Courtesy: Miami Athletics
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – University of Miami head swimming coach Andy Kershaw and head diving coach Randy Ableman released the Hurricanes’ 2018-19 swimming & diving regular season schedule Friday.
The Hurricanes’ schedule includes meets with several tough opponents. Kershaw said the design of Miami’s competition schedule was based largely in preparation for the ACC Championships and NCAA Championships in the early part of the spring.
“It’s all about preparation – that’s the biggest part of our strategy,” Kershaw said. “Making sure the regular season schedule prepares our team for the postseason, and teaching them a lot of lessons along the way. It’s about teaching our team about competition, teaching them how to race the types of opponents we’ll be facing in the postseason – a lot goes into it.”
Miami will open its season – the sixth under Kershaw’s direction and 30th under Ableman – at home a dual meet against the in-state rival Florida Gators on Sept. 28 at the Whitten University Center Pool. The matchup is set to begin at 3 p.m.
The very next day, the Hurricanes will host crosstown foe FIU at 11 a.m. at the Whitten pool.
Miami will travel to the SMU Classic – taking on a loaded field that includes host SMU, Louisville, Southern Cal, Virginia and Iowa – from Oct. 12-13 in Dallas.
After a quad-meet and tri-meet in successive days hosted by Georgia Tech (Oct. 19-20), Miami returns home for a dual meet with Boston College (Nov. 2) and a tri-meet with BC and FAU (Nov. 3).
Miami travels to Purdue for the ACC/Big 10 Challenge (Nov. 10-11) before the Hurricanes conclude their fall schedule with the Bruno Invite hosted by Brown (Nov. 30 – Dec. 2). Other teams competing in the invitational will be Princeton, Dartmouth, Johns Hopkins and Rider.
UM’s diving contingent will also compete in the University of Texas Diving Invite (Nov. 14-16) before the end of the fall semester.
While Ableman returns several accomplished veterans on the diving side, Kershaw expects the fall schedule to serve as crucial preparation opportunities for a talented incoming group. Miami’s sophomores – who impressed a season ago and posted a number of times that rank among the all-time top 10 – are expected to lead the group, along with the Hurricanes’ juniors and seniors.
“It’s exciting. In our sport, as our women grow up, a lot of emphasis is placed on their individual times and individual performances,” Kershaw said. “As you get into college swimming, so much is put on how that impacts the team results. There’s a learning curve in that, and freshmen year they learn a lot. It’s exciting to have that big group of sophomores, along with our juniors and seniors, who can help teach that to the freshmen.”
The Hurricanes’ spring schedule includes a tri-meet hosted by Alabama (Jan. 12) that includes Florida State. The next weekend, Miami takes part in a meet hosted by FGCU (Jan. 19) that also features Bowling Green.
Miami’s ‘First Chance Meet’ is set for Feb. 16 at the Whitten University Center, while the Hurricanes’ divers will travel to Zone B qualifiers hosted by Auburn (March 12-14) in preparation for the NCAA Championships.
The postseason begins in Greensboro, N.C., at the ACC Swimming & Diving Championships (Feb. 20-23) before the Hurricanes take part in the NCAA Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships (March 20-23). The men’s version of the NCAA Championships takes place March 27-30.
“It is exciting. We’re becoming a deeper team,” Kershaw said about starting the season. “There’s more talent at the top but also more talent in general. That’s exciting because not only does it put us in better position for competition, but also in daily training and our competition in practice. Our healthy intra-squad competition is at such a higher level, which will lead to higher levels of success when we’re facing outside opponents.”