Crimson Tide Kicks Off 2018-19 Season On Friday

Photo Courtesy: Amelia J. Brackin

For the sixth year in a row, Alabama and Delta State will face off in the first swimming and diving meet of the collegiate season, with this year’s opener coming on Friday, Sept. 14 in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The meet launches a 2018-19 Crimson Tide schedule that includes four home meets and four road contests during the regular season.

“We really like to have a meet on the books early,” Dennis Pursley, in his seventh year as Alabama’s head coach, said. “It helps us as coaches to evaluate where our veterans are in terms of fitness and gives us a first look at the freshmen, where they are and how they respond to competition. I think for the student-athletes, it’s something to point toward through the summer and in the early days of training. There’s something on the horizon almost immediately.”

The meet gets underway at 4:30 p.m. and will be held in the Don Gambril Olympic Pool at the Alabama Aquatic Center. Admission is free.

The Crimson Tide men return three All-Americans, seniors Robert Howard and Laurent Bams along with junior Zane Waddell. The UA women feature four All-Americans, seniors Katie Kelsoe and Justin Macfarlane and sophomores Leonie Kullmann and Flora Molnar.

While the Tide has quite a bit of experience coming into the season, it also has a large number of newcomers. Between the men’s and women’s teams, Alabama has added 26 freshmen to this year’s roster, including 12 men and 14 women.

In addition to hosting the “first splash” of the 2018-19 NCAA season, Alabama will host Texas A&M (Oct. 20) and Auburn (Dec. 7) during the fall semester. In the spring semester, the Crimson Tide will host Florida State, as well as the Miami (Fla.) women’s team on Jan. 12.

Alabama will face Ohio State (Sept. 27) and Tennessee (Oct. 26) on the road in fall dual meet competition. The Tide will also travel to Atlanta for the Georgia Tech Invite (Nov. 15-17) in the fall and the Auburn Invitational (Feb. 8-10) in the spring.

“We have put together a competitive and practice schedule that’s sole purpose is to prepare us for the postseason,” Pursley said. “We want to be at our very best when the championships roll around.”

The championship season opens with the SEC Championships (Feb. 19-23) in Athens, Ga. The NCAA Zone B Diving Championships (March 11-13) will be held in Auburn, Ala. Both the women’s (March 20-23) and men’s (March 27-30) NCAA Championships will be held in Austin, Texas.

For all the latest information on the Alabama swimming and diving teams, follow AlabamaSwimDive on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. General athletic news can be found @UA_Athletics on Twitter and Instagram and Alabama Athletics on Facebook.

— The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with Alabama Swimming & Diving. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact

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