COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- The No. 11 Texas A&M Aggies men's swimming & diving team kicks off the season with a challenge, hosting the No. 5 Ohio State Buckeyes in a two-day event October 18 and 19 at the Texas A&M Rec Center Natatorium. Friday will consist of long course meters races that will be unscored, while diving will be scored. Dual meet season commences Saturday with races in short course yards.
The Maroon & White hope to cap off the program's years of improvement after back-to-back top-four SEC finishes and three consecutive top-20 finishes at NCAA Championships. Last year the Aggies set 11 school records finishing 5-3, fourth at the SEC Championship and 17th at the NCAA Nationals.
Texas A&M returns 21 members of last season's squad, with nine of the returners being sophomores. Standout returners include Adam Koster, Benjamin Walker, Shaine Casas and diver, Kurtis Mathews. Koster compiled seven individual wins and set four school records as a junior. Walker became the first Texas A&M SEC Champion and was named the Danny Green Co-MVP at the team's annual banquet. Casas collected six school records, earning SEC All-Freshman (200 back) and Second Team All-SEC honors (800 free relay, 400 medley relay). Mathews finished second in the 3-meter and fourth in the 1-meter at the SEC Championships.
The new Aggies in the pool are Jace Brown, William Coakley, Andres Puente and Victor Povzner. Brown was a six-time state finalist in the 100 fly and 200 IM as a junior and sophomore. Coakley was a four-time top five state finalist in the 200 and 500 free his senior and junior year. Breaststroke specialist, Puente, recorded top times of 28.80 in the 50 breast, 1:02.92 in the 100 breast and 2:16.08 in the 200 breast. Povzner took home the gold with a score of 359.85 at the 2019 Speedo Summer Senior Nationals, the Canadian National Championship in Windsor, Ontario.
"We've been looking forward to this for a lot of months," explained head coach Jay Holmes. "It's our season opener, and I know we're ready to race somebody other than ourselves. Ohio State is a very good team, probably one of the best teams that they've had. So, I know it's going to be a typical college dog fight."
Texas A&M dropped a 153-199 decision at Ohio State last year, and the top-five ranked team the Aggies face this season will be difficult to conquer. However, the Maroon & White swim their best when facing the best, as they set five records at the SEC Championships and four at the NCAA Championships last season.
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200 Medley Relay
1000 Freestyle/800 Freestyle
Diving Break – Women’s 1-Meter (Fri.), Men's 1-Meter (Sat.)
500 Freestyle/400 Freestyle
Diving Break – Men’s 3-Meter (Fri.), Women's 3-Meter (Sat.)
200 Individual Medley
400 Freestyle Relay