JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – The Carson-Newman swim program will open up the 2016 calendar year in the Commonwealth of Virginia as they face the Emory & Henry Wasps and King (Tenn.) Tornado in a tri-meet at the Emory & Henry Aquatic Center.
The 17th-ranked women's team will face both the Wasps and Tornado, while the men will only face King because Emory & Henry does not field a men's program.
The Eagles have not competed in over a month after picking up a combined win over the Bellarmine Knights at Maddox Pool on Dec. 12th. C-N did ring in the New Year with a training trip in Cocoa Beach, Fla.
"I think the most impressive thing was how hard we worked; the entire team really got after it for eight practices," McCord said of the Sunshine State trip. "To be in that type of environment, to swim up and down a very, very long pool, much longer than one they are used to, and to have that type of intensity was really impressive. We, as a team, really grew at Cocoa Beach.
"I think the main thing is they got a chance to train together and feel what it would be like if they really had an opportunity to be as committed all the way through. It will really pay off for us in a few weeks."
The tri-meet against King and Emory & Henry starts the toughest portion of the Carson-Newman schedule. The Eagles will begin an eight-day stretch that features two meets; C-N will travel to Salisbury, N.C. to face the Catawba Indians next Saturday in the programs' final regular season meet.
"We are in our home stretch and I think the biggest thing that we want to do is practice our race skills correctly," McCord said. "It is a meters pool, so none of times are anything we are used to, but that is a good thing. It will be good because we not supposed to swim super-fast right now, but we are suppose to race the other people and practice our racing skills, which starts about an hour before each event. We are looking forward to that opportunity and we will take that all the way through Catawba."
The Eagles enter the meet with a 5-1 record in dual meets this season with the lone loss coming against the Limestone men on Halloween night. Dating back to January 2014, the women's program has won its last nine meets.
Last season, the women's team knocked off Emory & Henry 120-85 and King 146.5-38.5 in Kingsport, Tenn. During that meet, the Eagles won eight of the 11 events with Lexy Raybon (Sarasota, Fla.) and Margaret Stansberry (Knoxville, Tenn.) each winning two events. The men's squad defeated King 131-19 and won 10 of the 11 event; Tommy Bourgeois (Kingsport, Tenn.) paced C-N with wins in the 500 and 1000 Free.
King and Emory & Henry met earlier this season on Oct. 23rd with the Wasps taking home a 153-41 win; E&H won nine of the 11 events that evening.
This season, the Division III Wasps are 5-0 with two wins over Division II foes in King and Converse. The Tornado women are 3-3 with meet wins against Milligan, Mars Hill and Life University.
The King men are 2-2 with wins over Milligan and Life. The Tornado finished 12th out of 14 teams at the Brenau Invitational on Nov. 21st in its last competition.
Carson-Newman, Emory & Henry and King begin the meet at noon on Saturday. Full results and a recap will be available on cneagles.com following the conclusion of the meet.