Feb. 17, 2014
Mustang Swimmers & Divers Set to Compete in the Inaugural AAC Championships:
SMU is set to travel to Louisville, Ky. to compete in the inaugural American Athletic Conference Championship in the Ralph Wright Natatorium and will last from Feb. 19-22. The Mustangs have won 16 conference championships in the last 17 years from three different conferences, including Conference USA, the Western Athletic Conference and the former Southwestern Conference. The Mustangs look to continue their success this week in the new American Athletic Conference.
Who Lives The American Dream:
The American features four schools on the men's side including the No. 15 ranked Louisville Cardinals. The other schools competing at the Championships will be UConn and Cincinnati.
Attending The Championships:
All-session tickets are now available, and can be purchased up until the start of competition on Feb. 19. All-session adult tickets are $33.00. All-session 18 and under, college student, and senior citizen tickets are $18.00. Tickets can be bought online or through the University of Louisville ticket office at 502-852-5151.
Swimming preliminaries will be held each day in the morning beginning at 10 a.m. Finals will start in the evenings at 6 pm. Diving preliminaries are at noon every day, with finals combined with swimming in the evening sessions.
Following The Championships:
Fans can follow the championships on the Internet through The American's Championship Central Page here: http://theamerican.org/sports/2014/1/16/SD_0116143829.aspx
Available through this link is the schedule for each day/results once an event is finished and the American Athletic Conferences Championship Program.
Mustangs in The American Ranks:
SMU has 13 swimmers ranked in the top 10 of the American Athletic Conference including three ranked in the top 5 across 13 events. The Mustangs also have four relay teams ranked second in the conference.
For the swimmers in the top 5, Ramom Melo ranks fourth in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 20.35 that he clocked in a dual meet versus Texas A&M in the Perkins Natatorium at SMU. Eastman Holloway ranks fourth in the 1000 freestyle with a time of 9:30.53 that he recorded at the same dual meet. Nicolai Hansen ranks in the top 5 in two races including the 200-yard freestyle (4th (1:37.61)) and the 200 breaststroke (5th, 2:01.26)) for times he recorded at the 30th annual Classic at SMU.
Regarding the relays, SMU has four relay teams ranked second in The American beginning with Ziga Cerkovnik, Matt Roney, Ryan Koops and Hansen in the 200-yard freestyle relay as they posted a time of 1:21.42. In the 200-yard medley relay, Matas Andriekus, Matthew Napier-Jameson, Cerkovnik and Koops recorded a time of 1:30.45 as each of these two times were recorded at the 30th annual Classic at SMU. In the 400-yard freestyle relay, Giedrius Andriunaitis, Melo, Koops and Roney recorded a time of 2:59.29 and in the 400-yard medley relay the group of Cerkovnik, Andriekus, Napier-Jameson and Koops have clocked a time of 3:16.19. Both of these times were clocked in the dual meet versus Texas A&M.
Following the inaugural American Athletic Conference Championships, qualifying swimmers will then compete at the American Short Course Championships (March 6-8) while qualifying divers will head to the NCAA Zone D Diving Championships (March 8-10). The NCAA Championships take place from March 27-29 in Austin, Texas.
Senior Ramom Melo placed first in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 20.35 seconds as the SMU men's swimming and diving team fell to Texas A&M, 143-100 in SMU's third and final dual meet of the season.
In the 200-yard breaststroke, senior Nicolai Hansen finished first with a time of 2:01.79. In addition, Hansen placed second (1:49.48) in the 200-yard individual medley, while classmate Tyler Rauth finished runner-up in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:51.22. Junior Devin Burnett led the Mustang divers as he placed first in the 1-meter dive (359.99) and second 3-meter dive (384.00).
Diver of the Week:
Devin Burnett earned his first weekly honor of the season on January 7, 2014 as Burnett became the first diver recognized by the conference this season after his strong performance at the Georgia Diving Invitational. Competing against a strong field in Athens, Ga., Burnett took first place in both the 1-meter (371.5) and 3-meter dives (381.9) and added a top three finish in the platform dive.
Tradition of Excellence:
SMU has won 16 conference championships in 17 years from three different conferences, including Conference USA, the Western Athletic Conference and the former Southwestern Conference. The Mustangs look to continue their success in the new American Athletic Conference. Head Coach Eddie Sinnott begins his 25th season, having been named conference Coach of the Year 16 times. During his tenure, SMU has had 11 NCAA top-15 finishes, 337 All-America honors and 237 conference champions.