WASHINGTON – It's the traditional opening of the American University swimming and diving season, but the Eagles men's and women's team head into Friday's Potomac Relay Invitational with different looks.
American will host local rivals Georgetown, George Mason and Howard on Friday in the relay-based meet, beginning at 3 p.m. The diving events will take place at Georgetown, with the swimming events at AU's Frailey Pool.
Each of the nine events will be relays, with some traditional (200-yard medley relay, 200 freestyle relay) and non-traditional (3x100 butterfly, 2x500 freestyle) events being contested.
On Saturday, American will host its annual Red/Blue Alumni event. Current and former swimmers are placed on teams. Some alumni swimmers receive time handicaps to equalize the competition in some events.
Admission to events at the Reeves Aquatic Complex is free.
AU WOMEN'S SEASON PREVIEW
The Eagles will have a dozen freshmen competing in their first collegiate meet on Friday, giving head coach Mark Davin the excitement of watching his newcomers react to their new environment.
"I always look forward to seeing how they do," said Davin, who will begin his 22nd season as AU head coach. "We want to see them in action."
In terms of returnees, the Eagles will have depth and strength on the diving boards with Fiona Caulfield and Emma Shetter returning for their senior seasons. Caulfield led the Eagles with 30 individual points at last season's Patriot League Championships, finishing second on the 3-meter board and becoming AU's first NCAA Zone qualifier in some time.
In the pool, seniors Shannon Exley (sprint free) and Tori Haviland (free and butterfly) will provide leadership for the Eagles' large group of newcomers. Each appears on AU's top-16 list in three different events.
AU MEN'S SEASON PREVIEW
On the men's side, American has five student-athletes returning who scored points at last year's Patriot League Championships.
The group is led by junior Scott Callander, who scored 12 individual points in butterfly events. He is listed among the top-16 all-time at AU in three events, as is junior breaststroker Jason Tillotson.
Junior Sam Fromkin returns after scoring in the 200 backstroke a year ago, while distance freestyler Garrett Sooter scored last year as a freshman. Benjamin Cook was 16th on the 1-meter diving board in 2016.