Video courtesy: American Athletic Conference
The American Athletic Conference will turn a new page in 2015, as defending champions Louisville will be hopping to the similarly-named ACC for the first time this season, which leads a wide-open field to battle for this year’s conference crown.
The meet, held at the Greensboro Aquatic Center, includes teams from 6 different member institutions:
- East Carolina
- Houston (women only)
- Tulane (women only)
Even with attrition, this will overall still be a solid meet, thanks to the addition of the co-ed program at East Carolina.
Among those returning teams, SMU were the highest finishers on both the men’s and women’s side from last year’s championship. Here’s how last year’s standings look if you remove the now-departed Louisville and Rutgers programs:
2. SMU – 624.5
4. UConn – 459.5
5. Cincinnati – 431
6. Houston – 337
2. SMU – 768
3. UConn – 683.5
4. Cincinnati – 535
The new additions to the group, East Carolina and Memphis, are competitively a good fit for the conference.
The SMU women are the clear favorites on their side of the pool, though defending 50 free champion Cinyere Pigot and the UConn women made some noise at last year’s meet. The Mustang women are hurt by a relative desolation in diving, but that’s mitigated somewhat by the fact that Houston (who won’t be in the team battle) historically dominates the diving events, which crams everyone else down the standings and limits the impact that diving will have on overall team scoring.
The men’s side is a bit of a tighter discussion in the pool, as UConn made things interesting in the battle for 2nd last year, and a fairly-deep East Carolina team will have some confidence coming into the meet after rolling through a top-flight mid-major regular season schedule (the same goes for the women’s team).
The four-day meet begins with a pair of relays on Wednesday evening, February 18th.