JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman Swim Coach Jordan Taylor has released the schedule for the upcoming 2018-19 season as the Eagles look to repeat a year which was one of the most respected since the program's inception in 2012.
The Eagles will begin the year once again with the National Open Water Championships in Lawrence, Kan. a meet in which the Eagles took home the crown as the highest finish of any Division II team. The event is scheduled over a two-day period on Sept. 21 and 22.
C-N would finish the race with three swimmers inside the top-20, with Casey Charles (Mount Juliet, Tenn.) and Marcelo Figueiredo (Porto Alegre, Brazil) at 12th and 15th respectively. Caleb Howell (Easley, S.C.) led all Eagle swimmers with a 10th-place finish. The Eagles held a total of 5 swimmers in the top-25 en route its top-finish out of all D2 schools.
"As part of growing this program, we are trying to raise the standard in practice but also challenge them to race faster continually throughout the year," Taylor mentioned. "Years before we've gone undefeated through meets but our swimmers weren't really getting challenged."
Taylor's group will play host to four home meets over the course of the season which includes the annual Blue v. Orange meet on Sept. 28 which pits swimmers against their own teammates.
One of the top D2 programs in the nation in Wingate will visit Mossy Creek for a two-day meet on Oct. 19-20, with Lee-McRae making an appearance in November and Emmanuel in January of 2019.
C-N will return to the University of Tennessee Invite for the second straight year which was a three-day meet in 2017 when the program faced off against seven of the top Division 1 schools in the country. The Eagles were the only D2 team to receive an invite.
"The mid-season meet is a good benchmark for us," Taylor added. "Since last year we've been focused on what we picked up in Knoxville in all the little areas. Is it on the skills, mindset, or confidence? Typically it's been the skills in which we focused on heading into conference and we've gotten on it early in 2018."
C-N will also make a trip to the University of Indianapolis, a team which finished top-5 at the NCAA Championships last season and a program that also made an appearance at the Nova Invitational.
"They've come on our radar doing well the last number of years," Taylor said. "They're growing their program just like we have been doing here. Their coach is really impressed with what we do as I am with their program. If we want to be the best we have to race the best and that will really prepare our athletes for the challenges that lie ahead."
It's a long, grueling season for both the men's and women's programs, a season that does not compare with many other collegiate sports with the exception of golf lasting from September to the ultimate goal of the NCAA National Championships in March.
"We essentially never really take a break," Taylor stated. "We have training and offseason programs after their two weeks off when the season is over. There were international athletes who went back home to race, we had athletes stay here and practice six days a week and we hit the ground running when they came back to campus in August. There are a couple people who could have done a bit more this summer, but they've been good after the first week which was a little rough."