The Huskers are looking to improve on their best Big Ten Conference finish in school history in their 19th season under head coach and Olympic gold medalist swimmer Pablo Morales.
Senior diver Abigail Knapton and junior swimmers Autumn Haebig and Izzie Murray were announced as team captains for this year.
Knapton put together an amazing season last year, being named an All-American in two different events, good for a total of four All-American honors over her career at Nebraska. She finished fifth at the NCAA Championships in platform which made her a First Team All-American for the third consecutive time in that event. Knapton's junior season included 13 individual titles among her 23 top-five finishes, adding to her Husker resume. She was the lone diver for the Huskers at the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, finishing fourth in both of her events.
Those results were a Husker diving record at that event. Coming into the 2019 season, she will look to add to her already impressive stats and accomplishments as she finishes up her Husker career.
Murray returns after a successful sophomore season in which she had career-bests in the 100-meter backstroke with a time of 55.67 and the 200-meter butterfly with a time of 1:57.11, along with events such as the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle . She also received academic All-Big Ten honors and was a member of the Tom Osborne Citizenship Team. Murray is looking to improve her times along with placings in the upcoming season.
Haebig is another young swimmer looking to have yet another productive season after a busy offseason in which she qualified for the 100-meter backstroke, 200-meter freestyle and 400-meter freestyle at the Olympic time trials. Already an Olympic time trial qualifier, Haebig holds the team records in the 100-meter backstroke with a time of 1:01.91 and the 400-meter freestyle with a time of 4:14.96. To cap off her impressive season, Haebig finished 12th in the 100-meter freestyle with a career-best time of 49.38, 15th in the 500-meter freestyle, and 18th in the 100-meter backstroke at the Big Ten Championships. Haebig was on the Tom Osborne Citizenship team and was named to the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll both semesters to add more accomplishments to her strong year.
Morales heads into this season with 18 upperclassmen which bring experience to the younger talent that is coming in for the Huskers.
“You look to the freshman to bring in new life blood, kind of a wonderful naivete in not really wanting to mess up and just trying to do everything right and bring that energy, which is great,” Morales said.
Morales also talked about the work that his swimmers have put in year-round to make sure they are ready to compete when the season starts.
“Swimming as a sport is a year-round proposition,” he said. “Our girls made a good-commitment this summer to perform well. As a result, we are going into the season with a big deal of optimism.”
Looking at the Huskers’ schedule this season, they will look forward to their first meet at the CSCAA National Collegiate Open Water in Lawrence, Kansas on Saturday, Sept. 14 at 10 a.m.. The first look at the Huskers at home will come at an intrasquad meet on Friday, Sept. 27, in the Bob Devaney Pool at 4 p.m. Nebraska will end its season with the NCAA Championships on March 18-21 in Athens, Georgia.
The Huskers will look to take their marks and start their season off right with a good showcase in their opening meets.