Jayhawks arrive in Texas for Big 12 Championship
AUSTIN, Texas – The adventure begins as the Kansas swimming and diving team has arrived in Austin, Texas for the 2019 Big 12 Championship inside the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center for a four-day energy-drive, competition, February 27-March 2.
Nearly five months of extensive hard work and dedication in competition waters has led the Jayhawks to this important point in the season. It is a meet in which the student-athletes have high hopes of continuing the successes of past competitions into this championship meet.
Excitement is in the air as Kansas head swimming coach Clark Campbell recognizes the eagerness coming from his team to get the meet rolling.
“The championship meet is like the Christmas of the swimming year,” Campbell said. “They have had a chance to taper and so they haven’t trained as much. So, they have more energy, they feel good in the water and they are anticipating the opportunity to race at a really high level. They are all super excited and we can’t wait to get the meet started.”
Although the team has had many competitions to work off of, this particular meet is set up differently from the typical dual meet the swimmers have seen all year long. The teams will be partaking in preliminary heats in the mornings and only those who qualify for either championship finals or consolation finals will move on to swim during the evening sessions.
The goal is to put points on the board in the championship finals, but also be able to reach each personal goal while remembering to compete not only against others, but within themselves.
“What we have talked about with this meet is simply doing one thing and that is being the best version of ourselves,” Campbell said. “(The goal is to) Not really worry about places or times or points or any of that stuff that we can’t control and just really focus on being the best we can be and compete. Our Athletic Director, Jeff Long, always likes to say, ‘Compete, compete, compete!’ and we have really embraced that (mentality). The most important competitor is the one staring at you in the mirror. And so we are going to be competing with ourselves and being the best we can be this week. I know that the team and the staff are all really excited and we have had a really good year and usually when we have a really good year, we usually have a pretty good Big 12s. We want to just keep that rolling.”
The team has had many successful years at the Big 12 Championship, even setting a new program record at 683.5 points when the team earned silver overall just two years ago in the 2017 competition.
Being able to stay focused and trust their capabilities will take the student-athletes far this week and remind them to focus only on the important things with hopes of having yet another memorable Big 12 Championship meet.
“It is a good conference and we are all really collegial,” Campbell said. “All for one, one for all type of thing. And so it is a great atmosphere and it is going to be a good week of competition.”
Preliminary rounds kickoff off each of the four days, starting on Wednesday morning, at 10 a.m., with finals taking place each day at 6 p.m.
In addition to the usual coverage of the Jayhawks at the annual league meet, the Big 12 Conference has partnered with FloSports to provide live and on-demand coverage of the championships. A live stream can be found at FloSwimming.com.
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