Samko Reaches & Surpasses 500 Wins as Bentley Sweeps Norwich

Coach Samko recorded her 500th and 501st career wins!
Coach Samko recorded her 500th and 501st career wins!

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Longtime Bentley University swimming coach Mary Kay Samko earned both the 500th and 501st victories of her 37-year career Saturday when her teams swept Norwich University at Norwich's Goodyear Pool.

The Bentley men extended their winning streak to 28 by outscoring Norwich 173-128 and the women's team made it 16 straight, 178-101.

Samko, who coached at Tufts, Southern Connecticut and the University of the South before arriving at Bentley in 1996. Her overall record of 501-199 includes 314-114 coaching women's teams and 186-85 coaching men. Of her 501 wins, 408 have come during her 23 years as Bentley's head coach and aquatics director.

Junior Paige MacNeil (Branford, Conn./Branford HS) and freshman Sarah Vojta (Morris Plains, N.J./Morris County School of Technology) were both double-winners for the Bentley women with MacNeil also part of the Falcons' winning 200 yard medley relay team. Her individual victories came in the 100 freestyle (56.94) and the 500 free (5:32.48). Vojta swept the two one-meter diving events with scores of 136.40 and 178.65.

Freshmen swam to victory in three events with Rona Mejiritski (Bowling Green, Ohio/Bowling Green HS) capturing the 50 free (26.98), Lucy Stowe (Millis, Mass./Millis HS) the 50 butterfly (28.46) and Emily Sweet (Nashua, N.H./Nashua North HS) the 1000 free (11:05.06).

First-year collegians also played a key role for the men with Andrew D'Annolfo (Chestnut Hill, Mass./Newton South HS), Oscar Chang (Dix Hills, N.Y./Half Hallow Hills West HS) and Mark Zoda (Nashua, N.H./Bishop Guertin HS) all double-winners. D'Annolfo was first to the wall in both the 50 and 100 free, with times of 23.41 and 50.16, respectively. Chang took first in both the 50 backstroke (25.61) and the 50 fly (24.74).

Zoda, a two-time NE10 Rookie of the Week, outswam the competition in both the 50 breaststroke (27.66) and the 200 individual medley (1:59.91). He was also part of the 200 medley relay team that prevailed in 1:40.44.

The women finished the first semester portion of the schedule at 6-0 while the men's team is off to a 5-0 start.

               The next action for both teams is Jan. 10 at St. Michael's.