Jayhawks open 2017-18 season against Liberty
As the leaves begin to turn, the Kansas swimming and diving team takes an early plunge into the 2017-18 campaign as the Jayhawks host their first dual meet against Liberty this Friday and Saturday, October 6-7, inside Robinson Natatorium.
Prior to Saturday’s 11 a.m., start the senior class consisting of Briana Balsbough, Hannah Driscoll, Nika Fellows, Madison Hutchison, Nadia Khechfe, Lydia Pocisk, Madison Straight and Zoya Wahlstrom will be honored for their contributions to the program over the past four years.
“This meet is much earlier than we usually compete,” head coach Clark Campbell said. “Usually we start competing in late October, so this is the earliest dual meet we’ve had in a long time. It’ll be interesting to see where our fitness is this early on. I know that Liberty is going to be competitive, so it should be a really good meet.”
Preparing physically and mentally for a meet this early is a duel in itself, and for the swimmers, they have the opportunity to show how far they’ve come since this training phase began.
“Liberty is very good and our team never really talks too much about the opponent,” Campbell said. “Our motto is to be the best version of ourselves each time we get into the pool and that is all we can ask for.”
The meet will consist of a total of 19 events, with the first 10 starting on Friday at 5 p.m. The final nine events will occur Saturday with a start time slated for 11 a.m.
With such an early start to the season, it is important for the Jayhawks to use the advantages of being in their home pool.
“The most important thing heading into this weekend is the training and the preparation,” Campbell said. “Dual meets are quizzes. We use these meets to assess our progress and see what areas we need to work on before our midterm and our final. Our midterm happens with the Kansas Classic in mid-November, and our final is the Big 12 Championship and NCAAs in late February and early March.”
As the team is aware, this first quiz is really important because it will show where the team needs to go from here. However, it is not all about the school work for this squad this weekend, as a different experience is faced all together for the senior class.
Prior to Saturday’s meet, the eight seniors on the team will be honored in front of their friends and families as the beginning to the end comes to fruition.
“We do our senior meet early. In our minds, every meet is a celebration of our seniors and it’s a lot easier for parents to travel in October than it is in January,” Campbell said. “So we go ahead and get that knocked out and celebrate our seniors and get ready for an awesome season.”
Fans are encouraged to cheer on these eight seniors and their teammates both Friday and Saturday at Robinson Natatorium. Admission is free of charge and open to the public.
Due to the 11 a.m., kickoff for football on Saturday and the concurrent competition, swimming and diving attendees are encouraged to park in Lot 90 south of the Robinson Center.
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