MINNEAPOLIS, MN -- Texas A&M will be represented by junior Eric Sehn and freshman Israel Duran Mata at the 2007 NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships Thursday through Saturday at the University of Minnesota’s University Aquatic Center.
Sehn and Duran will try to push the Aggies to their 12th straight top 25 national finish, which is a school record. The Aggies are one of just 12 teams nationally that have finished in the Top 25 at the NCAA Championships every year since 1996.
Leading the way for the Aggies is Sehn, who is a nine-time Big 12 Champion and an NCAA diving veteran. Sehn, from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, compiled 68 points in his two previous trips to the NCAA Championships, including a school record 35 points at the 2005 NCAAs which were also contested at the University of Minnesota.
"I think that if I dive up to my potential, I could be top three on each board," Sehn said. "If I dive like I can, I should do very well. Last year I was second in the prelims of the [platform], and I dropped down to fifth. I don't want to do that this year. I want to stay steady. I think the thing that's going to help me this time is I've already dove at the pool and I like it."
Added Aggie diving coach Kevin Wright, “There are athletes from throughout the entire world at the NCAA meet, which makes it a very fast meet for the swimmers and a very competitive diving meet," Wright said. "Having said that, Eric is at a point in his career where consistency really matters. If he can get up there and be consistent and keep the mistakes to a bare minimum, then I would predict that he would finish somewhere between fourth and sixth if he has an average meet. If he has a good meet and he's consistent, I don't see any reason why he can't place in the top three in all three events."
Duran will compete in the 100- and 200-yard butterfly races with his specialty being the 200 fly. Duran, from Tijuana, Mexico, won the 200 fly and placed fifth in the 100 fly at the 2007 Big 12 Championships, which were contested in College Station Feb. 14-17. Duran’s school record of 1:44.42 in the 200 fly was an NCAA “A” cut and ranks as the sixth-fastest time in the nation.
“Israel has done a great job for us all season,” Aggie head swimming coach Jay Holmes said. “He’s swimming very well right now. He looks great in the water. He’s swimming with a lot of confidence. We’ve talked about taking advantage of our opportunity and he’s ready to do that.
Sehn will dive each day at the NCAA Championships with the one-meter springboard on Thursday, the three-meter board on Friday and the platform on Saturday. Duran will swim the 100 fly on Friday and the 200 fly on Saturday.