Swimming and diving team competes in Nike Cup

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Marshall University’s swimming and diving team will compete in the three-day Nike Cup hosted by the University of North Carolina Thursday through Saturday in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Preliminaries begin 9:30 a.m. each day of competition, while the finals start at 5 p.m.

In addition to Marshall and North Carolina, other competing schools include North Carolina State University, Navy College, Duke University, East Carolina University, Old Dominion University, Yale University and James Madison University.

Marshall head coach Bill Tramel, who was the head assistant coach for North Carolina for nine years, said he has wanted his team to compete in the Nike Cup for years.

“I was the meet director of this meet during those years,” Tramel said in a news release. “I have been wanting to take our team to Nike Cup ever since I arrived at Marshall University.  Until now, I didn’t think we were ready. I believe we are ready now. I want to thank North Carolina’s head coach, Rich DeSelm, for inviting us.”

Last season, the Herd broke 14 of its 21 school records en route to a program best fourth place finish in Conference USA.

The team was also named one of the Top 16 most improved teams in Division I in 2015.

Tramel said he thinks his team will have an advantage in North Carolina’s pool, which the coach said appears shorter than most.

“Koury Natatorium is such a fast pool,” Tramel said. “From the indicators I have seen in our practices, we are going to light that place up. I’m really excited and the athletes are as well.”

Despite his confidence, Tramel said his team is up for a tough weekend of competition.

“Obviously, with such strong teams, we need to step up and really look the other teams in the eye,” Tramel said. “We can’t be afraid. We have to approach this meet in a way that we belong here. While we may not be the No. 2 team in the country, we certainly aspire to move in that direction. We have worked hard during the fall semester and have a three-day rest behind us. We are ready to go. We are ready to throw down. This should be a very fun weekend.”