SMU Women to Open 2015-16 Season At UNT Relays

The Mustangs travel north to the UNT Relays for their first event of the 2015-16 season. Coming off a championship finish at the 2015 American Athletic Conference Championship, the Mustangs return a pair of All-America selections in Tara-Lynn Nicholas and Marne Erasmus. Nine Ponies also earned All-AAC honors a season ago. At the 2014 edition of the UNT Relays, SMU earned five first-place finishes.

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 since Corrie 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.

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.

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.

On the National Scene…
SMU was ranked as high as 11th during the 2014-15 season following a stellar performance at the SMU Classic in Oct. The Mustangs were ranked on three other occasions — Nov. 6 (16th), Nov. 19 (22nd) and Feb. 16 (23rd).

Conference Favorites…
Three Mustangs were named American Athletic Conference Swimmers of the Week during the 2014-15 season, while Madeline Wainman (Jan. 13) was named The American Diver of the Week. Isabella Arcila was the league’s final honoree of the season, taking the honor after her performance against No. 6 Texas and No. 11 Arizona She also earned the honor on Nov. 5Rachel Nicol (Oct. 21) and Nathalie Lindborg (Jan. 13) also earned the nod.

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. While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She is now coaching for Loggerhead Aquatics in her hometown …

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