With both the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams wrapping up their regular seasons last Friday with dual meet wins at Rose-Hulman Institute of Techonology, their focus has now shifted to winning their respective Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference titles.
The No. 19-ranked men wrapped up their season with a score of 183-132, securing a perfect 7-0 record for duel meets this season. Eight tigers won individual events, and the 200 medley relay and the 400 free relay teams also came away with victories.
With the final duel meet out of the way, the men would like nothing more than to repeat as SCAC champions.
“Anything less than first would be a disappointment; we have won a total of 8 SCAC championships, and a win here would be our seventh in a row,” said freshman Jack Burgeson. “With the switch to the North Coast Athletic Conference next year, we are hoping to leave the SCAC on a good note.”
At last year’s conference championship, the Tigers edged out Trinity University by 96.5 points, and the competition will not get any easier this year.
“Winning the SCAC is going to be tough. If we bring our A-game we should come out with a win,” said junior John Montgomery. “We are going to need a lot of teammates to step up, but I know they are ready for the challenge.
Like other sports teams, the men are looking to qualify swimmers to nationals in both individual events and relays through their performance in the conference championships.
“The 16 fastest relay times will qualify for the national meet,” said Burgeson. “Our 800 free relay and 200 Medley relay have a very good chance at earning a spot in the meet, and the 400 free, 200 free, and 400 medley relays could also end up with a top-16 spot.”
On the other side of the pool the women will look to rebound from a 49-point loss to Trinity last year at the conference meet.
The team was able to end its season on a high note by snapping a two-dual-meet losing streak. The Tigers were able to win 12 of the 15 total events on the way to a 154-point victory.
Of course the team will look for their top swimmers such as junior Catie Baker, who was last year’s “Women’s Swimmer of the Meet”, as well as seniors Katie Massey, Callie Boehme and sophomore Nicole Rossillo to lead the team. Although they are the top swimmers, the championship could come down to diving.
Although the divers don’t expect to dethrone last year’s national champion — Trinity’s Hayley Emerick — they do hope they can contribute to the overall team score.
“We do want to help the team as a whole so we can beat Trinity as a whole,” said sophomore diver Morgan Crandall.
The women’s swim team openly admits that Trinity is going to be their toughest competition and hopes they can come away with the title in their last year in the SCAC.
The conference championships will be held from February 16th to 19th in Shenandoah, Texas at the Conroe ISD Natatorium.