FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The No. 25 University of Arkansas swimming and diving team is set to host No. 12 Penn State and Missouri State on Saturday, Jan. 12., at 10 a.m., in their final home meet of the 2012-13 season. The double-dual meet will also serve as Senior Day.
The Razorbacks have been training hard over the last two months and have not competed as a team since the Houston Cougar Swimming and Diving Invite on Nov. 15-17. At the meet, Arkansas finished second out of 15 teams with a final total of 699.5 points, defeating third-place Southern Methodist by nearly 200 points.
“We came back definitely a better team, a tighter team, a closer team, and on top of that our training was really good,” head coach Sean Schimmel said. “That was a good part of our training.”
Arkansas, which boasts a 3-1 overall record and 2-1 conference mark, looks to close its home-meet schedule with two big wins. Arkansas is a perfect 7-0 against Missouri State all-time and is 0-1 against Penn State, falling 167.5-132.5 last season at the hands of the Nittany Lions at Happy Valley, Pa. The last meeting between the Bears and Razorbacks came in the 2007-08 season when Arkansas knocked off Missouri State, 247-53.
“Both are very strong competitors and I am actually really excited about it because the better the competition, the higher we have to raise the bar in getting us ready for championship season, SEC season and NCAA’s,” Schimmel said. “Penn State did a very nice job last year and they are very strong this year.”
The Razorbacks are currently off to their best start since the 2010-11 season when they also began the season with a 3-1 mark, finishing the season with a 9-2 record. The Razorbacks have wins this season over Missouri, Kentucky and Southern Illinois, with their lone loss coming from third-ranked Georgia. Arkansas has also compiled 21 ‘B’ cuts so far this season by 12 different student-athletes. Two divers have also qualified for the NCAA Zone Diving Championships.
“Obviously we are looking to win,” Schimmel said. “It’s going to be very competitive in every event. We need to beat people to the wall and get our hand there first and dive better and come out on top, which is what we are always looking to do.”
After this week’s double-dual meet Arkansas will hit the road, facing South Carolina and Florida State in a double-dual meet on Friday, Jan. 18 and squaring off against Davidson the following day on Saturday, Jan. 19. Arkansas’ final dual meet of the season will be on Feb. 2 as Arkansas faces Kansas.
Saturday’s meet is open to the public with parking available at all lots surrounding the HPER Natatorium, both the swim meet and parking are free of charge.