The University of Cincinnati swimming and diving teams kick off 2014 on Thursday, January 9, with a trip to Miami (Ohio). That meet is set for 5:00 p.m. in Oxford's Nixon Aquatic Center. The Bearcats will then turnaround and visit Louisville on Saturday, January 11, to swim against the Cardinals and Houston. It will mark the only regular season competition against American Athletic Conference foes for UC this season and serve as a preview of Ralph Wright Natatorium for the American's conference meet, which will be held in Louisville, Feb. 19-22. Action with the Cardinals and Cougars begins at 11:00 a.m.
On the women's side, freshman Jackie Keire has been a breakout star thus far in the 2013-14 season. Keire has won the American Athletic Conference Female Swimmer of the Week Award three times during the season. Keire owns the conference's fastest times in the 100 free (48.52), 200 free (1:45.38) and 500 free (4:41.33). She also has the second-quickest 1,000 free (10:09.22) and third-best 50 free (22.85).
Senior Joe Scherpenberg owns top-15 times among conference swimmers in five events. He has the league's sxith-fastest time in both the 200 free (1:38.34) and 500 free (4:29.25), while he ranks 13th in the 100 free (45.54), ninth in the 100 back (49.61) and 14th in the 200 back (1:50.66).
Miami will be swimming for the first time since hosting the Miami Invitational, Dec. 5-7, where their men's squad placed second and their women's team finished first. Both RedHawk squads finished ahead of UC teams which sent smaller teams due to final exams. Louisville's men's squad is ranked seventh in the nation, while the women's side is ranked ninth. Their men's team owns the fastest time in the American Athletic Conference in every event, while their women's team holds the quickest time in eight of 14 events (UC's Keire owns three). Houston fields only a women's team. The Cougars last placed third in the Phill Hansel Invite, Nov. 21-23, in Houston. UH will compete at Evansville on Friday, Jan. 10, before traveling to Louisville.
After the weekend, UC has three meets left on the regular season schedule. The Bearcats will travel to Kenyon, Jan. 17-18, to face Kenyon, Oakland and Ashland, before hosting Wright State at the Keating Aquatics Center for Senior Day on Saturday, Jan. 18. The Bearcats will then travel to Kentucky on Saturday, Feb. 8, before returning to Louisville for the American Athletic Conference Championships, Feb. 19-22.