Arkansas swimming and diving hosts Georgia and North Texas Friday

FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas swimming and diving team officially begins the 2007-08 season with a double-dual meet against Georgia and North Texas Friday, Oct. 12, at 2 p.m. inside the Arkansas Natatorium. The Lady Razorbacks face the Lady Bulldogs who finished fifth at the NCAA Championships and second in the Southeastern Conference and the Mean Green who broke 17 of 21 school records last season. Admission is free to the public. “It’s going to be a great meet for us and fantastic for our freshman to get welcomed into the SEC with one of the best teams in the country,” said head coach Jeff Poppell. “With half of our team being freshmen, they need to get a taste early of the caliber of competition we’ll be facing.” The Lady’Backs return 13 and introduce 12 newcomers Friday who were ranked fifth in the nation as a recruiting class by “I think there is an advantage to being at home,” said Poppell. “I’m excited about it. This is a big weekend for us. It is Family Weekend and a recruiting weekend for us as well. That combined with the fact that we’re competing against Georgia and North Texas makes it a little more special.” The Lady’Backs expect to be led by senior Emily Gregory, juniors Stephanie Carr and Summer Jackson and freshmen Katie Kastes, Ashley Largo, Jamie Marks and Erica Totten. In addition to a strong 2006-07 season, Georgia brought in the nation’s top freshman class, according to Georgia defeated North Carolina Wednesday in its first meet of the year. The Lady Bulldogs lead the all-time series versus Arkansas, 3-0. Arkansas leads the series with North Texas, 4-0. Under the direction of second-year head coach Joe Dykstra the Mean Green completed its most successful season in the program’s nine-year history with a dual-meet record of 7-5. North Texas placed second in the Mean Green Relays and faces Missouri State Thursday before heading to Fayetteville. Arkansas most recently competed in the Red-White intrasquad meet. The red team defeated the white team 121, 82. Jackson, Kastes and junior Madison Palmer paced the team with two wins apiece. “The Red-White meet is a hard indicator to really be able to determine where you’re at as a team, but this weekend will be the true determinate.” For more information about Arkansas swimming and diving, please log on to LADYBACKS.COM.