College Invite Weekend #2: Links, Previews, and More

The upcoming weekend will be a busy one in college swimming, with nearly 100 competitions across the country.  A large part of the top schools in the nation will be in action, including the men’s and women’s teams from Florida, Georgia, Auburn, Texas A&M, Tennessee, and Stanford, as well as the Cal women.

Below are some details (including live results and streaming links, if available) of some of the bigger invites, in alphabetical order.  We’ll keep this updated as we go, with more links as they become available.

Art Adamson Invitational

Location: Student Recreation Center Natatorium, Texas A&M University
Dates: 11/21/13 – 11/23/13
Teams: Stanford (women), Texas A&M (men and women), SMU (men and women), LSU (men and women), Air Force (men and women), TCU (men and women)

Live results
Live stream

Three things to watch:

1)   The Texas A&M women set the pool of fire in their midseason taper meet last fall, only to disappoint a bit at the end of the year.   Sarah Henry posted a 4:33.07 in the 500 free—the second fastest swim in NCAA history in the 500 free, and fifth fastest all time at any level—only to get stuck in the consolation heat at NCAA’s.  Cammile Adams’ times from her December meet (4:35.66 in the 500 and 4:01.56 in the 400 IM) would have placed her third in both events.  Instead, she missed the top 16 in the 500, and added two seconds in the 400 IM.  Breeja Larson set NCAA records in both breaststrokes in December, only to fall short of both of those times at NCAA’s.

The Aggies seemed to turn things around somewhat by the last day of NCAA’s, but unfortunately, those performances were overshadowed by a puzzling first two days.  How will A&M approach their December meet this time around?  How will it affect them going forward?

2)   This weekend is the first real look we’ve had at how some of the nation’s top freshmen will perform, including a lot of eyes on Stanford’s class that includes 2012 Olympian Lia Neal.  Although this year’s class isn’t quite as dynamite as the group of ladies that will arrive next fall, Neal, Nicole Stafford, and others have already proven to be big contributors for the Cardinal.  They’ll need elite-level performances in March to improve on last year’s eighth place NCAA finish.

3)   Lots of great individual races to look for here: Maya Dirado vs. Henry vs. Adams in the 400 IM, Henry vs. Adams in the 500 free, Larson vs. the clock, Felicia Lee vs. Paige Miller vs. Caroline McElhany… Keep an eye on the results as the weekend moves along.

 

Auburn Invitational

Location: James E. Martin Aquatics Center, Auburn University
Dates: 11/22/13 – 11/24/13
Teams: Auburn (men and women), Florida State (men and women), Georgia (men and women), Alabama (men and women)

Live results
Live stream

Three things to watch:

1)   At this point, while they’re still producing some great sprinters, the Auburn program isn’t where it was five years ago.  After picking up some great new talents in the off season (particularly on the men’s side, with Kyle Darmody, Joe Patching, and Alex Press), it will be interesting to see if the Tigers start to turn things around.

2)   Competing in their first full-length invite of the year, we will begin to see what the Georgia women look like without Allison Schmitt and Megan RomanoMelanie Margalis has started off the season red-hot, and Olivia Smoliga will get her first chance since she arrived in Athens to really show her stuff.

3)   Like Margalis, Chase Kalisz hit the ground running this fall, turning in lifetime bests in some of his off events, including a nation-leading 200 fly (1:43.55 against Florida at the beginning of this month).

 

Georgia Tech Invitational

Location: Georgia Tech Aquatic Center, Georgia Tech
Dates: 11/22/13 – 11/24/13
Teams: Georgia Tech (men and women), Tennessee (men and women), Florida Gulf Coast (women), Emory (men and women), Florida Atlantic (men and women), James Madison (women), Vanderbilt (women)

Live results

Three things to watch:

1)   Top to bottom, the Tennessee women put together the best performance at NCAA’s a year ago, winning three relays and placing third overall as a team, despite having fewer pieces to work with than the other teams in the top five.  They’ve lost Kelsey Floyd and Caroline Simmons, but have added the #2 recruiting class in the country to compensate.

