LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Fifth-year head coach Amy Burgess announced on Wednesday (Sept. 5) the 2012-2013 UALR Swimming and Diving schedule. Highlights of the schedule include three home dual competitions, the annual UALR Christmas Invitational, a trip to Nashville to take on Vanderbilt and the annual winter break trip to Florida.
"We are excited to be home a lot this year," Burgess said. "It has been tough in the past to get teams to come here because we are a female only team. Other programs with a men's team want somebody to compete against.
"We are also excited about the new places and new meets this season," Burgess added.
This season, the Trojans will have the luxury of opening the season with a pair of home meets. UALR will welcome Sun Belt Conference-foe North Texas Friday afternoon (Oct. 5) before returning to the waters against Tulane the next day (Oct. 6).
"This year we are starting off with two tough teams in North Texas and Tulane," Burgess explained. "With Tulane, it will be good because they are a solid team. It will be fun to swim a team that isn't as familiar."
Starting the first weekend in October is the earliest under head coach Amy Burgess and the first time since 2008 that UALR's first two meets are at home.
To close out 2012, UALR travels to the annual Hendrix Classic Invite and Relays (Oct. 26-27) before competing in the Henderson State Invite Nov. 9-10. The weekend before Thanksgiving (Nov. 16-17), UALR travels to Springfield, Mo. for the Drury Invite.
The Trojans finish 2012 up with the annual UALR Christmas Invite Nov. 28-Dec. 1.
"The Christmas Invitational will be fun because it is a nice, short invitational with pre-lims in the morning and finals in the afternoon," Burgess explained. "It's great competition from teams like Ouachita Baptist and Henderson because they come in rested and our trying to make cuts for nationals.
"It will be one of our bigger focuses in the fall because it is home and our girls usually swim well," Burgess explained.
For the second-straight season, the Trojans will be travelling over break to Florida for the Tampa Relays (Jan. 5) before hosting Hendrix and Rhodes College (Jan. 18) to close out the 2012-2013 home schedule.
UALR finishes the regular season with dual meets at Centenary (Jan. 26) and Vanderbilt (Feb. 2).
"Last year was our first meet against Vanderbilt," Burgess said. "They came in here and we surprised them with how competitive we were with them. This year we travel up to Nashville and they will be ready for us."
The 2012-2013 Sun Belt Swimming and Diving Championships will be in Rockwall, Texas Feb. 27-March 2. The meet will be a different format from past years as there is only a women's SBC Championship.
"As a women's only program, it is exciting for us because there will be more focus on the girls," Burgess said. "It slows the meet down and there will be more rest between events. We train all year to be able to go into that conference championships fully rested and see times drop and records broken."
UALR kicks off the season Oct. 5 when it hosts fellow SBC-foe North Texas. Meet time at the Donaghey Center Natatorium is set for 2 p.m.