The men and women’s swim team split their first meet of the season against Carnegie Mellon University and Franklin and Marshall last weekend. UR had beaten Carnegie Mellon, but lost to Franklin and Marshall. The scores and times were unavailable at press time.

Three swimmers achieved their personal bests. Senior Laura Vivier recorded best times in the 100 and 200-yard breaststrokes, sophomore Andrea Murphy had her best times in the 100 and 200-yard backstrokes and freshman Andrea Pallante swam personal best times in the 100 and 200-yard fly.

Senior captain Christina DeVries gave credit to the team as a whole for their improved times.

“Everyone had good swims, which was a tribute to our training,” she said. “For the most part, we are swimming faster than last year at this time.”

The team has been working out and getting in shape for the past six weeks. Leading both teams this year are senior Brad Vdovjak, junior Mike Reinhardt and DeVries. There is an enormous amount of experience and depth in their upperclassmen and with the addition of some fresh, new talent, things are looking good for the Yellowjackets this season.

“The upperclassmen provided great leadership during this first meet and the freshmen an unparalleled enthusiasm,” head coach Julie Benker-O’Brien said.

“The team is expecting a lot from the freshmen this year ? especially from Ann Richards, Jenn Salati, Chris Preston, and Richard Bailey,” she continued.

Despite tough competition, the Yellowjackets swam very well.

Benker-O’Brien said that the swimmers were not the only ones to have a good meet, the divers also fared well ? especially the new members.

“All of our divers performed very well, especially our two new male divers, junior Travis Acker and freshman Dave Bergman,” she said.

Even though three members of the team were injured ? Reinhardt who had recently had his wisdom teeth pulled and two women’s standouts, sophomore Liz Fowler and junior Jackie Staple, who were experiencing shoulder soreness ? they all competed in the season opener.

This is the earliest that the Yellowjackets have ever competed but they stepped up to the challenge.

According to DeVries, UR is still looking forward to a winning season, while still in the process of transitioning from last season.

“We have different strengths and weaknesses than last year, so we are still working things out, but everything seems to be falling into place,” DeVries said.

The Yellowjackets are away at SUNY Brockport this Saturday at 1 p.m.

Marden can be reached at

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