Will compete in Show-Me Showdown over the weekend.
It might seem a bit early, but the 2013-14 campaign for Missouri S&T's swimming team gets underway this weekend.
The Miners begin their season Friday when they compete at the Show-Me Showdown at the University of Missouri against several of the programs within the state.
S&T has a 12-man roster for the upcoming year, which includes three individuals who scored for the Miners at last year's NCAA Division II Championships. It may not be a large roster, but it is one with plenty of potential.
"The upcoming season is going to be a really interesting year," said Miner head coach Doug Grooms, who is beginning his 16th season at the helm of the program. "We have some outstanding swimmers returning and the three newcomers are really going to bring tremendous credentials to our team. I am really excited to see what this small group can accomplish."
The three returning All-America performers are junior Ethan Goldfarb and sophomores Keith Sponsler and Aljaz Kerc. Sponsler earned a seventh place finish last season as a freshman in the 200-yard freestyle and also earned All-America status as part of three relay teams, while Kerc scored in five events at the national meet.
Sponsler and Kerc will compete in the freestyle along with returner Luke Norris, who had S&T's second-best time in the 200-free last season and freshman Jon Glaser, a top-six finisher in two sprint freestyle events at the Missouri State Championships last season.
Goldfarb, a top competitor for the Miners in the breaststroke and individual medley, will head up the distance freestyle events along with returning junior Ryan Layne and senior Alfredo Martinez, who will concentrate on the distance freestyle events this season. Glaser has great range in Grooms' opinion and will compete in the distance free events as well.
Kerc will also compete in the breaststroke along with Goldfarb and the duo consistently posted the top times a year ago for the Miners in those events. Returners Drew Larkins and Chris Lohff will also swim in the breaststroke events during the season.
The breaststroke quartet will also be among several competitors in the individual medley. Goldfarb won the 400-IM at the New South Intercollegiate Swimming Championships last year and earned honorable mention All-America honors a month later. Newcomers that will join the individual medley crew are freshman Colton Krause, a state champion in the butterfly in the state of Oklahoma and as well as in the 200-IM during his high school career and freshman Chase Davis, who also won Oklahoma state titles in the 200 individual medley and 100 butterfly events.
Krause, who qualified for the Junior Nationals in both the 100- and 200-yard butterfly, will bolster the event along with Davis. Luis Nesrala and Layne will be the Miners' primary competitors in the backstroke in the upcoming season.
The end of the season will have a different look for Missouri S&T this year as well.
The Miners will compete for the first time for a title in the Great Lakes Valley Conference this season, as the GLVC is sponsoring a championship in men's swimming. S&T won the last seven titles at the NSISC meet, but to win an eighth straight, it will have to go through a lineup that will include defending national champion Drury, Bellarmine, Indianapolis and Lewis. The GLVC will hold its championship meet Feb. 12-15.
S&T's first of two home meets during the 2013-14 season will take place on Friday, Nov. 8 when the Miners host Delta State. The other will take place Jan. 17 against Truman State.
Oct. 4...Show-Me Showdown at Columbia
Oct. 18...at Lewis, 7 p.m.
Oct. 19...at Lewis, noon
Nov. 2...Lindenwood Quad at St. Peters
Nov. 8...Delta State, 6 p.m. at S&T
Nov. 22-23...Drury Invitational
Dec. 14-16...Delta State Invitational
Jan. 17...Truman State, 5 p.m. at S&T
Jan. 25...at Missouri State, 1 p.m.
Feb. 12-15...GLVC Championships
March 12-15...NCAA Division II Championships at Geneva, Ohio