JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. -- The third season for the Carson-Newman swim program is on the brink of existence as the Eagles open the season with the Triple Splash at 6 p.m. in Maddox Pool on Thursday night.
Seven months removed from its first appearance in the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships, the Eagles welcome back five swimmers that competed in Indianapolis are back for another season on the banks of Mossy Creek. In total, 20 student-athletes return from the undefeated team last year, while over 20 freshmen and transfer are set for the first season in the Blue and Orange.
"We cannot wait to begin this season. It has been well anticipated. We are looking forward to the opportunity to get in and race. We have a slew of new freshmen and a ton of returners with a lot of talent," coach Paige McCord said.
The newcomers are well aware of the stature of the program that they are joining, but McCord and her coaching staff made sure that the new Eagles knew just what the Carson-Newman swim program expects from its athletes.
"One thing that we have done is make t-shirts emphasizing our core values, which are commitment, hard work, integrity and a positive, energy-giving attitude, and any swimmer knows how important those four qualities are," McCord said. "There are several of our freshmen that have already fully embodied that and I am really, really thankful. They're coming in and setting the bar even higher. I love to see what they are doing."
Junior Sam Schechter (Knoxville, Tenn.) is the lone returning All-American and McCord said the Knoxville-native has taken a leadership role on this year's team to lead the Eagles back to Indianapolis and the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships.
"Sam is doing fantastic. We are very pleased he has stepped up. Additionally, several of our juniors have stepped up. We actually had so much leadership that we have formed a leadership committee; there is a group of nine and they are doing fantastic."
The Triple Splash begins at 6 p.m. on Thursday and will feature different events throughout the night and door prizes will be given away. One special event will feature a relay race between members of the coaching staff and current athletes. A full recap and videos will be available following the conclusion of the meet.