CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Following yet another successful season for the Carson-Newman swim teams, the Eagles will now set their sights on the most important meet of the season as they prepare for the four-day event that is the Bluegrass Mountain Conference Championships.
The BMC Championships will begin on Wednesday, Feb. 14 and commence on Saturday afternoon.
The C-N men enter the Championships ranked No. 17 in the country while the women also hold a spot in the top-20 at No. 19.
"It's another year and just trying to take it as it comes," Coach Jordan Taylor stated. "Last year was fantastic but we aren't looking to sit still and be the same. Our sights are set on bigger things."
Jordan Taylor's squad comes off a 2017 Championships in which the Eagles posted the best finish in program history at the BMC Championships.
Over the course of four days, 18 different Eagles earned All-BMC honors in 26 events.
The C-N men finished with a point total of 1036, an improvement of more than 200 points from where they finished the year prior. They also placed third, two spots higher than the 2016 team.
The women put on a better performance than any of their previous showings at the conference meet, piling up 1126 points to also earn a spot in third place.
"A big part of this season was getting experience," Taylor added. "We are as prepared as we have ever been. We have plenty of swimmers who competed last year so that does help."
C-N competed in various events against some of the top schools in the nation, most notably in the NSU Shark Invitational in which they faced off against top-10 schools in Nova Southeastern, West Florida, Wingate, and Indianapolis.
The Eagles also were the only Division II school to compete in the University of Tennessee Mid-Season Invitational, competing against the likes of Duke, North Carolina, Marshall, Penn, the Volunteers and more.
"Meets like those earlier in the year really have prepared us pretty well heading into this week," junior swimmer Jon Lancaster mentioned. "There were lots of fast teams especially having all D1 schools at UT."
The native of Ringgold, Ga. was given the award for Swimmer of the Meet at the BMC Championships last season where he earned all-conference recognition in 1000 free, the 200 individual medley and the 400 IM, setting a new school record in the latter.
The award is determined by a combination of points earned as well as ballots cast at the event. Lancaster became the first student-athlete from C-N to be honored with the award.
"This year my main goal is to make nationals and not just in a relay," Lancaster mentioned. "It's all about the mindset. Learn to stay calm and do what we do every day in practice."
Preliminary races for each day are set to begin at 10:00 a.m. with the finals taking place later in the evening.