SMU Mustangs Open 2016 At Texas A&M

The Week Ahead…
The Mustangs open the 2016 portion of their schedule with a dual meet at Texas A&M on Saturday. The event begins at 1 p.m. CT and will be streamed live on the SEC Network +. This will be the second trip this season to the Rec Center Natatorium, as SMU was part of the Texas A&M Invite Nov. 19-21.

Conference Favorites…
Three Mustangs have accounted for four weekly accolades from the American Athletic Conference so far this season. Maddie Hoch (Oct. 20 & Oct. 13) and Tara-Lynn Nicholas (Nov. 3) have been honored on the swimming side, while Madeline Wainman (Oct. 13) has represented the divers.

Ponies On Top…
SMU currently holds 10 top 3 times in the American Athletic Conference, including the top spot in 4 of the 13 events. Overall, the Mustangs have 29 times in the top 10. They also have the top time in each of the 5 relays. The Mustangs have also posted 7 NCAA ‘B’ standards so far this season.

Winter Nationals…
Former SMU women’s swimming All-American, Rachel Nicol led the Mustang group with a pair of Championship Final performances at AT&T Winter Nationals Dec. 3-5.

Nicol reached the Championship Finals in the 100- and 200-meter breaststrokes, finishing under the 2016 Rio qualifying standard in the 100 prelims, and going on to place fourth in the final at 1:07.89. She was also part of the elite group in the top eight of the 200, finishing seventh overall at 2:30.47, a Rio B cut.

Marne Erasmus and Tara-Lynn Nicholas earned back-to-back wins in Bonus Finals in the 100 fly and 100 breast, respectively. Both All-Americans on the NCAA level in the listed events, Erasmus improved her resume, dropping her long course time to 59.91. Her time stood as the 12th-fastest overall. Nicholas posted a 1:09.63 in the breast, good for the 11th fastest time in the evening’s finals.

Isabella Arcila was the fourth Mustang to advance to event finals, doing so in the 50-meter free, turning in a 26.03 in the Consolation Final for eighth place.

Anna CheesbroughVicky CunninghamHannah Rogers and Adri Santa also competed in preliminary action at the Championships.

European Short Course…
Nina Rangelova and Anna Volchkov wrapped up competition at European Short Course Swimming Championships in Netanya, Israel, on Dec. 7.

In a homecoming for Volchkov, the Yoqneam Illit native swam in preliminary heats of both the 100- and 200-meter backstrokes. In the 100 distance, Volchkov finished seventh in her heat, and in the 200 she finished ninth.

Rangelova earned herself a spot in the 200-meter free finals after placing third in her preliminary heat with a 1:56.65. She improved her time in finals to 1:56.54 to finish eighth overall. The Bulgaria native also reached the semifinals of the 100 free, finishing eighth in her race, and competed in prelim action of the 50 free.

Georgia Diving Invite…
Lauren Lamb represented the Ponies with her highest finish coming in platform at 35th. The San Antonio native also finished 41st in 3-meter preliminaries, after opening the event with a 54th-place finish on 1-meter.

Making History…
Following the 2014-15 season the Mustang roster accounted for 19 of the all-time top 10 times in SMU history, with four holding the school record. Eight were also in the top three. Team members were also part of eight relays that rank in the top three of their respective events.

In The Rankings…
The SMU women’s swimming and diving team ranked 21st in the first edition of the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) 2015-16 Division I poll, the organization announced on Oct. 27. This is a biweekly poll, which alternates with the men’s Division I poll.

Championship Season…
The 2016 American Athletic Conference Championship is set for Feb. 17-20, and will be hosted by Houston. NCAA Zone Diving takes place March 7-9 in College Station, Texas, and the NCAA Championship will be hosted by Georgia Tech March 17-19 in Atlanta.

Leader of the Pack…
Head coach Steve Collins was named the 2015 American Athletic Conference Coach of the Year after leading the Mustangs to a first-place finish at The American Championship. This was the 10th time Collins has earned the honor since the Mustangs’ 1990 season (American 1x, CUSA 3x, WAC 2x, SWC 4x). Collins was also named the National Coach of the Year in 1991 and 1996 following NCAA finishes of sixth and second, respectively.

World University Action…
Juniors Marne ErasmusKirsty McLauchlan and Tara-Lynn Nicholas represented the South African team, while Nathalie Lindborg was a representative for team Sweden at the 2015 World University Games.

Nicholas advanced to semifinals in both the 50 and 100 breast, placing sixth in each. Erasmus also made an appearance in the semis, finishing seventh in the 50 fly. She also won her heat of the 50 free.

McLauchlan also swam three individual events for South Africa, competing in heats of the 200 and 400 IM and the 200 free.

