JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – The lone representative for Division II swimming at this weekend's Georgia Tech Mid-Season Invitational at the McAuley Aquatic Center in Atlanta will be the Carson-Newman Eagles.
The Eagles will compete against a field comprised of three Division I ranked men's teams and five ranked women's teams; Carson-Newman enters the meet with two ranked teams as the women are 16th and the men are 24th after the meet against Limestone on Halloween night.
The meet is a three-day event will begin on Thursday morning and run through Saturday evening.
"One of the main reasons we've selected this meet is because of the elite level competition. It will be very important to swim fast in the morning and we will have a great opportunity, if we swim fast in the morning, to come back and then race at night, post some good times and set up ourselves up for conference and hopefully nationals," swim coach Paige McCord said.
The Eagles have already set one school record this season when freshman Jon Lancaster (Ringgold, Ga.) swam a 9:52.24 in the 1000 Free against Limestone. Lancaster also has the team's top time in the 200 and 500 Free and 200 Back. Junior All-American Sam Schechter (Knoxville, Tenn.) has the fastest swims in the 50 and 100 Free.
The women's team has been led by a variety of swimmers. Freshman Lisa Postma (Leiden, Holland), sophomore Margaret Stansberry (Knoxville, Tenn.), sophomore Lexy Raybon (Sarasota, Fla.), freshman Olivia Winkler (Marietta, Ga.) and sophomore Maggie Melhorn (Knoxville, Tenn.) each have swam the quickest time in an event. Postma led the Eagles in the 50 and 100 Free, Stansberry swam the fastest times in the 200 and 500 Free and 200 Free, Raybon led C-N in the distance 500 Free and 200 Fly. Winkler swam the 100 Back, 200 I.M. and 100 Fly quickest and Melhorn owns the season's fast times in 100 and 200 Breast.
The Arkansas Razorbacks are the top-ranked team on each side with the men currently 11th and the women are 18th. The Razorbacks are currently undefeated in 2015. Former Carson-Newman All-American and school record holder Natalie Burnett currently swims for Arkansas.
Alabama, Bowling Green, Campbell, Columbia, Florida Atlantic, Florida Gulf Coast, Miami (Fla.), Nevada – Las Vegas and South Carolina will also compete. Indian River State College, the top JUCO school, will also swim in Atlanta. The Gamecocks are ranked 20th on the men's side while the Eagles from Florida Gulf Coast are 24th on the women's side.
"It means we have done well, but we have to keep working hard and every year get better. I'm very much looking forward to that happening this weekend," McCord said of the Eagles being the lone D-II team. "Our athletes, as we've been practicing for 13 weeks now, will have success if they act professional and swim fast. It will take care of itself."
A recap will be available following each evening of competition at the Georgia Tech Mid-Season Invitational on cneagles.com.