman Colleen Hespeler, field hockey All-American Alesha Widdall and men's swimming freshman Jake Wingfield.

    Christina Chapman  Colleen Hespeler   Alesha Widdall  Jake Wingfield
    Wishing Happy Birthday on Dec. 28 to football's David Cozzo and rowing's Alexandra DiMatteo.

    Happy Birthday to Christmas Day born Brian Schmidt of the swimming & diving team and to football defensive lineman Courtney Jackson on Dec. 26.

    Courtney Jackson Courtney Jackson

    Happy Birthday: Dec. 23 - Anna Cavanaugh & Josh Samuda

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    On Dec. 23, we wish Happy Birthday to freshmen swimmer Anna Cavanaugh and football junior lineman Josh Samuda

    Anna Cavanaugh  Josh Samuda

    Happy Birthday: Dec. 20 - John Clark

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    Senior diver John Clark celebrates his birthday on Dec. 20. He ranks sixth all-time at UMass in the three-meter dive (302.93) and 10th all-time in the one-meter (266.32).

    John Clark

    Happy Birthday: Dec. 19 - Ryan Brooks

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    Happy Birthday to Ryan Brooks of the swimming squad. 

    Ryan Brooks

    Happy Birthday: Dec. 17 - Andrew Goss, John Griffin

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    Today's birthday boys on Dec. 17 are freshman swimmer Andrew Goss and football senior tailback John Griffin

    Andrew Goss  John Griffin

    Swimming Signee Recognized By Boston Globe

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    Zoe Judd, one of UMass head coach Bob Newcomb's women's swimming NLI signees for the 2011-12 season was honored by being named Boston Globe All-Scholastic. The Acton-Boxborough High School senior is a repeat All-Scholastic honoree. Judd won both the 50 free and 100 free at the Division 1 state meet this fall and will be a freshman at UMass next season.

    Happy Birthday: Dec. 14 - Archer, Riedel, Ward

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    A quartet of UMass student-athlete birthdays on Dec. 14: graduate student swimmer Shannon Archer, sophomore sprinter Emma Riedel and freshman soccer defender Annie Ward.

    Shannon Archer  Emma Riedel  Annie Ward

    CCSC's Ripple Effect Felt At UMass

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    Top Photo
    John Garner, Jr. of the Cape Cod Times wrote a nice piece titled CCSC's Ripple Effect Felt At UMass on the pipeline of swimmers the Cape Cod Swimming Club has provided to the UMass men's and women's swimming programs.

    Swimming Prepares For Terrier Invite

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    The Massachusetts men's and women's swimming teams are preparing for their biggest challenge of the season thus far; a road trip to Boston University for the Terrier Invitational Tournament. The preliminaries for the tournament begin Friday, Nov. 19 at Competition Pool and run until the finals of the tournament are concluded on Sunday night.

    Check out the Daily Collegian's Nick Bellofatto's preview of the weekend as well as's preview.

    Happy Birthday: Nov. 13 - Kyle Brown

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    Happy Birthday: Nov. 13 - Kyle Brown of the men's swimming and diving squad.
    Best wishes for a great birthday on Nov. 9 to rower Katelyn Allocco, men's soccer players Andrew Henshaw and Hellah Sidibe as well as swimmer Erin Phinney

    Katelyn Allocco Andrew Henshaw Hellah Sidibe Erin Phinney
    Happy Birthday: Nov. 6 to field hockey's Mika Black, football receiver Tom Gilson, and diver Ariel Hallisey

    Mika Black  Tom Gilson  Ariel Hallisey
    Four UMass student-athlete Birthdays on Nov. 2.
    From men's swimming Dan Backler
    From women's swimming Kaitie English
    From men's track & field Zachary Gordon
    From football Quinton Sales

    Dan Backler Kaitie English  Zachary Gordon  Quinton Sales

    Happy Birthday: Nov. 1 - Meghan Nowak

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    Best wishes for a great day to swimming's  Meghan Nowak.

    Meghan Nowak
    Best wishes for a Happy Birthday to women's lacrosse freshman Shannon Defliese and women's swimming & diving Kaitlyn McKenna on Oct. 30. 

    Shannon Defliese    Kaitlyn McKenna

    Swimming & Diving Heads To Stony Brook

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    Nick Bellofatto of the Daily Collegian previews the men's and women's swimming & diving teams' road meet at Stony Brook this weekend. Both teams are riding high coming off a sweep of Army in the home opener last weekend. Bellofatto points out the the Minutemen and Minutewomen will both be looking for their first victory of the season in enemy waters as both teams fell at Boston University in the season opener two weeks ago.