2)   Matt Kredich is also quickly turning around a Tennessee men’s program that was dead in the water when he assumed the head coaching duties, and the results are resonating on the recruiting paths, with Luke Percy (the fastest pre-collegiate long course 50 freestyler ever) and Evan Pinion (4:18 and 14:56 in the distance freestylers, although he’s still out recovering from surgery) joining the ranks.

3)   Florida Gulf Coast hasn’t historically been a program you’ve heard about a lot, but they made some big splashes in the recruiting pool last year.  Big enough, in fact, to earn them the #12 spot in our recruiting rankings this fall.  We’ll get a rare look this weekend at how the FGCU Eagles look against some of the top competition in Division I.

 

University of Michigan Open

Location: Canham Natatorium, University of Michigan
Dates: 11/21/13 – 11/23/13
Teams: Michigan (men and women), ?

Live results

Three One thing to watch:

1) There’s not a lot of information published about this meet, but from what we’ve seen on the Michigan website, this will serve as a fall taper meet for some of their athletes.  The rest are focusing on AT&T Winter Nationals in Knoxville next month.

 

Missouri Invitational

Location: Mizzou Aquatic Center, University of Missouri
Dates: 11/21/13 – 11/23/13
Teams: Missouri (men and women), Utah (men and women), West Virginia (men and women), Arkansas (women), UC Davis (women), Florida International (women), Northern Colorado (women), Saint Louis (men and women), Southern Illinois (men and women), Nebraska (diving only), and Texas A&M (diving only).

Live results
Live stream (finals only)

1)   Greg Rhodenbaugh is quietly building a national contender at Missouri.  On the women’s side, in just three seasons, the Tigers have gone from not qualifying any swimmers for NCAA’s to finishing in the top 15.  The men’s program jumped into the top 15, as well, with their point total jumping from 46 to 80 behind multiple individual scoring swimmers in 2013.

2)   Did you know the Missouri men qualified four individual breaststrokers for last year’s NCAA championships?  Three of those four are back this season, including All-American Sam Tierney.

3)   Utah junior Nick Soedel scored in two individual events at NCAA’s a year ago, and is one of the top returning sprinters in the Pac 12.  With Karson Applin also returning, Utah has a great chance to get a couple relays into NCAA’s (three of the four legs from their 400 free relay missed the ‘A’ standard by less than half a second a year ago are returning).

 

Dowd Nike Cup Invitational

Location: Koury Natatorium, University of North Carolina
Dates: 11/21/13 – 11/23/13
Teams: North Carolina (men and women), NC State (men and women), Duke (men and women), Navy (men and women), East Carolina (men and women), Old Dominion (men and women)

Live results

1)   This is the best North Carolina women’s team we’ve seen in a long time.  After being forced out of the 2013 ACC and NCAA Championships, Stephanie Peacock is back and better than ever.  She’s coming off a double-medal performance from the World University Games (including a win in the 1500), and could better her own NCAA record in the 1650 in the next few weeks.  Two-time ACC record holder and individual All-American Cari Blalock is also back for another go-round.

2)   With the departure of several top athletes on the men’s side down in Charlottesville, 2013-2014 might be the best chance for North Carolina or NC State to dethrone Virginia at ACC’s.  A strong December meet can prove as a big confidence boost for either team, while simultaneously putting the Cavaliers/Wahoos on their heels.

3)   The NC State men’s team was one of the best surprises of the 2012-2013 season.  With top sprinters Simonas Bilis, Jonathan Boffa, David Williams, and Barrett Miesfeld all returning, NC State will be looking to seriously disrupt the field at NCAA’s in March.

