Mustang Swimmers & Divers Set To Host The SMU Classic

 SMU Hosts Classic at SMU
 Date & Start Time  Jan. 17-18, 2014 @ 7:30 p.m. CT
 Location  Perkins Natatorium – Dallas, Texas
 Meet Program  Classic at SMU Program (.pdf)

Mustang Swimmers & Divers Set To Host The Classic at SMU:
SMU gets its full team back together for just the second time since November when the Mustangs host the annual SMU Classic in Perkins Natatorium. Last season at the Classic, SMU was paced by diver Devin Burnett as won the three-meter dive and placed third in the one-meter.  Overall the Mustangs placed sixth scoring 223 points. The same field of competition is returning this year from last season which means the Classic will be highly competitive once again. The Ponies opponents are No. 1 ranked Michigan, No. 3 Florida, No. 6 USC, No. 8 Louisville and Purdue who is receiving votes. SMU is set for the challenge and will look to win its first team title of the season.

Looking Ahead:
Following the SMU Classic, SMU competes in its final home event of the season when it hosts Texas A&M on Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. in Perkins Natatorium, Following the showdown with the Aggies, the Mustangs will be idle until the inaugural American Athletic Conference Championships where the Mustangs are aiming for their 17th conference championship in the last 18 years. The American Championships are from Feb. 19-22 in Louisville, Ky.

Looking Back:
Junior diver Devin Burnett finished first in both the 1 and 3-meter dives as he posted scores of 359.55 and 397.50, respectively, as the SMU men’s swimming and diving team fell to LSU, 185-112 in SMU’s second dual meet of the season. Freshman Ziga Cerkovnik made his collegiate debut today and placed first in the 50-yard freestyle (20.59) and second in the 100-yard butterfly (49.88).

In relays, the Ponies won the 400-yard freestyle relay as the team of seniors Matt RoneyRyan Koops, junior Giedrius Andriunaitis and Cerkovnik placed first with a time of 3:05.15. Individually, Roney finished runner-up in both the 100-yard and 200-yard freestyle races with times of 46.40 and 1:40.3, respectively. In the 200-yard breaststroke and 200-yard individual medley, senior Nicolai Hansen placed runner-up in both with times of 2:04.34 and 1:52.93, respectively. Hansen also finished third in the 100-yard breaststroke in 56.54.

Mustangs in The American Ranks:
SMU has 17 swimmers ranked in the top 10 of the American Athletic Conference including two ranked in the top 5. The Mustangs also have three relay teams ranked second in the conference.

For the swimmers in the top 5, Ryan Koops ranks fifth in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 20.47 that he clocked at the Texas A&M Invite. In the 200-yard freestyle Matt Roney ranks fifth as he has recorded a time of 1:37.92 at the Texas A&M Invite as well.

Regarding the relays, SMU has three relay teams ranked second in The American beginning with Julian FletcherRamom Melo Koops and Roney in the 200-yard freestyle relay as they posted a time of 1:22.29. Giedrius Andriunaitis, Roney, Koops and Melo recorded a time of 3:00.83 in the 400-yard freestyle relay and in the 400-yard medley relay, Tucker Wells, Andriekus, Fletcher and Koops recorded a time of 3:20.79. Each of these times were posted at the Texas A&M Invitational.

Mustang Divers Competed At Georgia Diving Invitational:
SMU competed at the Georgia Diving Invitational to open up the new year. Junior diver Devin Burnett placed first in both the 1-meter and 3-meter dives as well as third in the platform dive. Freshman Bryce Klein earned fourth place honors in the 3-meter dive and placed sixth in the 1-meter dive.

In addition, junior Hayden Hodges finished ninth in the 1-meter dive, 13th in the 3-meter dive and 17th in the platform dive while sophomore Parker Meinecke placed 18th in the platform dive, 21st in the 1-meter and 23rd in the 3-meter.

Freshman Bryce Klein Competed At U.S. Diving National Finals:
Freshman diver Bryce Klein finished 11th (320.10) in the 1-meter dive, 24th (314.6) in the 3-meter dive and qualified for the finals and finished sixth (751.43) in the synchronized 3-meter dive finals as he paired with Texas graduate student and former Stanford diver Dwight Dumais. The duo placed fifth (365.73) in the preliminary round on day four to qualify for the finals.

SMU Places Fifth At Texas A&M Invitational:
The Mustangs men’s swimming and diving team placed fifth of six schools at the Texas A&M Invitational back in late November. SMU was led by diver Devin Burnett as he won the platform dive with a score of 393.55, finished third (371.4) in the 1-meter dive and placed sixth in the 3-meter dive with a score of 380.5. In addition for the Mustang divers, Bryce Kleinplaced seventh in the 1-meter dive (310.8) and ninth (322.8) in the 3-meter dive as he competed in the first two events of his collegiate career.

For the swimmers, Matt Roney and Ryan Koops paced the SMU swimmers as they finished third in the 200-yard freestyle (1:37.92) and fourth in the 50-yard freestyle (20:50), respectively.  In relays, the Ponies placed fourth in the 400-yard freestyle relay as Giedrius AndriunaitisRamom Melo, Koops and Roney finished in 3:00.83 and the group of Julian Fletcher, Koops, Melo and Roney earned fifth place in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:22.29.

SMU Falls To TCU In Season Opener:
Divers Devin Burnett and Hayden Hodges finished first and second in the 1-meter and 3-meter dives, respectively, as the SMU men’s swimming and diving team opened its season by falling at TCU, 177.5-122.5. In addition to Burnett, SMU placed first in three other races. The Ponies won the 400-yard freestyle relay as the team of Matt RoneyRamom Melo and Ryan Koops and Justin Gibson finished with a time of 3:04.28.

Tradition of Excellence:
SMU has won 16 conference championships in 17 years from three different conferences, including Conference USA, the Western Athletic Conference and the former Southwestern Conference. The Mustangs look to continue their success in the new American Athletic Conference. Head Coach Eddie Sinnott begins his 25th season, having been named conference Coach of the Year 16 times. During his tenure, SMU has had 11 NCAA top-15 finishes, 337 All-America honors and 237 conference champions.

Mustangs Return Two All-Americans:
Senior Captain Nicolai Hansen and senior Ryan Koops return with All-America honors they earned as part of the 14th place 400-freestyle relay team at the 2013 NCAA Championship.

2013-14 Outlook:
The SMU men’s swimming and diving team has a new league for 2013-14 but the goal is the same. The Mustangs are aiming for their 17th conference championship in the last 18 years. SMU returns two All-Americans, nine All-Conference USA selections and 23 letterwinners as it seeks to claim the first American Athletic Conference Championship this winter. The Mustangs will be led by senior captain Nicolai Hansen. Hansen is one of nine seniors. who head coach Eddie Sinnott says is a “strong group of individuals”, noting that there is a senior in every event except diving.

This release was provided to SwimSwam courtesy of SMU Swimming and Diving.

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7 years ago

This is such a cool meet, that field house makes it an awesome atmosphere and experience.

Curius george
7 years ago

Cant wait to see Michigan, Florida, and USC battle it out to the death

Reply to  Curius george
7 years ago

Dont forget about the up and coming Louisville team!

7 years ago

2013 went down to last race/relay and USC pulled out a win. Let’s go Men of Troy! Fight on! Go for repeat!

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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