2010 has started off a little rocky for the Yellowjacket swimming and diving teams. The men’s and women’s teams had meets Jan. 8-9, but the only win came from the men against Nazareth College.

Despite a stellar performance by junior Kevin Howard, the Yellowjackets couldn’t pull out a victory on Jan. 8 losing at SUNY Cortland, 135-165. Howard won three races including the 100 backstroke, the 200 backstroke and the 200 individual medley. He also contributed to the win in the 400 medley relay along with sophomores Colin Funai and Wesley Hood and senior Chris Jensen.

Against Cortland, the Yellowjackets could not keep the momentum up and eventually fell out of contention. Other Yellowjacket first-place winners included
freshman Evan Jones in the 500 freestyle, Jensen in the 100 breaststroke and junior Bobby McCue in the 200 breaststroke. With the postseason quickly approaching, they will look at their elder swimmers to lead a young talented group to a successful finish in the University Athletic Association Championships.

The following day, the Yellowjackets put their lossbehind them and blew out Nazareth, 192-92.

The men’s swimming and diving team produced 11 individual winners and one relay win.

The individual winners included freshman Christian Vu in the 1000 freestyle, junior Frank Ferraro in the 200 butterfly stroke, freshman Ian Kruper in the 500 freestyle, Jensen in the 100 breaststroke and freshman Adam Bossert in the 100 freestyle.

The Yellowjackets were led by Howard and McCue who each won twice. Howard won the 100 and 200 backstroke for the second-straight day. McCue took home the 200 freestyle and the 500 freestyle.

The women faced a tough weekend, losing to Cortland, 135-165, and Nazareth, 129-170, the next day.

On Friday afternoon, the women couldn’t fight their way out of the hole against a tough Cortland team. The Yellowjackets did produce six individual race and two dive wins.

Freshman Corinne Lampe led the way with wins in the 100 butterfly stroke and 200 individual medley. Junior Liz Subjeck, sophomore Emily Scott and freshman Stephanie Bolin followed with wins in the 500 freestyle, 200 freestyle and 200 butterfly stoke respectively.

Junior Val Atwood took over the spotlight in the loss to Nazareth, winning both the 100 and 200 backstroke events. Not to be out done, sophomore Rachel Delahunta amazed at the diving board, producing victories in the one- and three-meter board events. Lampe also was a winning the 1,000 freestyle.

In the end, Nazareth eventually overtook the Yellowjackets. However, spirits were still high for the UR women.

‘Everyone did a great job pushing their fatigue aside and focusing on their races,’ Lampe said. ‘There was plenty of team spirit on deck, with teammates cheering for each other and motivating each other.’

The women will rely on their young talent to shine at the UAA Championships. Freshmen Lampe and Bolin should provide a youthful spark to get the team moving in the postseason.

The men will look toward Kevin Howard to set the tone in the postseason. With his impressive showing in the regular season, he is one of the swimmers to watch as the teams advance.

Both the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams look ahead to the 23rd, when they will face Ithaca College at home. This meet will hopefully give the men and women a way to close out the season on a good note.

The UAA Championships start on Feb. 17 and continue until Feb. 21. The NCAA’s will take place at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga. There will be tough competition for both teams, including rivals University of Chicago, Carnegie Mellon University, Emory and Case Western Reserve University.

If the men’s and women’s teams do well then they can move up to the NCAA Championships, which will take place in Minneapolis, Minn. The NCAA’s will showcase the best swimmers from all across the country over a five-day period.

Manrique is a member of the class of 2012.

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