JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – The Carson-Newman swim team gets ready for its first dual meet of the year when they travel to Limestone on Saturday, Sept. 7 to take on the Saints.
The Eagles have competed in the Knoxville open water series already in 2017, including a first-place finish at Nationals in Lawrence, Kan. the following week.
Tomorrow's meet in Gaffney, S.C. is a little over two weeks after Coach Jordan Taylor held the annual Blue v. Orange Intrasquad meet, pitting teammates against each other for some friendly competition.
"As far as this weekend, it's the first stepping stone of the season essentially," said Taylor. "We are really excited to open up the season vs. Limestone. In preparing for this, athletes have probably worked the hardest they ever have during my three years here."
Taylor contributes that to planning for conference and nationals later in the year. "I did it on purpose, mostly because I want them to race under fatigue and execute their skills even when they're tired and when you are in the thick of it with top competition, you're going to be tired at the end of your races. If you can't execute when you're tired, your hand won't be on the wall first."
The Eagles have faced off against the Saints the last two years, sharing wins in each of the meets. Each team's win came at their own facility. The Eagles women's team picked up a 172.5-87.5 win over the Saints in 2015-16 but the men's squad fell by a score of 152-110.
C-N defeated Limestone last year by a combined score of 386-134. The men recorded a 185-77 win, while the women stayed undefeated against the Saints earning a 201-57 final.
"Especially on the guy's side, Limestone is a super strong team," added Taylor. "They have athletes who are expected to go to nationals, and they've had multiple all-americans. They are very strong on relays and that's something that we've been known for the past couple years. With some of our new freshman, we want to keep that tradition going and we can continue to step up in those areas."
"On the girl's side, they haven't been as strong as our team being as we were ranked 16th in the country. I want them to go all out and battle throughout even if it won't be as much competition for them at this point in the season."
The event is scheduled for a 1:00 p.m. start.