JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – It will be a showdown of two nationally-ranked teams this weekend as the Carson-Newman swim program will kick off its 2018-19 season with a dual meet against the Wingate Bulldogs at the MSAC Pool on Friday at 5:30 p.m. Day two will follow up on Saturday morning at 11:00 a.m. C-N has not lost a home meet since 2013, the first season in the program's history.
The last time the Eagles were defeated inside their home confines came at the hands of Limestone who topped the women 139-113 and the men 157-105.
"It's a record that we are really proud of," Coach Jordan Taylor said. "For me, it's about kicking off the season in a positive manner and against one of the fastest team's we will have ever raced in a dual meet setting. We're delighted to welcome them to the pool this weekend and it's going to be a really hard-fought battle across every single event. It is why we set up our season the way it is. It's the hardest we've had but I think our team is ready for that."
The Bulldogs men's and women's sides hold top-10 positions at No. 10 and No. 9 respectively in the College Swimming Coaches Association of America/TYR NCAA Division II top 25 preseason poll. The C-N women's group holds the edge over the men checking in at No. 18 to the men's No. 20.
A Bluegrass Mountain Conference foe in Wingate was also well represented in the 2018 NCAA Division II Swim Championships. The Bulldogs narrowly topped the Eagles on the women's side receiving 186 points with a No. 8 finish. C-N's ninth-place finish procured 166.5 points.
The Bulldogs men's side competed with some of the best in the country with a seventh-place finish with 204 points.
The Wingate women's side finished second in the 2018 BMC Championships with Queens holding the title and C-N in the third spot. On the men's side, the Eagles were edged by one point for a top-three spot, as Queens and Wingate took the top-two positions respectively.
"They've done what we are trying to build towards and have done it a bit longer than us," Taylor said. "They've won championships and were obviously well represented last year at NCAA's. Slowly we're getting to that point where we can continue to be nationally-ranked. The first couple of years we were nowhere close to them. Slowly but surely we're able to compete against some of the best in the country."
C-N also saw the Bulldogs at the Nova Invitational where the Eagles topped Wingate on the women's side after collecting a total of 627 points (2nd-place) to Wingate's 382 (6th-place). The C-N men narrowly missed the No. 2 spot behind Indianapolis with a point total of 539.5 to the Bulldogs 548.5.
Wingate comes off a double-dual meet with No. 1 ranked Queens on both the men's and women's side, and the University of Indianapolis who is ranked second in the men's and seventh in the women's.
The University of Indianapolis took two men's swimming victories over Wingate University and Queens University of Charlotte Saturday at the Levine Center. UIndy defeated Wingate 183-79 and Queens 148-114. The host Royals defeated the WU Bulldogs 169.5-92.5.