MINUTEMEN CAPTURE 5TH STRAIGHT A-10 TITLE, Women Take Third
Feb. 26, 2011
AMHERST, Mass. - The UMass men's swimming and diving team sealed up their fifth straight Atlantic 10 Championship Saturday night from the Flickinger Center in Buffalo, N.Y. The Minutemen finished first with 764.5 points; they were followed by runner-up St. Bonaventure (621). The women finished in third place tallying 397.5 points behind first place Richmond (755) and runner up Fordham (578).
The Minutemen, who are by far the most successful team in Atlantic 10 Swimming, have now won the conference title in thirteen out of the sixteen years since the beginning of the conference championship. Besides being five-in-a-row, it is also the tenth in eleven years for the Minutemen. The squad totaled seven individual gold medals and three relay gold medals throughout the meet.
Men's coach Russ Yarworth was once again named A-10 Coach of the Year, his conference record 12th time winning the honor. Diving coach Mandy Hixon swept both the Men's and Women's Diving Coach of the Year awards for the third year in a row. Jason Cook was also named Diver of the Year for the third-straight year. Molly Elkins received her first Diver of the Year honor, while Chris Inglis receives the mens Rookie of the Year.
The men started off the final day winning the first three events. Inglis got it started by taking his first individual gold of the meet in the 1650 free with a time of 15:34.64, setting a new school record in the process. He would also pick up a third place finish in the 200 fly later in the evening with a time of 1:52.63.
Max Butler had a total two individual gold medals in the meet placing first in the 200 back, Saturday night, with a time of 1:47.14. Butler also had two relay golds to go along with his individual accomplishments over the course of the week. Kyle Jennings came in behind Butler taking third (1:49.08).
Chris Howard was able to capture his first individual gold in the 100 free touching the wall at 45.09. Fellow senior Dan Backler took third in the 200 breast with a time of 2:03.87. The Minutemen closed out the 2011 A-10 Championship with a second place finish in the 400 free relay by Howard, Peter Sacco, Derek Hursch and Trevor Zeigler with a time of 3:02.44.
The Minutemen had a great day on the diving board with Jason Cook repeating as the three-meter champion picking up a score of 372.85. The men ended up taking the top four spots in the event. Following Cook was Adam Duffield in second (290.95), John Clark in third (288.90) and Conor Dunn in fourth (286.90). Alex Merkulov took seventh (259.80).
The women had some great performances on the week. They were only able to capture one gold medal (Elkins in the one-meter dive), however, they set seven new school records and numerous personal bests.
Chelsea Downing got the day started taking eighth place in the 1650 free (17:15.35). Emily Rookwood finished the 200 back with a time of 2:07.27, good for fourteenth in the event. That time was a new personal best for her, moving her up to third on the all-time list.
After winning a swim-off of the final spot in the 100 free, Anna Cavanaugh grabbed eighth place with a time of 52.31. Meghan Nowak and Jessica Starosielec finished in sixth and seventh, respectively, in the 200 breast with times of 2:22.77 and 2:23.00.