Lindborg helped the 4×100 and 4×200 free relays to berths in the event finals. The group finished sixth in the 400 distance and was eighth in the 800. In both the 50 and 100 free, Lindborg reached semifinals.

Pan Am Points…
Rachel Nicol helped lead host country Canada to a second-place finish in the swimming medal count by earning a pair at the 2015 Pan American Games. The Lethbridge, Alberta, native picked up a silver and bronze in her two races.

Nicol swam a 1:07.91 in the finals of the 100 breast for her first medal of the games. The bronze was the first medal for a Mustang sinceCorrie Clark picked up a pair of silvers in 2003 at the Santo Domingo games.

She made it two-for-two in medals as she helped Canada’s 4×100 medley team to a runner-up finish, swimming the breaststroke leg of the event.

Isabella Arcila also competed at the Games, advancing to the Consolation Final in each of her three individual events. In relay action, the team from Colombia placed fifth in the 4×100 freestyle posting a National Record time of 3:47.40.

FINA Finishers…
Three Mustangs competed at the 2015 FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia, with Rachel Nicol advancing beyond preliminaries in all four of her events as part of the team from Canada.

Nicol advanced to the semifinals of both the 50 and 100 breast, and also helped Canada qualify for the finals in the 4×100 medley and 4×100 mixed medley relays. Her highest placement came in the 4×100 medley where Canada placed sixth.

Nina Rangelova also made a trip to semis, placing 16th in the 200-meter freestyle.

Isabella Arcila continued to break Colombian records, coming away with three National Records as part of both the 4×100 (17th) and 4×200 (16th) free relays, as well as the 4×100 mixed medley (12th).

2015 NCAA Championship Recap…
The Mustangs had four individuals earn All-America honors, led by Rachel Nicol with an eighth-place finish in the Championship Final of the 100 breast, at the 2015 NCAA Division I Swimming and Diving Championship March 19-21 at the Greensboro Aquatic Center in Greensboro, North Carolina. Fellow senior Isabella Arcila also picked up honors in the 100 free, while sophomores Tara-Lynn Nicholas and Marne Erasmus picked up accolades for the second year in a row in the 100 breast and 100 fly, respectively. SMU’s 400 yard medley relay team of Arcila, Nicolas, Erasmus and Nathalie Lindborg placed 13th on night one to earn the nod. The Mustangs finished 31st scoring 27.0 team points.

Zone D Qualifier…
American Athletic Conference all-league selection Madeline Wainman competed at the NCAA Zone D Diving Championship at the University of Iowa, March 9-11.

Wainman’s highest placement at the Championship was in the platform, an event in which she earned All-AAC honors in by placing second at the conference meet. She posted a 204.00 and narrowly missed out on finals qualification by two spots.

On day one, Wainman competed in three-meter, which she placed eighth in at The American Championship, and placed 43rd with a score of 212.35. She finished day two by placing 39th in the prelims of the one-meter, posting a final score of 232.20 after six dives. She was sixth in the Consolation Final of the event at the AAC meet.

American All-Conference…
SMU picked up All-American Athletic Conference honors in 10 individual events, all five relays and in platform diving. Overall, 13 Mustangs accounted for 24 league honors. Seniors Isabella Arcila and Nathalie Lindborg led the way as they each had three individual selections and were part of three different relays. Nine Ponies picked up multiple nods, while freshman Madeline Wainman secured SMU’s all-league performance in diving with her runner-up finish on the platform.

Scholar All-America…
The Mustangs placed four student-athletes on College Swimming Coaches Association of America Scholar All-America Teams, including Marne Erasmus and Nathalie Lindborg, who earned first-team honors, while Ursa Bezan and Madeline Wainman also earned honorable mention accolades.

As a team, the Mustangs also earned the team honor in both the fall and spring.

American Championship…
The Mustangs won 12 events en route to the American Athletic Conference Championship Feb. 18-21 in Greensboro, North Carolina. SMU won four of five relays and had eight individual top finishers to secure the victory, and 19 individuals placed in the top 3 of their respective events. Tara-Lynn Nicholas was the victor in the 100 breast posting a 59.12, which was good for an SMU school record and an NCAA ‘A’ cut. Isabella Arcila also set the school record in the 50 free as part of the 200 freestyle relay and won three events to add to the team’s total. The Mustangs finished with 797 points, while Connecticut, their closest competitor, posted a team score of 619. East Carolina (595.5), Tulane (494.5), Cincinnati (461) and Houston (449) followed. The event win was the first at a conference championship for the Mustangs since they took the Conference USA crown in 2012. The title also gave the program its 16th championship in 19 seasons.

Swimming news courtesy of SMU Swimming & Diving.

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About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona and the University of Florida. She got her M.S. in Criminology from Florida State and seems exceptionally confused about which team she should cheer for during the college football season. Lauren is currently working on her M.A. in …

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