First-ever Kansas swimming & diving alumni meet a success
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Jayhawk pride illuminated Robinson Natatorium Friday afternoon at the first-annual Kansas swimming and diving alumni meet.
Swimmers and divers from generations swam together in a home showdown.
The event was the perfect way to get current swimmers and divers, and alumni back and in competition mode in preparation for the collegiate season. Head Coach Clark Campbell thought bringing the alumni in was a fun way to test the current swimmers to see what relays they will fit best in.
“It was awesome seeing all of our alumni back and doing what brought them to KU in the first place –swimming and diving,” Campbell said. “They all competed well, our team got into it, and we had some really good races.”
With the help of the energetic alumni, the swimmers were able to have some impressive performances and have the opportunity to compete with some of the best.
Many amazing athletes stepped foot in the natatorium from all different classes, including Joanie Starks who made her mark in both the swimming and diving well after competing for the team in the 1970s.
Another special appearance to the pool was Brad Wells, former KU swimmer class of 1991 and past K Club President.
“Brad was one of my coaches my freshman year,” Campbell said. “He helped me through that first year like none other so it is really good to see him. He is a world-ranked masters swimmer so we are very happy that he came over and raced.”
Wells remarks the memories made in Robinson Natatorium and smiles after the conclusion of his races in this pool again since the early 1990s. Blown away by the amount of power that the current swimmers hold today, his goal is to bring in more of the male alumni into this race in the future.
“I love it (being back in the pool), we need to get the guys back,” Wells said. “The guys need to realize that even though there is not a men’s team now, nothing can take back what we had here while we were here. That is my mission – to continue to bring in the guys.”
Campbell finds this meet to be a useful tool for his team to connect with those that made it all possible for them.
“It helps the current team connect with our past and that is really important,” Campbell said. “The relationships you build here last a lifetime, and I want our girls to understand that.”
Kansas opens up its regular season with a double dual meet in Lawrence, Kanas against Missuori State and South Dakota on October 12-13 at Robinson Natatorium.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.