FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Univ. of Ark.) - The Razorback swimming and diving team will open regular season competition with back-to-back competitions beginning Friday at the North Texas Relay Invitational in Southlake, Texas, at 5:30 p.m and concluding with a dual meet against North Texas in Denton, Texas, on Saturday at 10 a.m.
Head coach Sean Schimmel is ready for the team's first test at the relay invitational.
"It's our first get-up-and-go competition and we've just got to be connected," Coach Schimmel said. "We have some different events here in this type of relay invite, which will be fun and different. All three flyers get up, all three backstrokers in the same relay. We've got a lot of different things going on there, which make it kind of fun and exciting for us to get started."
The Razorbacks last participated in the North Texas Relays in 2010 and finished second overall with 100 points.
The 2013-14 squad welcomes seven newcomers who will experience their first competition. Twenty-five swimmers and divers will be returning, including seven seniors and two All-Americans.
"It's just kind of seeing where everybody starts to fit into their roles," Coach Schimmel said. "It's a completely different team than it was last year. It is every year. We'll see who's going to step up."
The team will encounter a quick turnaround, facing North Texas in a dual meet Saturday morning.
"We have to refocus all the time when we're on the road," Coach Schimmel said. "We're just going to look at it like that. We take one competition at a time. We're not really worried about Saturday. We get down there. We take care of Friday night. We do what's in front of us. We'll talk about that competition. Then we'll move on, and Saturday morning we'll prepare accordingly for the dual meet against North Texas, and refocus and be ready to go at 10 a.m. on Saturday for them."
Arkansas leads the all-time record against North Texas in dual meets 8-0. Their most recent meeting was in 2010 when the Razorbacks defeated the Mean Green 153-68 in Denton, Texas.
"I'm really about swimming in our own lanes, taking care of what we have to do," Coach Schimmel said. "If we prepare accordingly and execute, and swim in our own lanes, we'll have a good day Saturday morning."
The Razorbacks enter the season coming off a 10-1 dual meet record in 2012-13 and 26th place finish at the NCAA Championships. Last season, the Razorbacks broke 11 school records including each relay record.