JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – The Carson-Newman swim team gets set to compete in the Open Water Championships in Lawrence, Kan. this Saturday, Sept. 16.
The team heads into this weekend after competing in the Knoxville Open Water Series last week. Some of the current Eagles swimmers are very familiar with nationals having competed in Kansas last year as well.
"Having done a few open waters before, I'm pretty confident about this weekend," exclaimed Figueiredo. "The team performed pretty well in Knoxville last weekend so expectations are pretty high."
Figueiredo, a junior from Porto Alegre, Brazil, will have some motivation going into this weekend after falling short of a 1st-place finish by .02 seconds in 2016.
"That's definitely some motivation for this year," added Figueiredo. "We have more people on the team this year to compete so we can work together for a better results."
The junior freestyler also competed in the American National Championships in May of 2017 in California.
"There were not just Americans there. They had some of the best swimmers from around the world so it was an awesome experience to race those guys as trials for the World Championships," explained Figueiredo.
The Open Water Championships give C-N the opportunity to compete against Division 1 schools such as Texas A&M, Missouri, UConn, Kansas, among others. The group also puts competitive division 2 and 3 schools in the mix.
"Preparation for this is really important because you have to know your pace, understand how to work in a pack, be smart with the turns and just knowing the course," explained Coach Jordan Taylor. "Our team looks forward to racing some of these big schools, and with most of our swimmers returning, we have a lot of experience with the race and the course whereas last year we didn't know what to expect."
"The pool is really different from open water," added Taylor. "We are fortunate to have the opportunity to race last weekend in the Knoxville Open Water Series, and having a lake right here by campus gives us the opportunity to practice and not every school has that opportunity."
The women's event will begin at 8:30 a.m. followed by the men at 10:00 a.m.