Mizzou to host SEC Swimming and Diving Championships
COLUMBIA - The Missouri swim and dive team is looking to qualify more competitors for the NCAA Championships as it hosts the SEC championships February 16-20.
Members of the team said they are excited to swim in such an important meet at home.
"Everyone is excited, the whole team," junior Fabian Schwingenschlogl said. "The coaches are excited too. Especially swimming in front of our home crown, in our own pool."
"It's honestly one of the most exciting meets in college swimming," redshirt senior Abby Duncan said. "I think it's one of the best conferences in the United States."
Even head coach Greg Rhodenbaugh said he is ready to see his team face some of the best competition not only the SEC has to offer, but what the world has to offer as well.
"The SEC is the fastest conference in the nation and there will be not just a handful of Olympians you'll see this summer here swimming at this meet next week, there'll be many handfuls," Rhodenbaugh said.
He said he believes the team will do well in this meet because the team usually swims the best in its home pool. He said the team is young but everyone is very competitive and continues to get better everyday.
"Last time we had a conference meet here, we swam really fast," Rhodenbaugh said. "I would expect nothing else from our kids."
With right around 440 athletes and an expected 1,000 fans per session, he says it will make for an electric atmosphere inside the Mizzou Aquatic Center.
"There will be some yelling going back and forth between teams and it will be a great atmosphere," Rhodenbaugh said.
Schwingenschlogl said he can't wait to be on the pool deck and experience the competition live. He said the fans will play a huge roll in the success of the team.
"The fans, they have our backs',"Schwingenschlogl said. "So it's gonna be really intense, especially when you swim against good teams, really good teams."
"The energy is just amazing with the fans," Duncan said. "It's gonna be packed in here. So having all the fans, the teams and everyone cheering each other on it's gonna be really fun.
Even on such a big stage as this, Schwingenschlogl said he plans to swim keep his normal routine and swim this race just as he would any other race.
"Mostly I have fun" Schwingenschlogl said. "I mean if i don't have fun then I wouldn't do it. Just have fun and enjoy the atmosphere of every race you have and show the best you can be. That's how I approach every race."
For a full schedule for the week, visit the SEC website.