After a 2021-22 season that went fairly well for the University of Connecticut swimming and diving team – one in which it took second at the Big East Championships – the women are back, and they’ve started the 2022-23 season off with a bang, thanks to two wins in two days at the Wolff-Zackin Natatorium in Storrs against Northeastern on Friday (190-161.5) and then Rhode Island on Saturday (282-70).
Since the format of the weekend was a tri-meet, meaning that each of the teams that showed up “played against” each other on each day, and Connecticut did a lot of winning, it would be more apropos to highlight a few of this weekend’s top swimmers across both days.
Rome, a freshman from East Haven, began her collegiate career with some impressive swimming, taking the top spot in both of the longest freestyle events, the 500 and the 1650. She could become the Huskies’ next big endurance swimmer.
Martino, a freshman from Windham, New Hampshire, had a really fantastic showing, garnering two second-place finishes in the 50 yard freestyle and the 200 yard IM as well as an individual first place in the 100 free and two firsts as part of the 400 free and 200 medley relays. Suffice to say, she found herself on the podium plenty.
Edwards, a grad student from Great Britain, took home a couple top three finishes, with a second in the 100 yard backstroke and a first in the 200 yard backstroke. For a first showing with the Huskies, it was a welcome surprise.
Epes, a first-year swimmer from Newport News, Virginia, had a few great moments during the meets. First, she had a hand in the gold finish for the Huskies in the 400 free relay, and then she added to that prelude with an individual first in the 200 yard butterfly.
Ana Laura Faoro and Julia Pioso:
Faoro and Pioso, a junior from Lucas, Texas and a sophomore from Clifton, Virginia, respectively, picked up where they left off last season. Faoro took the bronze for the one meter dive, while Pioso took the silver for the three meter dive.
Hofland, a junior from Great Britain, had one of the best performances of the weekend, not only netting a second place finish in the 200 yard backstroke, but also set a pool record for the 200 yard individual medley and getting only 0.7 seconds shy of the pool record for the 400 yard medley. She did something special over that Friday and Saturday that is worthy of being recognized as the swimmer of the weekend.
A trend that emerged over the two meets was that younger swimmers were carrying the team, much like they did last season. Should that trend continue, and UConn still continues its dominance, this team could become dangerous come championship time, and could even walk away with a Big East title.