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Season opens at North Texas

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Season opens at North Texas

FAYETTEVILLE– The Arkansas swimming and diving team opens the 2010-11 season this weekend with the North Texas Relays on Friday, Oct. 8, in Mansfield, Texas, followed by duals against UNT and Tulane the following day. “My primary goal of the weekend is to evaluate our team depth in what could easily be the deepest team that I have had here since arriving in 2006,” head coach Jeff Poppell said. “We have two fantastic competitions this weekend to open up our season and help provide us with some valuable information about where we are as a team and which individuals represent our strongest competitive line-up entering the season.”The North Texas Relays bring competition from SMU, Tulane, TCU and UNT. Last season brought the fifth consecutive Conference USA title for SMU and a fifth-place finish for Tulane. North Texas finished third in the Sun Belt Conference and TCU ended the 2010 Mountain West Conference Championships in seventh. Last season, the Razorbacks earned a top ranking of 18th in the country and finished the season at 20th.Arkansas finished sixth in the Southeastern Conference. “After this weekend, we should be able to more easily identify our top individuals in each individual event as well as the four individuals that should help comprise each of our relays as we begin SEC competition next week,” Poppell said.Looking to Saturday’s dual competition, Arkansas holds a perfect 7-0 record over the Mean Green, dating back to 1982. This is the fourth consecutive meeting between the Razorbacks and UNT. Last season, the Razorbacks beat UNT 192-106. The team returns two Mid-Major All-America honorable mention athletes. Arkansas leads with a 2-1 record over Tulane going into the dual. The most recent meeting between the teams was during the 2004-05 season when the Green Wave topped the Hogs 74-67. Tulane comes off a 2-4 dual record from last season and fields seven newcomers.All-American Jamie Marks leads the Razorbacks as team captain for the new season and returns as the top scorer from a year ago. Marks qualified and competed at the 2010 NCAA Championship and finished fourth in the 1600 freestyle at the SEC Championships. “Jamie is extremely versatile and continues to get better every season,” Poppell said. “In the diving events, incoming freshman and Canadian Olympic Trials finalist Kesha Naylor is poised to make a very large impact. She along with junior divers, Alex Roman and Liana Bugslag, will help us field one of the strongest squad of divers we have assembled in quite some time here at Arkansas.”The Relays are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. on Friday with the duals beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 9.



Sports Category : Swimming & Diving (W)