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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

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.

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
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.

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 & 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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Swimming Preseason Video Updates

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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.