Razorback swimming and diving announces schedule

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Five home meets highlight a strong 2008-09 swimming and diving schedule Razorback head coach Jeff Poppell announced today. Poppell and the Razorbacks host five meets with five regular season away competitions for the upcoming season. “We are very excited about this year’s schedule,” said Poppell. “We have six opponents that finished last year ranked in the National Top 25in either theCollege Swimming Coaches AssociationFinal Dual Meet Standings or the Division I NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships. Our toughschedule represents a good mix of both SEC and non-conference competitionwhich should provide us with thenecessaryexperience our young team needs in order to compete well at the SEC and NCAA Championships.” Arkansas opens the season with its annual Red/White meet Oct. 11, at 9 a.m. The team jumps into a hectic five-meet fall with a trip to Knoxville, Tenn., as the Southeastern Conference schedule gets underway with Tennessee and Vanderbilt Oct. 17. The Razorbacks return to the Arkansas Natatorium hosting the final home meet of the fall as LSU swims in Fayetteville, Oct. 30. November begins with a trip to Denton, Texas, where Arkansas takes on SMU/North Texas, Colorado State and New Mexico State in a five-team meet. From the south, Arkansas travels to the north in Minneapolis, Minn., for the Minnesota U.S. Grand Prix Meet, Nov. 14-16. The fall concludes with a trip to Columbia, Mo., for the Missou Invitational Dec. 5-7. “We open upour season against a Top 10 team, Tennessee, that finished eighth at last year’s NCAA Championships,” said Poppell. “It doesn’t get any easier from there as we compete againstSEC rival LSU who finished last year as the19th best dual meet squad in the country and SMU who finished 11th at the NCAA Championships. We will complete our fall with the Minnesota U.S. Grand Prix where we will see the Gophers who finished in the Top 10 of last year’s dual meet rankings.” The team will take a quick holiday break before returning to the pool in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Dec. 27-Jan. 3, for training. Arkansas returns to campus for three in a row welcoming SEC rival Kentucky and Missouri Jan. 10, Kansas Jan. 22, and Drury Feb. 6, as the regular season winds down. Postseason action begins at Auburn, Ala., as the Tigers host the 2009 SEC Swimming and Diving Championships Feb. 18-21. Arkansas has the opportunity to compete at a Last Chance meet in Athens, Ga., Feb. 28-29, followed by the NCAA Zone Diving Championships March 12-15, and the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships March 19-21, at Texas A&M. “The second half of our schedule consists of three great home meets;an excitingdouble dual meetwith No. 18 Kentucky and No. 23 Missouri, a local foe inKansas who we barely beat a year ago in an exciting meet that came down to one point, and the former Division II National Champion Drury. The home contestsare always special to us as we enjoy competing in our own pool and look forward totreating our local fans to some great college dual meets. With the majority of oursquad consisting of freshman and sophomores, the entire schedule will truly test the grit and character of this team and provide us with a clear picture of where we standagainstsome of the best teams in the country."