Evansville, Ind.- A group of 37 freshmen made up the Screaming Eagles Swimming and Diving roster last season in the first year of the program looking to make a splash. The season brought its share of ups and downs for the Eagles as you might expect.
In year two, the program has developed more confidence and experience. Both squads placed fifth in the ultra-competitive A3 Performance Invitational in their last meet at Southern Illinois University.
The women’s squad took down Valparaiso and Eastern Illinois University. This marks the third win against Valparaiso this season and the first win in program history against conference rival Eastern Illinois University.
The men’s squad edged Valparaiso for the second time this season in the A3 Performance Invitational. USI men scored 147 more points than they did last season at the invite.
Both squads accounted for 20 school records, 140 individual season bests, and 29 lifetime bests.
“With so many season and lifetime bests, it showed that the team is doing a lot of great things in and out of the pool. I’m proud of how each meet has gotten better and better in this fashion. For us to continue the climb at this meet and fight hard all the way through the last relay on day three, it showed the resiliency and love this team has,” said head coach Cameron Kainer about his overall thoughts on the A3 Performance Invitational.
When asked about what the A3 invite meant for the team going forward, Kainer said “I thought our performance at A3 really gave us some strong motivation for the rest of the season. We had a lot of A and B Finals swims, which will prepare us for what’s to come at Summit Champs in February. I think there is continued motivation for those outside of Top 16 placings and for relay spots, but overall it showed how positively things are progressing for us.”
What’s Ahead for the Eagles
USI takes two months off to train and prepare for the second half of the season. The Eagles will host a men’s diving only event against the University of Evansville on January 13. Then, both squads will compete against Rose-Hulman University at the USI Aquatic Center on January 27.
The Eagles hit the road to take on Quincy University, Eastern Illinois University, and the University of Illinois at Chicago (diving only) to conclude the regular season. This leads up to the Summit League Championships in Minneapolis, Minnesota on February 21-24.