Massachusetts Dives Into First Day Lead At Atlantic 10 Championships
Feb. 19, 2014
GENEVA, Ohio - With a strong quintet of divers and a pair of school-record relays, the Massachusetts men's swimming & diving team scored 133 points to sit in first place after day one of the 2014 Atlantic 10 Championships at the Spire Center on Wednesday.
Following the Minutemen are St. Bonaventure with 100 points, La Salle (90), Fordham (61), Saint Louis (60), George Washington (58) and George Mason (57).
The men's 1-meter diving was held next and saw four UMass athletes among the eight finalists. Sophomore Josh Koppel never trailed and finished with the highest scoring dive of the competition on his final attempt to score a 303.75.
It marks the seventh time in the last 10 years that a Minutemen diver has won the 1-meter board. Koppel joins former standouts Jason Cook and R.J. Rappe as winners of the event.
Freshmen Nolan Burns was fourth at 245.0, Robert Barry took fifth at 236.60 and Niles Ackerman was eighth at 209.40. Alex Walder narrowly missed out on qualifying for the finals but earned nine points towards the team score with his ninth-place prelims spot.
In the final race of Wednesday, UMass touched third in the 800 free relay. Brian Stiles, Alessandro Bomprezzi, Troy Nichols and Inglis swam to a school-record time of 6:33.67. All three teams who medaled broke the A-10 meet record.
"I can't ask for much more when you break school records in every race you compete in and I can't say enough about the divers," head coach Russ Yarworth. "That group was outstanding. (Coach) Mandy (Hixon) has taken four young freshman and turned them into kids who are scoring major points in their A-10 meet, and Josh keeps getting better and better."
Thursday's action will begin with preliminaries at 10:30 a.m. The races will include the 500 free, 200 individual medley, 50 free and women's 1-meter diving. The championship finals for all seven prelim events and the 200 free relay will get underway at 6:30 p.m.