Emory Swimming and Diving to Open Its 2009-10 Campaign on Saturday
The Emory University men's and women's swimming and diving teams
will return to the pool on Saturday at 1:00 PM against Davidson
College for their first intercollegiate meet of 2009-10
The meet, to be held at the Madeline Jude Brown Aquatic Center in the Woodruff Physical Education Center, will be the featured event during Emory's Swimming and Diving Family Weekend.
"Our team is ready to race," said Emory head coach Jon Howell. "We have been training hard and have made a lot of progress in the last couple of weeks, but I think we're ready to test ourselves and to get up and race."
The Davidson men and women will both enter the meet with a 0-2 record this season, following losses to Clemson and East Carolina. Last season, while competing at Davidson, the Emory men's team came away with a 148-89 victory, while the women won 130-113.
The Emory women will return 24 members from their 2008 squad, which finished second at the NCAA Division III National Championships last March. Included among the returners is junior Liz Horvat, who was named the NCAA Division III Swimmer of the Year after winning National Championships in the 500-yard freestyle, 1,650-yard freestyle, 400-yard individual medley and as part of the 800-yard freestyle relay. The Eagles will also be returning their entire National Champion 200-yard freestyle relay team (senior Lillian Ciardelli, junior Morgan Klinzing, sophomore Claire Pavlak and senior Ruth Westby) and three of the four members of their National Champion 800-meter relay team (Horvat, junior Katie Mroz and Westby). In total, Emory's returning swimmers garnered 30 all-America certificates and 10 all-America honorable mentions at last year's NCAA Championships.
The Emory men's squad will feature 27 returning swimmers from last year's squad, which also finished second at the NCAA Division III Championships. Emory's upperclassmen won 21 all-America certificates at last year's championship meet, including five from junior Mark Bernstein and four from senior Tom DiMarco. The Eagles set 16 school records last season, including 11 in individual events.
Emory head coach Jon Howell, who was named the Division III Women's Coach of the Year last season, will return for his 12th season with the Eagles, during which he has won University Athletic Association (UAA) Championships every season. He will be bringing back assistant coaches Cindy Fontana and Chris Marshall, and diving coach Alex Kossenkov, while adding on assistant coach Erin Detwiler in 2009.
Highlights of the 2009-10 Emory schedule include a November 4th meeting at the University of Georgia to face the NCAA Division I Women's runners-up, and the 10th-place men's team. On November 14th, the Eagles will host the Emory Fall Invitational, and then will travel to the Miami (Ohio) Invitational on December 3rd. During the spring semester, the Eagles will swim at Division I schools Georgia Tech and Auburn University, before hosting the University Athletic Association Championships starting on February 18th and the Emory Spring Invitational starting February 26th.
The Eagles will look to build on their performances during the season when they start the NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships on March 17th in Minneapolis, MN. The Eagles will look to once again be in the running for a National Championship when the annual spring meet comes around.
"This group is working towards something that they are excited about and you see that on a daily basis," said Howell. "There is a lot of motivation and a lot of positive encouragement in the pool, and it is amazing what we can do during the course of a season with those exciting goals in front of us."