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Aggies Gear Up for Big 12 Champs

February 21, 2012
Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)
COLUMBIA, Mo. --- The Texas A&M men's and women's swimming and diving teams will face off against the Big 12 conference's toughest competition when they travel to Columbia, Mo. to compete in the 2012 Big 12 Championships meet Wednesday at the Mizzou Aquatics Center.

On the men's side, the team has a strong group of Big 12 veterans led by senior diver Grant Nel. Nel has been awarded Big 12 Diver of the Week three times this season, a year in which he broke his own school record in the 3-meter springboard event (476.48) against Texas on Feb. 3. Junior Hayden Jones is also a strong competitor on the diving boards.
Swimmers Boris Loncaric, Amini Fonua, John McClure and Paul-Marc Schweitzer have all had strong seasons and are looking to make an impact at the Big 12 meet.

"This is a meet that we've prepared for all season long," A&M men's Head Coach Jay Holmes said. "Almost everything that we do, every meet, every practice, is getting ready for this meet. It's real important for us, but it's also a whole lot of fun. Going out, racing, competing and representing Texas A&M."

In the 2010-2011 season, the Aggies took second place behind Texas. The Aggies finished with 817 points in the 2011 meet, highlighted by a Big 12 Meet record by Nel in the 1-meter springboard and a 400-yard freestyle relay upset by the Aggies over the Longhorns, who had won every 400 free relay in Big 12 history.

The A&M women have experienced Big 12 swimmers and divers as well. Swimmers Cammile Adams, Breeja Larson, Paige Miller and Maureen McLaine and divers Janie Potvin and Jaele Patrick all have first place finishes under their belts.

Adams has had a strong season highlighted by two dominating wins at the Austin Grand Prix over former Olympians in the 400 IM and 200 butterfly. Larson has swam under 1:00 in the 100 breaststroke four times this season, even going under :59.00 once. Patrick was honored as Big 12 Diver of the Week five times this season, more than any other diver in the conference.

The Aggies landed five individual Big 12 championship wins at the 2010-2011 meet along with one relay victory. Sophomores Paige Miller (100-yard backstroke), Sarah Henry (400-yard individual medley) and Cammile Adams (500-yard freestyle, 200-yard freestyle), alond with junior Maureen McLaine (1,650-yard freestyle) took wins for the Aggies. The Aggie relay victory was secured by the team of junior Tess Simpson, Larson, Miller and former-A&M senior Maria Sommer in the 200-medley relay.

"We're looking for fast swims and good racing-- this is the fun time of the year," A&M women's Head Coach Steve Bultman said. "They put in all of that hard work throughout the year and this is when they get their rewards back."


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