The SMU men’s swimming & diving team will split its squad this weekend, as the swimmers host the LSU Tigers on Saturday, Jan. 3, and the divers travel to Knoxville for the Tennessee Diving Invitational. Saturday’s meet is at 1 p.m. CT at the Rockwall Aquatic Center in Rockwall, Texas. The diving competition, which begins on Saturday, Jan. 3, and ends on Monday, Jan. 5, will take place at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center on the campus of Tennessee.
With both SMU and LSU divers competing in Knoxville, scores will be used from that event in the scoring of the dual meet. Also, Saturday’s dual meet will feature both men and women’s swimming.
Last year, SMU fell to LSU, 185-112, in Baton Rouge. Devin Burnett earned first-place finishes in the one-meter and three-meter dives, while Ziga Cerkovnik won the 50-yard freestyle in his collegiate debut.
About The Mustangs
SMU (0-1) dropped its first dual meet of the season to TCU, 173.5-126.5, on Nov. 12, and is coming off of a 17th-place finish out of 45 teams at the KMSC Elite Meet in Oklahoma City.
Senior diver Burnett, the reigning American Athletic Conference diver of the year, is off to another fine start in 2014. The Plano, Texas, native has twice been named conference diver of the week. In a dual meet versus TCU, Burnett swept the diving events. At the highly-competitive Art Adamson Invitational, Burnett grabbed the bronze in all three diving events. Burnett has posted NCAA qualifying scores in the one-meter, three-meter and platform dives already this season.
In the pool, several newcomers have made a big impact for the Mustangs. Junior Sam Straughan, a transfer from Loughborough University (U.K.), has registered the only qualifying swimming time for SMU. Straughan posted a ‘B’ Standard time of 48.28 at the Art Adamson Invite (Nov. 21). The Maidenhead, U.K., native also earned two first-place finishes in a dual meet versus TCU. He won the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 49.73 and the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 49.54.
Freshmen Matt Ackman and Bartosz Krzyzaniak have also been impressive in the pool. Ackman’s success has come in the breaststroke events, as he posted the 68th fastest time (1:59.80) in the country in the 200-yard breaststroke. The Pembroke, Ontario, native also won the 200 breast in a dual meet versus TCU. Krzyzaniak, a native of Poland, finished second and third in the 100-yard and 200-yard backstroke events, respectively, in the dual meet versus TCU. Krzyzaniak also finished sixth in the 100-yard backstroke at the KMSC Elite Meet with a time of 50.54.
The Mustangs have also received key contributions from several returnees. Cerkovnik, a 2014 all-conference performer as a freshman, earned two third-place finishes in a dual meet versus TCU. Seniors Eastman Holloway and Tyler Rauth are also off to strong starts this season. Holloway and Rauth, who both earned all-conference honors last year, each posted a second-place finish in the TCU dual meet.
After losing its first three dual meets of the season, LSU (1-3) notched its first win over Incarnate Word on Nov. 15.
Senior Frank Greeff is one of the Tigers’ standouts in the pool. Greeff, a two-time NCAA Honorable Mention All-American, holds the 200-yard butterfly school record and has posted ‘B’ standard times in both the 200 fly and 200 IM. Three sophomores have also made a splash for LSU. Silas Dejean is one of the team’s top breaststrokers and has posted ‘B’ standard times in the 100 and 200 breaststroke. Logan Rysemus has posted a ‘B’ standard time in the 100 fly and Brandon Goldman has recorded a ‘B’ standard time in the 400 IM.
In diving, senior Andrew Helm has put together a stellar career at LSU. Helm was an NCAA Honorable Mention All-American in 2012 and was named to the SEC’s all-freshman team in 2011. Sophomore Andrew Suchla, a transfer from Wisconsin, gives the Tigers a nice one-two punch in diving.
About The Tennessee Diving Invitational
The Tennessee Diving Invitational, hosted by the University of Tennessee, is one of the nation’s most prestigious collegiate diving competitions. The event features divers from the top programs in the country, including several of the top programs in the Southeastern Conference. The competition is held at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville, Tennessee.
The Mustangs last competed in the Tennessee Diving Invitational in the 2012-13 season, when then-sophomore Devin Burnett finished fourth in the one-meter and sixth in the platform.
Up Next – Texas A&M
The Mustangs return to action on Jan. 16, when they head to College Station for a meet against the Texas A&M Aggies at 7 p.m. CT.
College Swimming News courtesy of SMU Swimming and Diving.