The Texas A&M Aggies have released their schedules for the 2014-2015 season, and after a brief breakup of their rivalry with the Texas Longhorns following A&M’s departure for the SEC, both the men’s and women’s teams will face off in dual meets.
This will be the first time that the men’s programs have seen each other in regular season competition since the 2011-2012 season.
The revival of the series will be the opening day for the A&M men on October 17th at the Texas Swim Center in Austin, Texas. While that series has been lopsided in the favor of defending NCAA runners-up Texas for a long time, competition between the state’s two largest and most prominent universities, especially in a state with so few men’s swim programs, is important for the Texas swimming community.
That will kick off what is a classic Jay Holmes brief regular season. The Aggies will have only 10 regular-season meets, plus one diving-only invitational, prior to this year’s SEC Championships in Auburn, Alabama.
In fact, their only regular-season swimming trip outside of the state of Texas is to Florida, where on October 30th they’ll take on Florida Atlantic and on November 1 they’ll race Indian River State College.
That could actually wind up being a very good trip for A&M. FAU, with an entirely overhauled coaching staff, has a sub-20 second sprinter named Matthieu Burtez, and A&M’s men’s program has always been built around their sprinters. The next stop, Indian River, is the top Junior College program in the nation and a place where A&M associate head coach Ryan Mallam was formerly the assistant. This trip should help further strengthen ties between the two programs and could help the A&M men in recruiting in future years.
The Aggie men’s program will have one more SEC dual meet than last year. In the 2013-2014 season, A&M only faced two conference foes. In 2014-2015, they will face three, all in the month of January. First will be a home meet against Tennessee on a tri with a very good, NCAA-scoring Missouri State team on January 8th.
The next day, the Alabama Crimson Tide will come to College Station for a dual. After a break a week later to face traditional rivals SMU, the Aggie men will welcome in LSU.
The SEC Championships will be held from February 17th-21st at Auburn before the American Short Course Championships last chance meet at Texas and the NCAA Championships in Iowa City.
The separately coached and administered women’s team will have a very different schedule, though they too won’t travel very far from home this season.
For the second-straight year, A&M’s women will start with the ASA Open Water Collegiate Championships in Austin, Texas, an unofficial open water championship meet.
Things will kick off in the pool then with the team’s first and only full-squad trip outside of Texas as they head to Arkansas to swim against a Razorback team that sent a ton of underclassmen to NCAA’s last year, even though they came away without any points.
Next up for the A&M women will be a tri-meet against Houston and North Texas in Denton on Halloween.
That all lines up for their second-straight dual against the Texas women, this year in Austin. The A&M women won a nail-biter 152-148 in College Station last season, which after a one-year break renewed a rivalry which had become one of the best and most even in college swimming for the decade years prior.
The A&M women and men will both host the Art Adamson Invitational on November 20th-22nd, which is the same weekend on which it was held last year.
Next up will be a quick dual meet against Rice, who will make the quick two-hour journey up from Houston. Rice’s schedule is a bit the opposite of A&M: they have a road-warrior schedule this year, with only one home meet.
The second semester schedule for the A&M men’s and women’s programs will actually look pretty similar. The women will match the men’s meets against Tennessee and Alabama on January 8th and 9th, with the SMU women being the third leg of the Alabama tri.
Then it will be a two week break before hosting LSU, sending their divers to Colorado Springs, and the SEC Championships at Auburn.
The women’s NCAA Championship meet will be held in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Both A&M teams have a lot of graduations after last season. The A&M placed 44th at NCAA’s, which was their first time outside of the top 25 in 19 seasons. Their biggest chance at points was in the 200 free relay, but they DQ’ed out of the A-Final thanks to an early start by their anchor. Henrik Lindau, Kyle Troskot, Paul-Marc Schweitzer, and Simon Frank all finished their eligibility last year, meaning that the team’s top swimmer status will fall to junior sprinter Cory Bolleter.
The A&M women, meanwhile, lost the services of their two U.S. Olympians, Cammile Adams and Breeja Larson, along with NCAA Champion Paige Miller, Olympic Trials finalist Caroline McElhany, All-American Melanie McClure, and Mexican Olympian Erica Dittmer.
A&M does return another U.S. National Team swimmer, Sarah Henry, along with Mexican Lili Ibanez, who will be one of the best 50-100-200 freestylers in the country. Their breaststroke group will remain powerful with the addition of freshman Bethany Galat and the return of Ashley McGregor, Sycerika McMahon, and Franko Jonker.
The A&M women’s incoming class was very strong, and looks even better with backstroker Lisa Bratton taking a surprising 3rd-place finish at U.S. Nationals in the 200 meter distance and qualifying for the U.S. Pan Pacs team.
The A&M women finished 4th at last year’s NCAA Championship meet.
See both team’s full schedules below.
|Sat, Oct 04||ASA Open Water Collegiate Championships||Austin, Texas||TBA|
|Sat, Oct 18||Arkansas *||Fayetteville, Ark.||10:00 a.m.|
|Fri, Oct 31||Houston||Denton, Texas||12:00 p.m.|
|Fri, Oct 31||North Texas||Denton, Texas||12:00 p.m.|
|Fri, Nov 07||Texas||Austin, Texas||TBA|
| Thu, Nov 20 –
Sat, Nov 22
|Art Adamson Invitational||Student Recreation Center Natatorium (College Station)||All Day|
|Sat, Dec 06||Rice||Student Recreation Center Natatorium (College Station)||TBA|
|Thu, Jan 08||Tennessee *||Student Recreation Center Natatorium (College Station)||TBA|
|Thu, Jan 08||SMU||Student Recreation Center Natatorium (College Station)||TBA|
|Fri, Jan 09||Alabama *||Student Recreation Center Natatorium (College Station)||TBA|
|Sat, Jan 24||LSU *||Student Recreation Center Natatorium (College Station)||TBA|
| Fri, Jan 30 –
Sun, Feb 01
|AFA Diving Invitational||Colorado Springs, Colo.||All Day|
| Tue, Feb 17 –
Sat, Feb 21
|SEC Championship||Auburn, Ala.||All Day|
| Thu, Feb 26 –
Sun, Mar 01
|Speedo Sectionals||Student Recreation Center Natatorium (College Station)||All Day|
| Mon, Mar 09 –
Wed, Mar 11
|NCAA Zone D Diving Championship||Iowa City, Iowa||All Day|
| Thu, Mar 19 –
Sat, Mar 21
|NCAA Championship||Greensboro, N.C.||All Day|
* Conference Games