Swimmers Begin 2009-10 Season Saturday

Swimmers Begin 2009-10 Season Saturday

Oct. 29, 2009

NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's swimming team will be looking to begin their 2009-10 season on a high note when they host Babson in the first dual meet of the season Saturday.

The Corsair women finished fourth in the Little East Conference last season and 12th at the New England Intercollegiate Swimming and Diving Association Championships, while the men were sixth at New Englands, and both teams are looking to move up.

"I think we have a strong freshman class on both the men's and the women's side," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Cathy Motta. "With our freshman class in addition to the corps of veterans we have returning, we're going to be much stronger depth-wise this year than we were last year."

The men's team should be improved. "On the men's side, we're hoping to be able to send our full squad to the ECAC Division III Championships in December, finish among the top three in the New England Championships, and potentially send some relay teams and individual swimmers to the ECAC Open at the end of the season. Among our returners are (junior) Craig Johnson (Acushnet, MA/New Bedford HS), who will repeat in the freestyle and butterfly events," said Motta. "Our captain, (junior) Steve Szarek (Middletown, CT/Middletown HS), will cover breaststroke and the individual medley, and national qualifier (junior) Matt Fahey (New Bedford, MA/Middleborough HS) will return in diving. Our freshmen include Chris Dodge (Holden, MA/Wachusett Regional HS), who will be doing backstroke and freestyle; Jake Pesante (Wakefield, RI/South Kingston HS), who will be doing distance freestyle, and Matt Dean (Londonderry, NH/Londonderry HS) and Kevin Janofsky (Brookfield, CT/Brookfield HS), who will be doing middle distance freestyle, individual medley, and breaststroke. We also have two freshman divers, Nathan O'Keefe (Taunton, MA/Coyle Cassidy HS), and Brandon Riendeau (Lakeville, MA/Apponequet HS)."

The women's team lost four student-athletes to graduation, but hopes that a deeper squad will also help them improve. "Despite the fact that we graduated four seniors, we should be a little stronger and have more depth than we did in past years," said Motta.

Improved depth should also be an asset for the UMD women. "Our goal is to finish in the top three in the Little East and the top 10 at the New Englands, as well as possibly qualify some athletes for the ECAC Open at the end of the season," said Motta. "Our returning veterans include (senior) Kathleen Foley (Haverhill, MA/Haverhill HS), who will compete in the distance breaststroke and freestyle and some individual medley events, and our captain, (senior) Kaitlyn Kewriga (Stoughton, MA/Stoughton HS), who will be covering the backstroke. Our freshmen include Morgan Cooper (Sunderland, MA/Frontier Regional HS), who will be in the freestyle and sprint butterfly events, Maggie Conlon (Methuen, MA/Methuen HS), who will be covering backstroke and individual medley, and Meredith Maki (Holden, MA/Wachusett Regional HS), who will be doing the backstroke and some middle distance freestyle events."

The women will host the LEC Championships Saturday, December 5th at the Tripp Athletic Center. The men will travel to the ECAC Division III Championships the same weekend as the women host the LEC meet, and the New England Division II/III Championships will be held at White River Junction, VT February 18th through the 20th

"With the talent and depth that we have, I think we'll be a much stronger team overall," said Motta. "Hopefully, we'll improve our record, although our goal is to swim faster at the end of the season and qualify for as many championships as possible."