JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. - Carson-Newman Swimming turns its heads to the Bluegrass Mountain Conference Championships this week set to take place from Feb. 6-9 in Charlotte, N.C. at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center.
Events will begin on Wednesday evening with the men's and women's 200-yard medley relay at 5:00 p.m. followed by the 1000-yard freestyle and the 800-freestyle relays.
Thursday, Friday and Saturday will feature the morning preliminary swims at 10:00 a.m. with the event finals slated to take place 5:00 p.m. The top-six finishers in each individual event receive All-BMC honors. The conference plaudits will exist for the top-three teams in relay events.
"We're ready for the big stage when it counts and I think we prepared that way this year between racing Wingate twice, Nova Southeastern and going to the Tennessee Invitational," Coach Jordan Taylor said. "Across the whole board we need to be good. We need to get points and over the years if you're weak in certain events, a team will be able to get a big lead and it will be hard to recover. We just have to hold our own in those relays and get the team to step up.
"It's a whole team effort. Whether it's 'A' final or 'B' final we need to give it our all and we can't give up points. Overall as a team, we need to be loud. Everyone with us needs to be ready to make noise especially during the finals. If our team doesn't feel like they have 50 people on their shoulders then we are doing something wrong."
Entering the meet, Taylor's team's will enter the league championships ranked for both the men's and women's programs cracking the top-20 in the 2019 final rankings prior to the NCAA's in the TYR/CSCAA National Division II polls.
The men's team holds a spot at No. 14 with the women rounding out the spot at No. 20.
Queens and Wingate are the only other conference teams who hold spot in the national rankings as the Royals hold the No. 1 spot in the country on both men's and women's sides. Wingate sits at No. 18 and No. 8 respectively.
Other league members include Catawba, Lenoir-Rhyne, Mars Hill, Pfeiffer, Salem, and Savannah College of Art and Design.
Last year's conference championships saw the Royals taking the title on both men's and women's sides with Wingate as the runner-up.
Taylor's women's side finished third in the team rankings with the men in fourth behind previous league member Limestone. The Eagles were edged by just one point for third-place, 863-862.
"As far as the last few years, I think we are in a better place we've ever been," Taylor said. "As far as regular season goes, it's the best season we've had with being ranked as high as we've ever been. It's the biggest roster we've had and we had our fastest dual meet swim off the season two weeks ago at King. The team is starting to look really good and I was pleased with some of our simulation swims over the weekend. This is what we have been working towards and we are excited about what can happen this week."
Follow along with our Instagram and Twitter pages at @CNAthletics for all updates on the BMC Championships and follow the team accounts @CNSwim.