ECU Ready To Start Season With Purple-Gold Meet
Sept. 29, 2011
GREENVILLE, N.C. --- The unofficial start to the 2011-12 swimming and diving season at East Carolina begins Friday, Sept. 30 with the annual Purple-Gold intrasquad meet at 3 p.m. inside Minges Natatorium.
The Purple-Gold intrasquad meet is open to the public and will feature a variety of events by a number of the ECU swimming and diving student-athletes.
"We've been training very hard and I'm anxious to see how the kids respond," Pirate head coach Rick Kobe said. "We've got a lot of talented newcomers and this will give us our first chance to see how everyone competes. We anticipate swimming very well for this time of year."
In addition to its intrasquad meet, ECU will host five dual meets this season, including the season opener against North Carolina on Thursday, Oct. 6. Campbell, Chowan, NC State and William and Mary will also visit Minges Natatorium later in the year.
The Pirates also have a meet against South Carolina and Vanderbilt scheduled to close out the dual meet season and will again participate in the prestigious Nike Cup in Chapel Hill during November.
ECU has a combined roster that includes 46 returning lettermen, 14 all-conference performers and eight NCAA `B' qualifiers to lead the Pirates' against a challenging schedule.
The men's roster features 18 returnees and eight newcomers for the upcoming campaign, led by sophomore Attila Kiraly, who won the gold medal in the 400-yard IM at the 2011 Conference USA Invitational and captured silver in the 200-yard backstroke and 200-yard IM.
Only five seniors don the men's roster this season: Jonathan Bailey, Doug Parker, Tommy Ryan, Travis Stauder and Aliton Temotio. Bailey, Stauder and Temotio were each all-conference performers last season. Stauder holds the school record in both breaststroke events, while Bailey and Temotio are each part of record-holding relay teams. ECU will lean on its senior leadership and the performances of all-conference junior J.D. Flanagan, the Pirates' 200-yard breaststroke record-holder, to help duplicate its 9-2 dual meet season of a year ago.
The senior class dominates the ladies' team; led by four all-conference performers, the women's squad features a total of 12 swimmers and divers in their final year of eligibility.
Senior Natalia Favoreto claimed the silver medal in the 50-yard freestyle at the 2011 C-USA Championships and earned all-conference honors in three relay events. Fellow senior Kelsey Brosi also picked up all-conference accolades in a pair of relays, while classmate Kylie Francis joined the aforementioned duo as a member of the all-conference 200-yard freestyle relay team. Senior Meghan Coyne also earned all-league status on the one-meter springboard.
Francis is one of three current varsity record-holders on the women's team. She set the mark in the 200-yard backstroke last season, as did Anna Gibas in the 100-yard backstroke and Meaghan Rauscher in the 200-yard butterfly.
The Pirates' posted a 9-3 dual meet record a year ago and placed second at the 2011 Conference USA Championships. With a very deep and talented roster they have the potential to capture their first league title since 2003.