July 27, 2012
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - The Missouri State men's and women's swimming & diving teams announced their 2012-13 schedule on Friday (July 27), as they prepare for their first full season under head coach Dave Collins. Both Bears' squads face a loaded non-conference slate that includes dual meets and invitationals with some of the top swimming programs in the nation.
"We have a couple of great invitationals, a couple of nice home meets and some nice road dual meets that will really challenge our athletes," Collins said. "I think it is a great balance and we are very excited about it."
To begin the season, the Bears will once again take part in the Show-Me Showdown (Oct. 5) hosted by the University of Missouri. Last year, the MSU women placed second, while the men were crowned champions of the invitational, upsetting the Tigers at Mizzou Aquatic Center. Following the Show-Me Showdown, the women's team will head down the road for the University of Arkansas Relays on Oct. 6.
With the swimming relationship renewed between new SEC member Missouri and Missouri State, the Bears will head to Columbia, Mo. on Oct. 19 for a dual with a strong Tigers' swimming & diving program.
Missouri State continues its crosstown rivalry with NCAA Division II powerhouse Drury with a home-and-home series. During homecoming weekend, the Bears will host the Panthers at Hammons Student Center (Oct. 26). Also as a part of the homecoming festivities, the swimming & diving program will hold its annual Alumni/Intrasquad meet on Saturday, Oct. 27 at 5 p.m.
The Bears' conference schedule will feature an away meet at Evansville on Nov. 2, immediately followed by a dual with Southern Illinois the next day. As an added bonus, the Air Force men's swimming team will be in Carbondale on Nov. 3 for a pair of duals with SIU and MSU.
In place of last year's TYR Invitational will be a return trip to the Purdue University Invitational, Nov. 16-18. Some of the teams that will highlight the competition include a 19th-ranked Purdue men's squad, Louisville, who had both teams ranked in the top 25 to finish the 2011-12 season, conference foe SIU, Cincinnati, Utah and the 16th-ranked Michigan women.
Another mid-season opportunity for Collins to showcase his talented group of swimmers will be the University of Incarnate Word Christmas Invitational, Dec. 15-17, in San Antonio.
To kick off the Spring semester, the Bears travel to Fatyetteville, Ark. for a marquee dual meet with 22nd-ranked Penn State and the Arkansas women on Jan. 12. Other meets in January include a dual at Drury (Jan. 17), MSU senior day against Truman State (Jan. 19) and an away matchup with Missouri S&T (Jan. 25).
In early February, the MSU men will finish up the dual meet season by going to Evanston, Ill. to square off against Northwestern, Notre Dame and 24th-ranked Iowa. Scored as separate dual meets, the competition will be a two-day, three-session meet that follows the NCAA order of events. The sessions will be Friday at 5 p.m., Saturday at 10 a.m. and Saturday at 4 p.m.
Both the Missouri Valley Conference (women) and Mid-American Conference (men) Championships will take place in Carbondale, Ill. The women will set their sights on a sixth-straight league title, Feb. 14-16, while the men look to improve on a fourth-place finish, Feb. 28-2.
"I think the schedule is going to put us in a great situation where we will see a lot of really good competition going into both conference championships," Collins added. "Ultimately our goal is to put ourselves in a position to compete as best as we can at conference and have some athletes at the NCAA Championships."
This year's NCAA Men's and Women's Swimming & Diving Championships will be held in Indianapolis.