Oct. 24, 2001
ATLANTA – After years of hard work and planning, the Georgia Tech women’s swimming and diving team will become a reality this weekend. The Yellow Jackets open their inaugural season Friday against Rice at 7 p.m.
All Jackets’ home meets this season will be at Emory’s Woodruff P.E. Center. The Georgia Tech Aquatic Center is under renovation.
“This is obviously the first meet in the history of Georgia Tech women’s swimming, so it takes on an added level of excitement,” says head coach Seth Baron. “I think these ladies understand that this is the first chapter of the history books of Georgia Tech women’s swimming. I think that’s exciting but also probably makes them a little nervous.”
“Our women are going to see a very good, nationally-ranked team in Rice University on Friday night, that’s going to present a very strong challenge even though it’s a very small squad of only 13 women. But their 13 women are pretty good,” adds Baron. “They return some NCAA All-Americans, and it’s going to be a tough, exciting meet.”
The Tech women also host North Florida and Georgia Southern on Saturday at 1 p.m.
The first-ever women’s swimming and diving team consists of 15 swimmers and a pair of divers. Thirteen of the women are true freshman, while four swimmers, Jennifer Christenson, Melissa Iverson, Jenny Lentz and team captain Ashley Skala, redshirted and trained with the men’s team last season.
“They’re focused,” says Baron. “They know what they are capable of doing, and they’re looking forward to finally stepping up on the blocks and doing what they need to do.”
“Everyone has been doing a great job, training hard, and has been very enthusiastic,” Baron adds. “But I think they’re ready for some competition.”
Following this weekend’s action, the Tech women, joined by the men this time, open ACC competition by facing Florida State on Friday, November 2, at 6 p.m.
The men’s squad is coming off of program-best finishes at the ACC Championships (third) and NCAA Championships (29th). Juniors Shilo Ayalon and Tomonori Tsuji return after becoming Tech’s first swimming All-Americans last season.