DALLAS (SMU) – The SMU women’s swimming and diving program is getting some well-deserved time off before its next team competition at Texas A&M on Jan. 9, but that doesn’t mean competition is over for the 2015 calendar year as 10 current and former Mustangs are set to compete at USA Nationals and the European Short Course Swimming Championships.
With the absence of NCAA competition until mid-January, the Mustangs will have no trouble filling the competition void as eight swimmers are headed to Seattle, Washington, for the 2015 AT&T Winter National Championships, and two are headed to Netanya, Israel, for the 18th edition of the short course event.
All-American juniors Marne Erasmus and Tara-Lynn Nicholas lead the Mustang group headed to Seattle Dec. 3-5, as both have already posted B standards for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. Erasmus will compete in her specialty, the 100-meter butterfly, while Nicholas takes on the field in the 100- and 200-meter breaststrokes.
Transfers Vicky Cunningham, Anna Cheesbrough and Hannah Rogers, who have just completed their first semester with the Ponies, will make appearances in freestyle and butterfly events. Cunningham has already clocked times in the 50 and 200 freestyle distances under that of the Rio provisional standard, while fellow Great Britain natives Cheesbrough and Rogers will swim in butterfly and free events, respectively.
Adri Santa is scheduled for races in both free and fly, and rounds out the list of current Mustangs headed northwest.
Former swimmer turned volunteer assistant Isabella Arcila and standout Rachel Nicol will also swim under the SMU label. The pair combined for ten All-America honors and two individual school records during their time with the Mustangs. They were both also part of the school-standard setting 200-yard freestyle and 200- and 400-yard medley relay groups. Arcila will compete in sprint free as well as backstroke events, while Nicol will compete in both breaststrokes and the 200-meter individual medley.
Nina Rangelova and Anna Volchkov made the 7,000-plus mile trip to Israel to represent their countries at the European Championships from Dec. 2-6. It’s a special trip for Volchkov, the native of Yoqneam Illit, as she returns home to swim for the host country in the 100- and 200-meter backstrokes.
Rangelova, who assists with coaching duties of the current Mustang squad, looks to continue to impress on the international scene, swimming in the 50-, 100- and 200-meter freestyles. Swimming for Bulgaria, the Plovdiv native has a qualifying standard in the 200-meter freestyle and B standards in the 50- and 100-meter distances.
Event information and results can be found at SMUMustangs.com, and by following the Mustangs on social media.
Swimming news courtesy of SMU Swimming & Diving.