UMass Swimming & Diving Programs Picked Among Top Three In Atlantic 10 Preseason Poll
Sept. 26, 2013
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - The Massachusetts swimming & diving programs were the only school to have both the men's and women's squads chosen to finish in the top three of the 2014 Atlantic 10 Preseason Poll, as voted on by the league's head coaches and released on Thursday.
The 14-time A-10 champion men's team was picked to finish second behind 2013 champion St. Bonaventure. Head coach Russ Yarworth's group returns 14 letterwinners, including five all-conference performers and 11 athletes who scored at the conference meet. The Minutemen also brought in astrong class of 14 newcomers.
The women's team finished second last season and was selected to take third next February, behind 11-time champion Richmond and Fordham. A year ago, Bob Newcomb's Minutewomen set 21 of 23 school records en route to a second place finish at the championship - their highest podium spot in six years. The 2013-14 team has 24 returnees, including All-America diver Michaela Butler. The six-member freshman class consists of a diver and five swimmers and is headlined by high school All-America honoree Meriza Werenski of South Hadley, Mass.
The 2014 A-10 Championships will return to the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio for the second-consecutive year. The event is scheduled for Feb. 19-22.
The regular season for both teams gets underway at home against Boston University on Saturday, Oct. 12. The meet will begin at 1:00p.m. at the Joseph R. Rogers, Jr. Pool inside Boyden Gymnasium.
2014 Men's Swimming & Diving Predicted Order of Finish
2014 Women's Swimming & Diving Predicted Order of Finish
*** Complete announcement from the Atlantic 10 ***
St. Bonaventure Men, Richmond Women Predicted to Win A-10 Swimming & Diving Championships
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - The St. Bonaventure men and Richmond women's swimming and diving teams have been predicted to take home the 2014 Atlantic 10 Swimming and Diving Championship titles, according to a preseason poll conducted among the league's head coaches.
The St. Bonaventure men will look for their fifth overall A-10 Swimming & Diving Championship after capturing the team title at last year's championship. With a total of 688 points, the Bonnies finished ahead of runner-up and six-time defending champion Massachusetts, who finished with 613 points.
Key performers returning for the Bonnies this season are swimmers Vatslav Lets and Viachelsav Shchukin. Lets was honored as the Most Outstanding Performer at the 2013 Championship after setting the new Atlantic 10 Conference record for gold medals in a championship meet with eight, along with setting individual event records in the 200-yard Backstroke and the 500-yard Freestyle. Shchukin also returns for the Bonnies after being named the A-10 Most Outstanding Rookie Performer at last year's championship.
Massachusetts has been predicted to finish second this season, followed by George Mason (3), La Salle (4), George Washington (5), Fordham (6) and Saint Louis (7).
The Spiders of Richmond, coming off their third consecutive A-10 title and 11th conference title in the last 12 years, are the predicted favorite to capture this year's A-10 Championship. The Spiders return last year's Most Outstanding Championship Performer, Mali Kobelja, along with A-10 event record holders Kelley Yang (100-yard Butterfly) and Natalya Ares (200-yard Freestyle).
The Rams of Fordham took second place on the coaches' preseason poll followed by Massachusetts (3), George Mason (4), La Salle (5), George Washington (6), Duquesne (7), Rhode Island (8), St. Bonaventure (9) and Saint Louis (10).
The 2014 A-10 Men's and Women's Swimming & Diving Championships will be held Feb. 19-22 at the SPIRE Institute located in Geneva, Ohio.