SMU Swimming makes splash in Austin
Nineteen total members of the SMU swimming and diving programs traveled to Austin Jan. 15-17 to compete in the Austin Grand Prix, one of seven destinations making up the 2016 Arena Pro Swim Series.
The Austin Grand Prix’s FINA endorsement allows the event to act as a platform for both men and women swimmers to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympic games.
Going into the event, 10 Mustang swimmers had achieved at least one B standard qualifying time for the Olympics. Rachel Nicol and Nina Rangelova have each posted A standard qualifying times in the 100-meter breaststroke and 200-meter freestyle, respectively. The A and B qualifying times serve as minimum times athletes must attain in order to potentially represent their countries in the Olympic games.
Nicol, a former mustang and potential member of the Canadian Olympic team, secured eighth place in the Championship Final of the 100-meter breaststroke, with a time of 1:09.21, and won the C Final of the 200-meter breaststroke with a time of 2:29:.6.
In addition to Nicole, Anna Cheesbrough and Tara-Lynn Nicholas both had formidable performances in Austin. Cheesbrough finished seventh in the Consolation Final of the 200-meter butterfly and Nicholas finished eighth in the C Final of the 100-meter breaststroke.
The men’s swimmers also posted strong times in the event, highlighted by SMU alumni Tyler Rauth. Rauth finished in fifth place in the C Final of the 200-meter fly with a time of 2:03.54.
The men’s team’s next meet will be at Texas A&M in College Station Jan. 29. The women don’t compete again until Feb. 5 when they take on North Texas in Mansfield, Tex.