Swimming & Diving Preview: Tennessee
Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications
WILMINGTON, North Carolina - UNCW opens the 2012-13 season Friday when it welcomes nationally-ranked Tennessee to the Seahawk Natatorium for a dual meet at 3 p.m.
For the Seahawks, it will be their 36th season under the direction of long time coach Dave Allen. Allen was the originator of both programs, with the men starting in 1977-78 and women in 1979-80.
UNCW captured its 11th consecutive Colonial Athletic Association men's title in 2011-12 and returns several cogs this season. The women, meanwhile, placed third and also return several swimmers who will look to capture the championship for the first time since 2006.
Senior Carly Tanner returns for her final season after a stellar junior year. Tanner won the conference title in the 50 Free at the CAA meet and also swam on UNCW's winning 200 Medley and 400 Free Relays.
Sophomore Hannah Stephenson came up big for the Seahawks in the CAA Championships, scoring 31 points. She won the 100 Back and added a consolation win in the 200 Back. Stephenson also swam on both the winning 200 and 400 Medley relays.
On the men's side, C.J. Fiala, a sophomore, led the Seahawks with 47 points at the CAA Championship and earned All-CAA honors in the 100 Breaststroke and three relays. He capped an impressive rookie season by competing at the US Olympic trials over the summer.
Also returning for the Seahawks is Joe Gallene, a junior who will compete in the Freestyle events. Gallene contributed 46 points to UNCW's run to the CAA title, winning the 100 Free and propelling the Medley Relays to conference titles.
The Volunteers performed well at the 2012 NCAA Women's Championships, with the women placing seventh and the men finishing 22nd. UT welcomes back senior Kelsey Floyd, a finalist in the 100 and 200 Fly at the US Olympic Trials. Molly Hannis, a sophomore, captured the 100 Breaststroke title at the SEC Championships as a freshman.
On top of that, the Vols feature SEC Women's Diver-of-the-Year Tori Lamp and SEC Men's Freshman Diver-of-the-Year Mauricio Robles.
The Seahawks open CAA action Oct. 12-13 with a pair of dual meets against Old Dominion and former CAA rival Richmond.