SMU’s swimming and diving looks to stay strong at conference championships

The SMU women’s swimming and diving team heads to Greensboro, N.C., Feb. 18-21, for the American Athletic Conference Championships. Last season, SMU took second after a pair of top individual finishes and a pair of relay wins. Seven swimmers are back from last year’s team, and that’s part of the reason the Mustangs are favorite this year.

Here’s a look back at the season, which saw SMU rise to No. 11 in the CSCAA Division I poll.

Courtesy of SMU athletics.

SMU’s last meet was against North Texas in Denton on Feb. 6. Senior Isabella Arcila accounted for three first-place finishes, including the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard breast stroke, and was part of the winning 200-yard freestyle relay team. Freshman Alexandra Manasso also won the 1,000-yard freestyle.

Before that, SMU traveled to Austin on Jan. 30- 31 for a dual meet with ranked foes Texas and Arizona. The Mustangs won six events in the meet, including three relays, but did not beat either opponent.

On Jan. 8, SMU took tough losses against ranked opponents Tennessee and Texas A&M in College Station. No SMU swimmer won an event, but freshman Madeline Wainman took third place in the one-meter dive and Nathalie Lindborg took third in the 100-yard freestyle.

Five days earlier, SMU lost a dual meet with top 25 opponent LSU in Rockwall, Texas. The Mustangs won three individual events, with Lindborg winning the 100-free, Arcila the 200-yard backstroke and senior Rachel Nicol the 200-yard breaststroke.

The Mustangs had a long winter break, but competed in the Art Adamson Invitational at Texas A&M on Nov. 20-22, taking sixth. Nicol placed third in the Championship Final of the 200-yard breaststroke, while sophomores Tara-Lynn Nicholas and Kirsty McLauchlan took third and sixth, respectively, in the Consolation Final of the same event.

Halloween weekend saw the Mustangs win two individual meets. They swept all 11 events in a win over Houston in Mansfield, Texas. SMU won nine of 13 events in a win over Rice, also in Mansfield. This was the first meet since SMU jumped to No. 11 in the polls, although the Mustangs fell from the polls later in the season.

Two weekends earlier, the Mustangs took third of six in both days of the SMU Classic in Lewisville, Texas.

The season started with a third-place finish at the North Texas Relays in Southlake, Texas, in which SMU won five events and had a top-two finish in every event.

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