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Aggies Set To Swim In Home Opener

Courtesy: NC A&T Sports Information
          Release: 10/09/2012
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Head coach Shawn Hendrix and the Aggies are set to host their first meet of the 2012-13 season. Photo by Kevin L. Dorsey
Courtesy: NC A&T Sports Information
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GREENSBORO-The North Carolina A&T swimming team will be opening up their season at Corbett Sports Center in the same way they closed their season at home last year-by taking on the Radford Highlanders. 

The A&T swimming team will be making their home debut on 5 p.m., Friday, opening up competition in the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association. 

Friday's meet will be the second of the season for the Aggies (2-10), who finished 11th out of 13 teams at the All-N.C. Invitational last weekend.  The Aggies had a strong meet at the All-N.C. Invitational, as several swimmers posted times similar to their finishes from the 2012 CCSA Championships in February, and a few posted times that were seconds off their personal best times. 

That a number of Aggies started at the same pace they finished off last season is a good sign. 

"We're really building to where we want to be.  We had a lot of people swim a few seconds slower than their best times.  The biggest thing that I see is that we are growing," said A&T head coach Shawn Hendrix. 

Last weekend, the Aggies had some strong showings, especially from their freshmen.  First-years Kenya Dunn and Jade Hill each collected points for the Aggies in individual events---Dunn in the 50 and 100 freestyle, and Hill in the 100 breaststroke.  Senior Lauren Bowling also set a new personal best in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:10.15, and earned points for the Aggies with a 31st place finish in the 200 butterfly.

But even with the success that Hendrix saw her team have against other strong programs like N.C. State, Duke, East Carolina and Davidson last weekend, there are things that she is looking to see her Aggies improve upon for their matchup with the Highlanders.

"We still have a couple of the little things that we need to work on-turns, finishing the last part, being more mentally tough," she said.  "Taking this experience [at the All-N.C. Invitational] and applying being more mentally prepared for races; that would be the biggest thing.  We need to finish strong.  It's not that we're not physically able, it's like mentally we drown in our thought process." 

The Aggies will look to have as much success against the Highlanders on Friday as they did in their last meeting in Corbett Sports Center on Jan. 20.  In that meet, the Aggies had 12 swimmers place in the Top 3 in the 12 events they raced, including five first-place finishes.  Danielle Jackson won the 50 and 100-yard breaststroke events, Christian Hill won the 200-yard freestyle and Lauren Bowling was first in the 50-yard butterfly on Jan. 20.      

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