Mustang Swimmers & Divers Set to Compete in Final Meets Prior to NCAA's

Go smu! Freshman Ziga Cerkovnik
Go smu!
Freshman Ziga Cerkovnik
Go smu!

March 4, 2014

 SMU AT American Short Course Championships / NCAA Zone D Diving Qualification
 Date & Start Time   Thurs.-Sat., March 6-8, 2014 / Mon.-Wed., March 10-12, 2014
 Location  Austin, Texas / Minneapolis, Minn.
 SMU Meet Notes  Meet Notes (.pdf)
 Facebook  /SMUMustangs   |   /SMUSwimDiveM
 Twitter  @SMUMustangs   |   @SMUSMUSwimmingM
 SMU App  iPhone App   |   Android App

Mustang Swimmers & Divers Set to Compete in Final Meets Prior to NCAA's:
The SMU swimmers are set to travel to Austin, Texas to compete at the American Short Course Championships on March, 6-8 while the Mustang divers travel to Minneapolis, Minn. to compete at the NCAA Zone D Qualification from March, 10-12 with SMU's goal to earn a trip to the NCAA Championships in Austin, Texas at the end of March. The Ponies are sending eight swimmers to Austin and three divers to Minneapolis.

Heading to Austin:
SMU has eight swimmers heading south to Austin for the American Short Course Championships. Seniors Nicolai Hansen, Ryan Koops and Ramom Melo, juniors Matas Andriekus, Hunter Middleton and Pablo Lara Carillo, sophomore Mitchell Towne and freshman Ziga Cerkovnik are all competing in multiple events.

Heading to Minneapolis:
SMU has three divers heading north to Minneapolis for the NCAA Zone D Diving Qualification Meet. Juniors Devin Burnett and Hayden Hodges and freshman Bryce Klein will compete in the 1-meter, 3-meter and platform dives.

Looking Ahead:
Following the American Short Course Championships and the NCAA Zone D Qualifications, qualifying swimmers and divers will compete at the NCAA Championships which take place from March 27-29 in Austin, Texas.   

Looking Back:
SMU finished second at the inaugural American Athletic Conference Championship and were highlighted by junior diver Devin Burnett as he won the 1-meter (386.80), 3-meter (389.45) and platform dives (399.65). For his outstanding efforts, Burnett was named the 2014 American Athletic Conference Diver of the Meet. In addition, head diving coach Jim Stillson was named the 2014 Men's Diving Coach of the Year and had 11 All-American Athletic Conference selections.

Louisville won the team title as it scored 1072.5 points. Following the Cardinals was SMU (2nd, 768 points), UConn (3rd, 683.5 points) and Cincinnati (4th, 535 points).

Diver of the Year:
Junior diver Devin Burnett was named the 2014 Men's Diver of the Year by the American Athletic Conference following his outstanding performance at the inaugural American Championship. Burnett placed in all three diving events including the one-meter (386.80), three-meter (389.45), and platform dive (399.65).

Coach of the Year:
Head Diving Coach Jim Stillson was named the 2014 Men's Diving Coach of the Year by the American Athletic Conference following SMU's outstanding performance at the inaugural American Championship. Stillson coached junior Devin Burnett to three first places (one-meter (386.80), three-meter (389.45), platform dive (399.65)) which earned him the 2014 Most Outstanding Diver award. Also earning all-conference honors for Stillson were freshman Bryce Klein and junior Hayden Hodges. Klein finished second in both the one-meter (376.60) and three-meter dives (379.90), while Hodges placed second in the platform dive (322.35) and third in both the one-meter (346.95) and three-meter dives (379.90).

A11-Conference:
Eleven SMU swimming & diving student-athletes were named to the 2014 All-American Athletic Conference men's swimming and diving team. They are seniors Nicolai Hansen, Ryan Koops, Ramom Melo and Matt Roney, juniors Matas Andriekus, Devin Burnett, Hayden Hodges and Tyler Rauth, sophomore Eastman Holloway and freshmen Ziga Cerkovnik and Bryce Klein. The accolades came from three diving events, two swimming races and four relay races. In addition to earning this accolade, Burnett was named the 2014 Most Outstanding Diver as he placed first in the one-meter (386.80), three-meter (389.45) and platform dives (399.65).

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.

Mustangs Fall to Texas A&M in Dallas:
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).  

Mustangs Place Sixth at 30th Annual Classic at SMU:
Junior diver Devin Burnett placed first (393.55) in the 1-meter and 3-meter (371.70) dives and was named the Most Valuable Diver of the meet as the SMU men's swimming and diving team placed sixth at the 30th annual Classic at SMU.

