After a pretty remarkable weekend at the ConocoPhillips National Championships in Irvine, California, Virginia Swimming & Diving has announced its 2010-2011 schedule, a schedule that on the men's side, includes at least six teams that finished in the final CollegeSwimming.com poll (March 1, 2010) ranked in the Top 25. On the women's side, there are at least seven teams that finished in the last CollegeSwimming.com poll (February 16, 2010) in the Top 25, including No. 1 ranked Georgia and national champions Florida.
"We feel this is a very strong schedule that will challenge us," Virginia head coach Mark Bernardino said in the school's official release. "We want to keep being motivated and stay focused and racing against some of the best teams in the country will help do that. It's all to prepare for what we will see in March."
The ranked teams count in the opening paragraph only include the host team in each of the invitationals and not all the participating institutions. For example, the Georgia Invitational also includes Auburn (No. 6 Men, No. 8 Women) and the Minnesota men (No. 11). Virginia was No. 8 (men's) and No. 11 (women's) in that poll.
"The championships meets are what they are: the best against the best," Bernardino said in the same release. "We hope to be among the best."
They proved to be just that this past weekend as several Cavaliers reached the finals of their respective events at the ConocoPhillips National Championships. Rising senior Matt McLean placed seventh overall (1:48.20) in the 200m Free and eighth overall (3:53.23) in the 400m Free. Rising senior Scot Robison, who last season won team MVP honors after All-America performances in six NCAA Championships events, placed sixth (49.36) in the 100m Free and eighth (1:49.45) in the 200m Free. Incoming freshman Rachel Naurath placed seventh (2:11.80) in the 200m Fly.
The Virginia women have a No. 3 recruiting class coming in, while the Virginia men havve a No. 5 class, according to CollegeSwimming.com.
"We have stepped it up and I hope our athletes will respond."
I think you're good to go, Coach.