JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn – Following a successful start to the season that included victories in all three of their dual meets, the Eagles will face possibly their biggest test of the season when they travel to Cincinnati, Ohio for the Bearcats Midseason Invitational, which is being held at the University of Cincinnati on November 17th – 19th.
The Eagles will be competing against a pair of Division I programs this week in the University of Cincinnati and Indiana State.
"We're looking to take the fight to these two Division I schools," coach Jordan Taylor said. " We haven't been truly tested this season and this will be a big challenge for us. I'm looking for the team to build upon all the racing they have done this season and everything we have been working on in practice and to execute the best races of the season so far."
After opening their year with a strong showing NCAA Open Water Nationals in Lawrence, Kansas, C-N has continued to impress so far this fall. They knocked off rival Limestone in their first dual meet on Oct. 15th and followed that up by sweeping the University of the Cumberlands and King University. Combined through all three dual meets, the Eagles lost just two races and will be looking to take that momentum into this week. Currently, the men are ranked 22nd in the country by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America, while the women are receiving votes.
A number of different swimmers have performed well so far this season for coach Taylor. Margaret Stansberry (Knoxville, Tenn.) has led the way on the women's side with five individual victories to her credit and has also contributed to a pair of relay wins. The squad has also gotten multiple wins from Elly Culp (West End, N.C.) Olivia Winkler (Marietta, Ga.), Lexy Raybon (Sarasota, Fla.), Maggie Melhorn (Knoxville, Tenn.), Ksenia Naydenova (Stary Oskol, Russia), Nancy Claire Smith (Franklin, Tenn.), Leah Allen (Aranda, Australia) and Lisa Postma (Leiden, Holland).
Jon Lancaster (Ringgold, Ga.) has been one of C-N's best swimmers on the men's side. He's captured five wins in individual events and also contributed to a pair of relay victories. The group has also benefitted from multiple wins by Marcelo Figueiredo (Porto Alegre, Brazil) Josh Winn (Round Rock, Texas), Pijus MacKevicius (Kaunas, Lithuania), Caleb Howell (Easley, S.C.), Seth Hughes (Kingston, Tenn.), Jonny Goss (Heiskell, Tenn.) and Sam Schechter (Knoxville, Tenn.).
This is not the first time the Eagles have seen the Cincinnati Bearcats this fall. These two teams competed at Open Water Nationals and in both the men's and women's swims, the Bearcats finished one spot ahead of Carson-Newman, with their women's team winning their event by just over three seconds. So far this season, Cincinnati has topped Michigan State and IUPUI in dual meets, sweeping both events before falling to Indiana last week. Their women's team has been led by senior Jacqueline Keire, who won three races against the Hoosiers and is undefeated in solo events. On the men's side, junior Chris Bready is the reigning Male Swimmer of the Week in the American Athletic Conference after piling up four first place finished in his team's last two meets.
Indiana State has had a difficult beginning to their season, as they've lost all three dual meets this season with one victory. Despite their troubles, the Sycamores have set records in each of their competitions this season, including in their most recent meet last week, when they set new standards in three events. Alex Malmborg broke the program mark in the 50 free by clocking in at 24.44. Courtney Skelley's time of 2:08.22 shattered the previous ISU best in the 200 fly and Kendall Hansen's 2:05.82 in the 200 back also put her in the Sycamore record book.
"Everyone has been looking really good in the water these last few days," Taylor said, "so I anticipate a lot of lifetime best swims, some school records and some national qualifying times. It's meets like these that all the early mornings and hard work are based around."
At the end of all three days on competition in Cincinnati, results and a recap will be available on cneagles.com.