    Happy Birthday - Oct. 26: Boney, Mark, Walkowiak

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    Happy Birthday wishes to tennis senior Candynce Boney sophomore swimmer Lauren Mark
     and men's lacrosse senior Mael Walkowiak.

    Candynce Boney  Lauren Mark  Mael Walkowiak

    UMass Plays Of The Week

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    Check out the Plays of the Week for Oct. 18-24!

    Today is a special one, its 10/10/10, a date that only occurs once every century with repeating 10s. Its a special day as well here for UMass Athletics as five members of the Maroon & White celebrate birthdays: football redshirt freshmen Theo Agnew, along with twins Tim Brandt and Tom Brandt will all age a year. They join swimmers Derek Hursch and Tarryn Teresak with the special 10/10/10 birthdays.

    .Theo AgnewTim BrandtTom BrandtDerek HurschTarryn Teresak

    Daily Collegian Previews Men's Swimming Season

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    The Daily Collegian has two stories on the UMass men's swimming team as it prepares to begin the season and defend its Atlantic 10 title. Nick Bellofatto has the team's season preview, while Ben Lambert has a story on the swimming & diving team's tri-captains, Dan Backler, Brian Schmidt, and Adam Duffield.

    The Minutemen open the 2010-11 on Oct. 16 at Boston University. The first home meet of the season will be on Oct. 23 against Army.

    Happy Birthday: Sept. 24 - Steven Guzzo, Tavis Potter

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    Best wishes for an awesome birthday to hockey's Steven Guzzo and swimmer Tavis Potter.

    Tavis Potter

    Swimming Preseason Video Updates

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    On Sept. 11, we have three UMass student-athlete birthdays: men's basketball forward Sampson Carter, swimmer Molly Elkins, top lacrosse scorer Will Manny.

    Sampson Carter                    Will Manny

    Happy Birthday: Sept. 8 - Gianna Braca, Megan Whiteford

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    Swimmers Gianna Braca and Megan Whiteford celebrate their birthdays on Sept. 8. Enjoy the day!

    Gianna Braca  Megan Whiteford
    On the penultimate day of August, we wish Happy Birthday to Christopher Howard (swimming & diving), Andrew Krevis (footbal) and Dan Meyers (hockey). Enjoy your big days!

    Happy Birthday: Aug. 25 - Peter Sacco

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    On Aug. 25, we wish a Happy Birthday to swimmer Peter Sacco.

    Peter Sacco
    Happy Birthday - Aug. 12: Chelsea Downing (swimming), Emily Hagan (crew), Ricky Harris (basketball's third all-time leading scorer), Stephanie Mix (softball).

    Chelsea Downing      Emily Hagan    Ricky Harris      Stephanie Mix
    Happy Birthday - Aug. 10: Carl Jewell from men's track field & Dorothy Polatin from women's swimming and diving.

                    Carl Jewell                  Dorothy Polatin

    Happy Birthday - Aug. 8: Jason Ayr, Kelly Collins

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    Happy Birthday on Aug. 8 to UMass' Jason Ayr (cross country), and Kelly Collins (swimming & diving). 

                           Jason Ayr                      Kelly Collins

    Newcomb Set For Pan-Mass Challenge This Weekend

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    Check out this UMass notebook in the Daily Hampshire Gazette that is led off by swimming coach Bob Newcomb's involvement with the Pan-Mass Challenge this weekend in Cape Cod. Its an annual two-day ride-a-thon from Sturbridge to Provincetown that raises money for cancer research through the Jimmy Fund.
    Happy Birthday - Aug. 7: Ryan Carter (football), Nicole Cordero (field hockey), Emily Pipes (cross country), Andrew Willbrant (swimming).

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    Former UMass All-American water polo player Greg Trayer will be hosting the sixth annual Man-Up for Life charity water polo tournament next Saturday, Aug. 14. Trayer, a Pennsylvania state MVP and All-American water polo player at Gov. Mifflin, was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2002 shortly after he finished his career at the University of Massachusetts. He went into remission a year later and, with the help of his family, has raised more than $88,000 to help find a cure for blood-related cancer.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY - July 16:
    Patrick Holmes (Soccer),
    Tyler Major (Football),
    Molly Papish (Swimming - pictured),
    Lauren Stocker (Cross Country)