Jan. 17, 2013
FORT WORTH - TCU's swimming and diving teams begin an intriguing series of dual meets with a Big 12 dual meet at West Virginia. The competition takes place on Friday at 4 p.m. CT at the WVU Natatorium.
"We like to swim other conference schools," TCU head coach Richard Sybesma said. "When I was visiting with their coach (Vic Riggs) it came up that this would be a good weekend to come up there."
The TCU men will be taking part in its first Big 12 dual meet. West Virginia's men's and women's squads will be taking part in their first Big 12 dual meets, too.
"This is their first Big 12 competition and this is our men's first Big 12 competition.," Sybesma noted. "We are excited about starting up a new tradition. I have never been to Morgantown, and I look forward to going."
The TCU men will not be waiting long for their next Big 12 dual meet, as the Horned Frogs have a home dual meet with Texas on their radar after the meet against the Mountaineers.
"Within a week we will have swam the other Big 12 schools," Sybesma said. "It is great to swim other schools in your conference. It gives you credibility, and it gives your team a heightened awareness of what your competition is like."
The Horned Frogs women are embarking on a challenging stretch of four dual meets in 13 days. Sybesma and the Frogs will be embracing the competition.
"Our women are going to have to show their toughness," Sybesma noted. "It will be four very competitive meets in a row, but we are looking forward to it. We are a tough team. We will continue our training, and do the best that we can."
The meet between the Horned Frogs and the Mountaineers will be a competitive one. The West Virginia women boast one of the top distance swimmers in the country in Rachel Burnett. The senior has NCAA `B' cuts this season in the 200 free (1:47.35), 500 free (4:41.37) and 1,650 free (16:09.92). Another star for the WVU women is senior Mandie Nugent, who has NCAA `B' cuts in the 100 fly (54.24) and 200 fly (1:58.10).
The West Virginia men boast a deep sprint freestyle group, with four men boasting season-best times a second of each other in the 50 and 100 free. The Mountaineers also have a strong butterfly group to contend with.
"Our depth has to come through," Sybesma said. "We feel like the meet is going to be so close that the meet might not be decided by the No. 1 swimmers, but the No. 2 and No. 3 swimmers. It should be an exciting meet."