Swimming & Diving Opens Season Friday Vs. Xavier
Liz Hansson

Oct. 20, 2011

CINCINNATI – The University of Cincinnati swimming and diving team opens its 2011-12 season Friday with the annual Crosstown Splashdown against rival Xavier University beginning at 3 p.m. at Keating Aquatics Center.

The diving competition is slated for a 3:30 p.m. start time, while the swimming competition is expected to begin at approximately 5 p.m.

Last season, the UC women knocked off the Musketeers 182-87 while the men's team narrowly fell to Xavier by 10 points, 137.5-127.5.

“I expect the women to be a lot stronger this year,” said Monty Hopkins, UC swimming and diving head coach. “I’m hoping get we things started by living up to the expectations set at the end of last year by racing to be competitive, not just against Xavier, but also against personal-best times. It’s important that people expect a lot and live up to it. That is true with the men as well. We hope to discover who the difference makers are going to be on the men’s team. We’re going to place some of the men in different events to determine our best lineup.”

Leading the Bearcats returnees on the women’s team are seniors Liz Hansson (Lund, Sweden/School of St. Petri), the 2011 BIG EAST champion in the 50-meter freestyle, and Josefin Wede (Landskrona, Sweden/Gripenskolan/Auburn), the school record holder in the 100-meter and 200-meter breaststrokes.

The UC men welcome back senior Matt Hays (Westerville, Ohio/Westerville South) and junior Roberto Nevarez (Chihuahua, Mexico/ITESM Chihuahua). Last season, Hays and Nevarez placed sixth in the 400-yard freestyle relay at the conference championship meet.

As a freshman, Hays was on the 400-yard freestyle relay team that tied the school record (2:58.65) at the 2009 BIG EAST championship.

Cincinnati will open BIG EAST competition when it travels to Pittsburgh, Pa. on Nov. 11 to compete against the Panthers.