Head coach Steve Collins, who is entering his 30th year at the helm of the women’s swimming and diving program, has announced the 2015-16 schedule. The Mustangs enter the season as the defending American Athletic Conference champions, and look for continued success at the NCAA Championship.
SMU first hits the pool in its annual Intra Squad event at the A.R. Barr Outdoor Pool on SMU’s campus Sept. 25, and follows that up with an altered format relay event at North Texas on Oct. 2 where teams compete in three-swimmer relays only. American opponent Houston will be the third team at the relay event.
The 22nd annual SMU Classic will take place in Lewisville Oct. 16-17 featuring UCLA, Florida State, Missouri, Louisville and TCU. Former American opponent Louisville placed sixth at the 2015 NCAA Championship, and was fourth in its first season in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Missouri (14th), UCLA (23rd) and FSU (24th) also finished inside the nation’s top 25. Louisville has been part of the Classic since 2009, earning runner-up honors last season.
The Mustangs placed third at the 2014 event behind LSU and Louisville. In all, teams broke four meet records a season ago, with the Mustangs posting 12 NCAA ‘B’ standard qualification times.
The Mustangs close out October with a pair of dual meets in Houston, Texas, Oct. 30 and 31. Friday features the city’s namesake, while the Saturday event features Rice. Houston placed sixth at the AAC Championship a season ago, while Rice earned runner-up honors at the 2015 Conference USA Championship. The Ponies came away with victories over both schools a season ago.
Three events highlight SMU’s November, as the Mustangs hit the road for LSU (Nov. 7), Tulane (Nov. 8) and the Texas A&M invite (Nov. 19-21). SEC-opponent LSU made an appearance at the NCAA Championship last season placing 34th, while Tulane finished fourth at The American Championship.
The 2016 portion of the schedule takes the Mustangs back to College Station for a dual meet with Texas A&M on Jan. 9. The Aggies finished the 2015-16 with a fourth-place performance at the NCAA Championship.
The final tune-up for SMU before championship season features home events against in-state foe North Texas (Feb. 5) and a time trial exhibition event with UNT and Oklahoma Baptist (Feb. 6). Both events will be held at the Mansfield ISD Natatorium.
2015’s American Championship is slated for Feb. 17-20 and will be hosted by Houston.
Georgia Tech plays hosts to the 2016 NCAA Championship March 17-19. SMU was one of two teams to represent the AAC at the event in 2015, with Cincinnati as the other participant. The Mustangs placed 31st overall accumulating 27 points, with all five participants earning All-America status.
Also on the schedule are the USA National Championships (Dec. 3-5), Austin Grand Prix (Jan. 14-16) and Mesa Grand Prix (April 14-16).
College Swimming News is courtesy of SMU.