The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Splashing into action

The men’s and women’s swimming teams received top honors as members of the Collegiate Swim Coaches Association of America’s Scholar-Athlete teams following a stellar performance in the water during 2008-09.

This season, after several athletes participated in the World University Games and World Championships, the teams are on a path to perfection. Such is especially true for the women’s diving team, losing no athletes to graduation.

“We are looking at potentially having three girls make the NCAA, and we’re expecting pretty big things out of them,” said diving coach Jim Stillson. “This could be an exciting year for the diving program and very good performance at the national tournament.”

Over the summer, divers trained with their respective club teams, continuing to prepare for a season that never really ends. On the men’s side, look for junior Matt Culbertson to excel.

“We’re looking forward to him making it to the NCAA’s this year,” Stillson said. “He is returning as the conference diver of the year and won all three boards at conference. In a perfect world, he would repeat.”

New additions to the men’s swimming team include representatives of three countries and five states, three of which come from the Dallas/ Forth Worth area.

On the women’s side, head coach Steve Collins expects this season’s returners to continue on their successful path from last year.

“We did have a few key losses to graduation with some of our top swimmers, but we have a nice group of swimmers and divers coming in,” Collins said.

With two freshmen divers who Collins deems “very experienced” and two freshmen swimmers, the team’s goal looks to be attainable.

“Our number one goal is to defend our title at the conference USA championships and then at the NCAA level to try to qualify as many swimmers as possible and then with that group to prepared them to be very successful at the NCAA’s,” Collins said.

As is the case with the men’s swimming and diving teams, the women’s team features athletes from South Africa, Sweden, Slovakia, Tusnia and Belgium.

With swimmers and divers participating in events in their individual countries, coaches are expecting times to be shortened and technique to be perfected as they look to send their teams to the NCAA Championships.

“Given the fact that we’ve been in the top 20 for the past 20 years, it’s a real high goal to achieve each year,” Collins said. “That’s our main focus, and the focus of the group.”

The first event for the men’s team will be the North Texas Relays in Denton on Oct. 9.

For the women, the Mean Green Relays, also in Denton will be on Oct.9 starting at 4 p.m.

The annual SMU Classic, held in Perkins Natatorium will be on Oct.23 and 24 starting each night at 6:30.

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