No. 1 ranked Michigan won the highly-competitive Classic with 333 points while No. 3 Florida was a close second (321 points). Placing third through sixth was No. 6 USC (298), No. 8 Louisville (266.5), Purdue (244.5) who is receiving votes and SMU (210).

SMU Drops Dual Meet At LSU:
Junior diver Devin Burnett finished first in both the 1 and 3-meter dives as he posted scores of 359.55 and 397.50, respectively, as the SMU men's swimming and diving team fell to LSU, 185-112 in SMU's second dual meet of the season. Freshman Ziga Cerkovnik made his collegiate debut today and placed first in the 50-yard freestyle (20.59) and second in the 100-yard butterfly (49.88). In relays, the Ponies won the 400-yard freestyle relay as the team of seniors Matt Roney, Ryan Koops, junior Giedrius Andriunaitis and Cerkovnik placed first with a time of 3:05.15. Individually, Roney finished runner-up in both the 100-yard and 200-yard freestyle races with times of 46.40 and 1:40.3, respectively. In the 200-yard breaststroke and 200-yard individual medley, senior Nicolai Hansen placed runner-up in both with times of 2:04.34 and 1:52.93, respectively. Hansen also finished third in the 100-yard breaststroke in 56.54.

Mustang Divers Competed At Georgia Diving Invitational:
SMU competed at the Georgia Diving Invitational to open up the new year. Junior diver Devin Burnett placed first in both the 1-meter and 3-meter dives as well as third in the platform dive. Freshman Bryce Klein earned fourth place honors in the 3-meter dive and placed sixth in the 1-meter dive.

In addition, junior Hayden Hodges finished ninth in the 1-meter dive, 13th in the 3-meter dive and 17th in the platform dive while sophomore Parker Meinecke placed 18th in the platform dive, 21st in the 1-meter and 23rd in the 3-meter.

Freshman Bryce Klein Competed At U.S. Diving National Finals:
Freshman diver Bryce Klein finished 11th (320.10) in the 1-meter dive, 24th (314.6) in the 3-meter dive and qualified for the finals and finished sixth (751.43) in the synchronized 3-meter dive finals as he paired with Texas graduate student and former Stanford diver Dwight Dumais. The duo placed fifth (365.73) in the preliminary round on day four to qualify for the finals.

SMU Places Fifth At Texas A&M Invitational:
The Mustangs men's swimming and diving team placed fifth of six schools at the Texas A&M Invitational back in late November. SMU was led by diver Devin Burnett as he won the platform dive with a score of 393.55, finished third (371.4) in the 1-meter dive and placed sixth in the 3-meter dive with a score of 380.5. In addition for the Mustang divers, Bryce Klein placed seventh in the 1-meter dive (310.8) and ninth (322.8) in the 3-meter dive as he competed in the first two events of his collegiate career.

For the swimmers, Matt Roney and Ryan Koops paced the SMU swimmers as they finished third in the 200-yard freestyle (1:37.92) and fourth in the 50-yard freestyle (20:50), respectively.  In relays, the Ponies placed fourth in the 400-yard freestyle relay as Giedrius Andriunaitis, Ramom Melo, Koops and Roney finished in 3:00.83 and the group of Julian Fletcher, Koops, Melo and Roney earned fifth place in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:22.29.

SMU Falls To TCU In Season Opener:
Divers Devin Burnett and Hayden Hodges finished first and second in the 1-meter and 3-meter dives, respectively, as the SMU men's swimming and diving team opened its season by falling at TCU, 177.5-122.5. In addition to Burnett, SMU placed first in three other races. The Ponies won the 400-yard freestyle relay as the team of Matt Roney, Ramom Melo and Ryan Koops and Justin Gibson finished with a time of 3:04.28.

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.

Mustangs Return Two All-Americans:
Senior Captain Nicolai Hansen and senior Ryan Koops return with All-America honors they earned as part of the 14th place 400-freestyle relay team at the 2013 NCAA Championship.

2013-14 Outlook:
The SMU men's swimming and diving team has a new league for 2013-14 but the goal is the same. The Mustangs are aiming for their 17th conference championship in the last 18 years. SMU returns two All-Americans, nine All-Conference USA selections and 23 letterwinners as it seeks to claim the first American Athletic Conference Championship this winter. The Mustangs will be led by senior captain Nicolai Hansen. Hansen is one of nine seniors. who head coach Eddie Sinnott says is a "strong group of individuals", noting that there is a senior in every event except diving.