The American Athletic Conference men’s and women’s Swimming and Diving Championships will take place February 15-18 at the University of Houston.
Last year, Southern Methodist won the women’s meet with 681 points ahead of Tulane’s 637.5 points. On the men’s side, East Carolina took first with 907 points ahead of Southern Methodist’s 828.5.
5 Female Swimmers to Watch
1. Jacqueline Keire
The Cincinatti senior is the top seed in the 50, 100, and 200 freestyles and will look to repeat her titles in those three events. She’ll aim to break her own meet records in the 100 and 200 and will be a crucial swimmer on the Bearcats’ relays. She’s already achieved an NCAA A cut in the 200 free and B cuts in the 50 and 100.
2. Matea Samardzic
Samardzic, a recent transfer to Southern Methodist, has dominated the backstroke events in the conference this season. The junior holds the top seed in the 100 back by nearly two seconds and in the 200 back by three. She holds the top 400 IM seed and is the only female under the two-minute barrier so far in the 200 IM with NCAA B cuts in all of her events.
3. Tara-Lynn Nicholas
The Southern Methodist senior boasts the top seed times in both the 100 and 200 breaststrokes. She was the only swimmer under one minute last season in the 100 and she’ll look to break her own meet record set back in 2015. She finished second in a close 200 breast race last year and holds the meet record set in 2014.
4. Hannah Herbst
As a freshman, Herbst won the 500 free, placed third in the 1650, and took 10th in the 400 IM. Returning as a sophomore, the Houston swimmer will look to improve upon her seed times and could challenge the 1650 meet record in which she’s only two seconds off from.
5. Marion Abert
Abert, in her first season with East Carolina, enters as the top seed in the 500 free with a time that would’ve won last year. The senior has already met the NCAA B standard in the event as well as in the 200 free, where she’s the fifth seed. She’ll also compete in the 1650 as she’ll be sure to make an impact at her first collegiate championship meet.
5 Male Swimmers to Watch
1. Christopher Bready
The Cincinnati junior is the third seed in the 200 free and the top seed in the 500 and 1650, already achieving NCAA B cuts in the two latter events. Bready will look to repeat as champion in the mile, where he won by over ten seconds in meet-record fashion last year.
2. Jonathan Gomez
Gomez, who competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics for Columbia, enters as the top seed by six seconds in the 200 fly, already under the NCAA B standard. The junior, who’s in his first year competing for Southern Methodist, also already has the 400 IM B cut as the top seed by five seconds.
3. Fran Krznaric
East Carolina’s Krznaric dominated the men’s 200 IM last year, coming within tenths of the meet record. He’ll enter as the top seed this year as the only swimmer with a B cut in the event. The senior will look to repeat as champion in the 200 back, where he set the pool record in 2016.
4. Will Hicks
Hicks leads a stacked 100 breast field as the top seed and will look to repeat as champion in both the 100 and 200 breaststrokes. The East Carolina senior placed third and 100 fly in 2016 and will again be a crucial part of the Pirates’ relays.
5. Ziga Cerkovnik
As a junior, Cerkovnik won the 50 free by one tenth and the 100 free by .04 and took fourth in the 100 breast. He was also part of four winning Mustang relays. The Southern Methodist senior will look to repeat as a two-time individual champion and will again be a crucial relay swimmer.