 

Northwestern TYR Invitational

Location: Norris Aquatics Center, Northwestern University
Dates: 11/22/13 – 11/24/13
Teams: Northwestern (men and women), Michigan State (men and women), Kenyon (men and women), Missouri State (men and women), Bowling Green (men and women), Truman State (men and women), North Dakota (men and women), UIC (men and women)

Live results

1)   Top 15 freshman Andrew Jovanovic is the biggest name to watch at this meet.  The 2013-14 National Junior Team member turned down offers from many of the top schools in the country to stay close to home and compete for Northwestern.  Along with a pair of the best diving recruits in the country, the Wildcats are looking to get back into contention in the Big Ten.

2)  The team names at this meet aren’t quite as eye-catching as the others, but some of the top mid-majors and Division II/III teams in the country, including Missouri State, Truman State, Bowling Green, and Kenyon.

3)   Any meet with that includes perennial Division III power Kenyon is worth keeping track of.

 

Ohio State Invitational

Location: McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion, The Ohio State University
Dates: 11/22/13 – 11/24/13
Teams: Florida (men and women), Virginia (men and women), Ohio State (men and women), Kentucky (men and women), Purdue (women)

Live results

Three things to watch:

1)   What exactly will we be able to learn from Florida at a December meet?  While they always have some great fall performances (Elizabeth Beisel’s 4:00 400 IM last winter comes to mind), the midseason meet is more of a mixed bag for Florida than a lot of teams.  Most teams have athletes that require a full taper to come close to their best times (including yours truly, back in the day), but with Florida’s typical heavy workload all fall, the spectrum of performances is usually wider.  The moral of the story: don’t read too much into any slow December times from Florida.  Some swimmers just need more rest.

2)   Despite a tumultuous fall in Charlottesville, we’ve already seen Virginia put together some of their best ever in-season swims under first year head coach Augie Busch.  What kind of fall rest approach will the Cavaliers/Wahoos take?

3)   Ohio State hasn’t traditionally landed a ton of top recruits, but they always have some swimmers that have been overlooked on the recruiting trail come through the woodwork.

 

UNLV Invitational

Location: Buchanan Natatorium, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Teams: Stanford (men), Cal (women), UCLA, Arizona State (men and women), UCSB (men and women), Oregon State (women), Wyoming (men and women), BYU (men and women), Northern Arizona (women), Colorado State (women)

Live results

Three things to watch:

1)   The Cal women deserve their own list: Will the Bears bother resting for this at all, or is AT&T Winter Nationals their only focus this semester?  What will that freshman class do?  How will Teri McKeever manage all of her available relay talent?

2)   The Stanford men shouldn’t have a ton of challenges from other teams at this meet, but there are still plenty of things to watch.  The Cardinal have a lot of talent in certain events (the IM’s, longer freestyle events, and 200 fly, to name a few), but are incredibly thin in a few others (sprint breaststroke, sprint freestyle).  This will be a good litmus test to see how Stanford’s strong long course season will translate, and how top freshmen Connor Black and Justin Buck are adjusting to collegiate swimming.

3)   After years of playing second fiddle (okay, fourth fiddle) in the state of California, UCLA has begun to bring in some serious talent to Westwood.  This year, it’s elite sprinter Linnea Mack (22.5, 49.1 in high school) and backstroker Madison White (one of the nation’s top backstrokers at any level).

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WHOKNOWS

Great article Morgan! A busy weekend ahead!

The Grand Inquisitor

Texas A&M psyche sheet up:

http://www.aggieathletics.com/pdf9/2570448.pdf?SPSID=632687&SPID=93236&DB_LANG=C&DB_OEM_ID=27300

Women’s 200 Fly also an interesting race: Adams v DiRado v Lee

ReeceStyle

Although it shouldn’t, it surprises me Dirado chose the 200 fly over the 200 back. After this summer though it makes sense.

SWIMFAN

University of Louisville will be at the Michigan Invite

About Morgan Priestley

Morgan Priestley

A recent graduate of Stanford University and Birmingham, Michigan native, Morgan Priestley started writing for SwimSwam in February 2013 on a whim, and is loving that his tendency to follow and over-analyze swim results can finally be put to good use. Morgan swam competitively for 15+ years, primarily excelling in the …

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