Golden Bears Feature Story on 2014 Downes Hall of Famer Elena Massa-Masiuk ‚??04

Golden Bears Feature Story on 2014 Downes Hall of Famer Elena Massa-Masiuk ‚??04
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass.--One of the most decorated swimmings in Western New England University history, Elena Massa-Masiuk '04 becomes just the third Golden Bear in her sport to be inducted to the school's Downes Hall of Fame. Massa-Masiuk joined five other Western New England greats who comprise the 16th class inducted to the Downes Hall during a ceremony held at Rivers Memorial Hall during Homecoming Weekend.

2001-02 - Sophomore Team Record (7-7) - GNAC Championship (2nd/4) NEISDA Championship (11th/18)
NEISDA Championship - Finished 6th in the 50 freestyle with a time of 26.28 seconds to earn All-New England honors)
GNAC Championship - Placed 2nd in the 50-yard butterfly, 3rd in the 50 breaststroke, and swam on the 1st place 400 freestyle relay squad.
WNE Coaches Award
Ben Bump was the coach
 
2002-03 - Junior Team Record (11-3) GNAC Championship (2nd) NEISA Championship (10th/20)
GNAC - Placed 2nd in the 50 freestyle (26.31) and 4th in the 200 breaststroke (2:48.79)
NEISDA - Took 6th in the 50 freestyle (26.18) to earn All-New England recognition; Finished 8th in the 50 breaststroke (school record 33.89)
Andrea Daley was the coach

2003-04 - Senior Team record (7-4) GNAC Championship (1st) NEISDA Championship (9th/21)
Team co-captain
NEISDA - Placed 10th in 50 breaststroke (school record 33.68)
All-New England  ???
GNAC champion in the 50 breaststroke with a school record 33.78) and two relays (2nd leg on 200 medley relay that finished in school record 2:00.72 and first leg on 400 freestyle relay that won in 4:00.34) 3rd in 50 freestyle at GNAC
NEISDA - Broke her school record in the 50 breaststroke (33.89)
Andrea Daley was the coach
 
(50 freestyle, 50 breaststroke, 200 freestyle relay, 400 freestyle relay, 800 freestyle relay, 200 medley relay, 400 medley relay)

Massa-Masiuk was a three-year member of the women's swimming team from 2002-04, holding 12 school records--five still stand today--by the time she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in biology (also minored in chemistry.)

She made her WNE debut during her sophomore season of 2001-02, earning All-New England honors after placing sixth in the 50-yard freestyle at the New England Intercollegiate Swimming and Diving Association Championships.

As a junior, she repeated her All-New England status in the 50-free and set a school record in the 50-breaststroke (33.89 seconds) while helping the team to one of its best seasons--an 11-3 dual-meet record--in program history.

She co-captained the Golden Bears during her senior year, leading WNE to the GNAC crown, re-setting her own school record in the 50-breast to win the conference title in that race and swimming on two GNAC-winning relays in the 200-medley and 400-free. She finished her career as the 11th-highest point-scorer in school history.

Not only did she make her mark in WNE Athletics history, but she also went on to being an accomplished athlete in the triathlon by qualifying for the 2012 World Championships in Hawaii and as a distance runner who completed the Boston Marathon. finishing in top three in her age group in 2012 at Lake Placid that qualified her for the World Championships in Hawaii

She became a pharmacist for Rite Aid Corporation after receiving her Doctor of Pharmacy at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Worcester.

A resident of Easthampton, Mass., she is married to her husband, Matthew.
Holyoke Catholic High School graduate

2. Describe your most memorable moment(s) as a student-athlete here? I remember winning a swim meet at Clark University versus WPI. Everyone swam great! I remember beating my rival in the 50 free and competing in the freestyle relay at the very end of the meet where the winner of the event would win the meet.  It came down to a place judge's decision because there were no touch pads and the timers had nearly identical times.  It was funny because we thought we lost and then Coach D(aley) came over to us and was screaming that we won, why are you so sad?!  The place judges placed us first!  The whole team celebrated all the way home on the bus back to campus, it was great!

Massa-Masiuk's best advice that her college coach ever gave her came in the form of a hint, explaining "Coach Andrea Daley told me once at the NEISDA Championships that she was giving the awards out for an event that I was competing in and that I had better be on the podium : )

5. Do you still stay active in your sport? I swim on Masters swim team at the Holyoke YMCA. I swim mostly every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning. I've swam in a couple swim meets this past year. I also am a tri-athlete and swim in the open water to train for that.

6. What else do you do for hobbies, recreation, etc? I have been competing in triathlons for the past six years. I compete in competitions ranging from sprint distances to Ironman. I am best at the Ironman distance (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run) I have been named USA Triathlon All American in 2012 and 2013 and currently am an Ironman All World Gold Athlete meaning I am in the top 1 percent of my age group worldwide in Ironman events. I have competed in the Ironman World Championships in Kona Hawaii in 2012 and this year I have qualified for the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada which takes place Sep. 7,and I have qualified again for Ironman World Champs in Kona this October which I will be competing in. 

7. What did it mean to you to be a Golden Bear and to earn your degree from WNE? I was extremely happy and lucky to be a Golden Bear. I originally went to UMASS Amherst and did not swim on the swim team there.  I transferred to WNEC halfway through my freshman year and joined the swim team.  I felt so happy to compete in swimming again. My sophomore year we had such a great team, and that's the year I remember the most.  We had such a great season and got along so well.  I felt privileged to earn my degree from WNE because I knew it would set me up to accomplish more goals in my life. I was accepted to Mass College of Pharmacy in Worcester and went on to earn my Doctor of Pharmacy degree. I knew that the instruction I received at WNEC would prepare me well and it certainly did.