Eagles host Lees-McRae in first regular season home event

JEFFERSON CITY, TN – The Carson-Newman swim team will host Lees-McRae College on Nov. 16, marking their first regular-season home event of the year. 

The women are currently 18th in the nation while the men are ranked 19th overall. 

The team is coming off a third-place finish at the Emory Invitational in which multiple Eagles secured season-best times. Among such finishers were Caleb Howell (Easley, S.C.) and Mary Northcutt (Huntsville, Ala.) who both received Bluegrass Mountain Conference Swimmer of the Week awards for their efforts.

"Overall, really pleased with how Emory went," Carson-Newman coach Jordan Taylor said. "I think our team's in a perfect place now to kind of attack going towards the Tennessee Invite." 

One swimmer that has come on recently has been sophomore Andrei Ungur (Romania). The underclassmen made his season debut on Oct.18th against Wingate and has been slowly but surely getting back into form in the past couple of weeks. 

"He was great this weekend in the events that he swam," Taylor said. "Winning the 200 backstroke, setting a new best time in the 100 back and I think that puts him fifth or sixth in the country right now. He also had great relay swims and he anchored our 400 freestyle relay on Saturday with a 45.5 which was by far the fastest split of any team there this weekend and one of the fastest relay splits in the country right now."

Both the men's and women's sides dismantled Lees-McRae in their meeting last season on Nov. 10, 2018. The Eagles came out on top 253.5 to 71.5 overall. 

"This year we've really cared about what our dual-meets are doing, what they're saying about our season and what they're saying about our practicing," Taylor said. "… We still need to go in, plan our races and attack the races in the right way to get every bit out of those races possible."

Due to Lees-McRae's roster size, this dual-meet will be a bit shorter than usual, consisting of 28 total events as opposed to the typical 32. 

The Eagles intend to use this dual-meet against the Bobcats as a springboard for the Tennessee Invitational. The latter will be a huge challenge and test for the team that will act as a benchmark for how far they've come this year.

"Race it as if it's National Championships," Taylor said. "Get everything out of that swim, execute pacing, the turns, your race strategy, all the little details as best you can. So, if there's still some things we can brush up on, we can." 

The Tennessee Invite follows this event with Lees-McRae on Nov. 21 through Nov. 23.

Be sure to keep up with the Carson-Newman swim team all season long C-N's social media platforms and on cneagles.com.