Oct. 9, 2009
HUNTINGTON, W.Va.- The Marshall University swimming and diving team will open the 2009-10 season Saturday at 2 p.m., when the Herd duals the Xavier Musketeers at the Frederick A. Fitch Natatorium.
"I think Xavier is going to be an interesting meet," head coach Leonard Kraus said. "They have a new head coach and I don't know how he sets the lineup. We have a few girls under the weather; with those two aspects in mind, it will be an interesting meet."
The Herd finished the 2008-09 season with an overall record of 5-5 and finished sixth at the Conference USA Championships.
Of last year's squad, MU graduated diver Siobahn Schuurman and notable swimmers Kyla Jungclaus and Kayla Truswell. Schuurman ranked in the top-two on the MU all-time performers list in the 1-meter, 3-meter and platform diving. Jungclaus holds top-10 records in the 50, 100 and 200-yard freestyle; while Truswell is in the top-10 in 100 and 200 butterfly and the 200 and 400 individual medley.
For diving, the Herd will look to fifth-year senior Rachel Hannum and platform record holder Haley Holmquist for points. Holmquist set the school record last season at the C-USA Championships, with a score of 1 60.10.
MU swimmers will be led in the breaststroke by Brianna Burns and Kristin Wheatley. Burns will also take the helm in freestyle with Jenae Moreno and Lauren Fairbanks. Wheatley will join Fairbanks and Moreno in the butterfly, along with Megan Demeter as top contenders. Individual medley will be steered by Wheatley and Jenny Johnsson. Johnsson, along with Erin Kennedy, will also guide the Herd in backstroke.
"We hope to go out there and see how the freshmen react to the meet situation," said Kraus. "Hopefully our seniors can continue to do a nice job of leading the team like they have been doing in practice all year."
Freshmen Vera Niemeyer and Arlie Rykosky both add talent and depth in the MU lineup. Niemeyer will join ranks in the backstroke, while Rykosky will help in the butterfly.
Xavier finished last season with a 6-10 overall record, and a seventh-place finish in the Atlantic 10.
"Hopefully we can transition the positive work we have made in practice into a quality win on Saturday," Kraus said.
Results from Saturday's meet will be posted following the conclusion of all events, on the swimming and diving page at herdzone.com.