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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Off the board,on the podium

For the second time in the school’s history, Texas A&M will be the location of the men’s swimming and diving NCAA Championship meet.
The Aggies will have 10 athletes compete this weekend at the Student Recreation Center Natatorium in the men’s NCAA National Championship meet.
In 2007, A&M was chosen as the location of both the men’s and women’s championships this season, making it the second school in NCAA history to hold both meets in successive weeks.
The Aggies, who recently placed third at the 2008-2009 Big 12 Conference Championship, advanced seven swimmers and three divers who will face 77 schools in the three-day meet.
Making the cut for the swimming team were sophomores Boris Loncaric and Balazs Makany, juniors Jason Bergstrom, Casey Strange and Nathan Lavery and seniors Brad Raiford and Shawn Clarke.
Of the squad, Bergstrom, Strange and Raiford have made the national meet before.
A&M will compete without one of its top performers at the meet, NCAA 2007-2008 qualifier junior Nikita Denisyako. Denisyako was able to swim in one meet, the Big 12 Championship, and was unable to qualify for the NCAA Championship.
A&M swimming head coach Jay Holmes said the team will miss not having Denisyako there, but will have to work without the team record-holding backstroker.
“It all comes down to getting it done when you have the opportunities,” Holmes said. “Unfortunately, it just wasn’t able to happen this year. We sure wanted him here.”
Four-time NCAA qualifying diver senior Eric Sehn said having the meet in College Station will make it more comfortable for the athletes and coaches.
“It’s very exciting, probably the most exciting NCAA meet that I’ve been to,” Sehn said. “The fact that we get to sleep in our own beds, the whole environment is more comfortable for all of us.”
Sehn is one of a school-record three divers to qualify for the meet. Joining him will be freshman divers Cam McLean and Grant Nel.
The three athletes qualified by taking three of the five top spots at the Zone D diving meet in Colombus, Mo., on March 15. The A&M divers took the first, third and fifth spots, beating out three opponents with experience.
A&M head diving coach Kevin Wright said the team bonded this season and he expects a good showing.
“It’s futile to even imagine that you can predict the future,” Wright said. “But at the end of the day, I’d say we’re in a good position.”
The points A&M will receive from its three divers will add onto the points received from individual and relay swimming events to make a total team score. A&M has finished in the Top 25 schools for 14 consecutive years.

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