Press Release courtesy of LSU Athletics
The LSU swimming and diving team is set to host Texas A&M in what will be the second and final home meet of the year. The meet is scheduled to start Saturday at 10 a.m. CT with diving, and swimming will start at 11 a.m. CT after the Senior Day festivities. The first 100 fans in attendance will get free breakfast.
“We’re right where we want to be heading into the SEC Championships,” said LSU diving coach Doug Shaffer. “We’ve had to deal with a little bit of adversity, but the opportunity to have a home meet and senior recognition makes it a special weekend for us. This could very well be one of the most exciting dual meets here in years.”
Last time out, the diving team swept all four events in a dual meet at Georgia. Both Juan Celaya-Hernandez and Lizzie Cui earned SEC Diver of the Week honors as a result.
Celaya-Hernandez, a three-time SEC Diver of the Week this season, also holds the highest scores in the SEC in all three events. Cui currently has the third-best scores in the SEC on both springboards.
For Shaffer, the opportunity to dive at home adds that extra comfort factor that will help his team perform.
“We have the comfort factor here,” Shaffer explained. “We know the boards, the environment, and we’re sleeping in our own beds, so that’s a big advantage to us. It also puts a little bit of additional pressure on us, but I want to see our team respond to that extra pressure.”
While the diving team gets the added bonus of familiarity with the diving boards, the swimmers will already be familiar with the starting blocks and environment.
“We like racing here,” said LSU swimming coach Dave Geyer. “We tend to swim faster here, where we’re comfortable with our pool and our blocks, so I’m excited to see our team take that next step to the SEC Championships.”
The women will be led by junior Summer Spradley, who also won an individual event last week at Georgia. Spradley won the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:03.07.
“Our women love to race against A&M, Summer included,” said Geyer. “We’re all going to take some good steps forward.”
The men will be led by Joao Mescolote, who took home gold in the 50 freestyle last week with a time of 20.70.
“From a sprinter mentality, he’s really fine-tuned his craft this year,” said Geyer. “We’ve focused on his start and it’s improved dramatically.”
Mescolote is also one of four seniors that will be honored before the start of the swimming events. He will be joined by fellow seniors Jake Markham, Harry Ackland, and Jane MacDougall.
“Jane has been on an upward trend to finish her senior year, and she’s really set a good example in the classroom and the community too,” said Geyer. “She has really embodied what we want in a student-athlete. For the three guys, it’s the same thing. Jake had a stellar junior year and is on the rise right now. Joao has been hungry and motivated this year, and has performed well across the board, and Harry has put in the time to make the most out of his senior year.”
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