FAYETTEVILLE — University of Arkansas swimming and diving head coach Jeff Poppell has announced his team’s competition schedule for the upcoming 2011-2012 season. The Razorbacks have eight regular season competitions, including three in the home confines of the Arkansas Natatorium.
The Hogs, who were 9-2 in dual meets last season and finished eighth in the SEC and 24th in the College Swimming Coaches Association of America rankings, will face four teams who finished last season in the CSCAA Top 25, including three who finished in the top ten at the NCAA Championships.
"This year’s schedule will pose a very strong challenge for our young team," Coach Poppell said. "Our meet slate in the fall season will feature contests against national contenders Auburn and Florida, and will conclude with the Minnesota U.S. Grand Prix for our swimmers and the Tennessee Invitational for our divers."
Auburn finished last season No. 4 in the polls and 6th at the NCAA Championships. Florida, which won the 2010 National Championship, finished No. 8 in the rankings and 7th in the Championships, and Minnesota ended the season ranked No. 14 and finished 9th at the Championships.
Coach Poppell is particularly excited for the U.S. Grand Prix at Minnesota, a long-course meet that closes out the fall season for his swimmers. The Grand Prix will help prepare several UA athletes for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, which will be held from June 25 to July 2 in Omaha, Neb.
"The U.S. Grand Prix will not only include Minnesota, but will also feature many of America’s top club, college, and post-graduate swimmers that will be competing in this event as a stepping stone towards next year’s Olympic Trials," Poppell said.
The second half of the schedule begins with a tough meet against Navy and Penn St., which finished last season ranked No. 24.
"Penn State returns eight NCAA qualifiers from last year’s squad," Coach Poppell said. "This will be a highly competitive meet against two great opponents."
The final two meets of the regular season will be home, including the senior meet against Southeastern Conference foe Vanderbilt to close out the regular season on February 4th.
"This year’s schedule is extremely competitive and we hope that it will prepare us well for not only the SEC and NCAA Championships, but also the U.S. Olympic Trials," Poppell said.
The SEC Championships will take place in Knoxville, Tenn. and begin Feb. 15.
The Razorbacks travel to Auburn for a 5 p.m. meet to open up the season Oct. 5. The first home meet will be Oct. 20th against Florida at 5 p.m.
|Wed, Oct 05||Auburn*||at Auburn, Ala.||5 p.m.|
|Thu, Oct 20||Florida*||FAYETTEVILLE||5 p.m.|
|Oct 28-29||Rice Invitational||at Houston, Texas||All Day|
|Nov 11-13||Minnesota U.S. Grand Prix||at Minneapolis, Minn.||All Day|
|Nov 16-18||Tennessee Invitational* (Diving Only)||at Knoxville, Tenn.||All Day|
|Jan 2-9||Diving Training Trip||at Indianapolis, Ind.|
|Wed, Jan 4||NTC Invitational||at Indianapolis, Ind.||TBA|
|Sat, Jan 14||Penn St./Navy||at Happy Valley, Pa.||10 a.m.|
|Sat, Jan 21||Kansas/North Texas||FAYETTEVILLE||1 p.m.|
|Sat, Feb 4||Vanderbilt*||FAYETTEVILLE||1 p.m.|
|Feb 15-18||SEC Championships*||at Knoxville, Tenn.||All Day|
|Sun, Feb 26||NCAA Last Chance Invitational||at Columbia, Mo.||All Day|
|Mar 9-11||NCAA Zone Diving||at Iowa City, Iowa||All Day|
|Mar 15-17||NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships||at Auburn, Ala.||All Day|
|Mon, Jun 25||U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials||at Omaha, Neb.||All Day|
*-Denotes Southeastern Conference event
All home events at HPER Natatorium.
All times listed are Central and are subject to change.