Jan. 31, 2014
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STORRS, Conn. – The University of Connecticut men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams will compete in two meets this weekend, as they face Dartmouth Saturday and go up against Colgate Sunday. Both meets are set to start at 12 p.m. at the Wolff-Zackin Natatorium, where it will be Senior Weekend for the Huskies, who will honor eight seniors before Sunday’s meet.
This weekend’s slate of meets will be a good test for the Huskies, starting Saturday against a Dartmouth squad that beat both the UConn men’s and women’s team last season.
“We’re looking forward to Saturday’s meet because we’ve had some really competitive meets with Dartmouth in the past,” UConn swimming coach Bob Goldberg said. “They’ve really improved in the last three years especially with the recruiting they’ve done but I think our teams have a good shot at beating them.”
Colgate comes into Storrs with a very strong women’s team that will provide a challenge for the UConn women, who are 3-1 on the season in head-to-head competitions.
“They have a couple of girls swimming there that we tried to recruit so it will be a tough task for us Sunday,” Goldberg said.
Last weekend, the Huskies competed against Princeton and Seton Hall, returning to competitive play after being off for several weeks during winter break. Despite beating Seton Hall Sunday, Goldberg hopes UConn can swim better this weekend.
“We were a little rusty going into last weekend’s meets but hopefully we will be a lot better this week,” Goldberg said. “If we do what we’re capable of doing we’ll win both meets this weekend and get some momentum heading into the conference meet.”
“I always hate to see them go,” Goldberg said. “Kyle has been a consistent performer in the backstroke event for four years and has done a great job as a captain. Chang has been a really good captain, organizing activities and keeping the team focused.”
On the men’s side, seniors Keith Piper (Naperville, Ill.), Sean Battle (Allison Park, Pa.), Asher Garcia (Pinecrest, Fla.), Zach Coleman (Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y.), Anthony Cortright (Wallingford, Conn.) and Ben Yacano (Burlington, Conn.) will all be recognized as well.
“Losing Piper will be tough, as he’s been a rock for us in both the backstroke and freestyle events,” Goldberg said. “Battle has been a conference scorer in the 200-meter freestyle and Garcia is swimming great this year. Coleman has bounced back from shoulder surgery a year ago and is really performing well, while Yacano has been the spirit of our team for the last four years.”
Cortright transferred to UConn in 2010 and has improved every year for the Huskies. He’s participated in in BIG EAST Championships and this year he qualified for the NCAA Zone Championships, which take place in March.
“Tony has improved his skills every single semester for the past four years,” UConn diving coach John Bransfield said. “He is always looking to learn new, higher level dives and he is as honest and respectful an athlete as I have ever met.”