Jayhawks set for Big 12 Championship
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The journey begins for the Kansas swimming and diving team as the squad opens up the four-day competition that is the pinnacle of its season, the Big 12 Championship, February 21-24, at the Jamail Swimming Center in Austin, Texas.
It has been a powerful season thus far for the Jayhawks, and after waiting 156 days after their first dual meet of the season, the time has finally come to showcase their talents at the Big 12 Championship.
As the team gets ready to race this week, head coach Clark Campbell takes a moment to remind his squad of the two very important goals that will push the Jayhawks to success as a team at this high level.
“Everybody has to bring it,” Campbell said. “Everybody is going to have ample opportunities to swim and dive at a very high level. And what we have to do is be on a mission. The second thing we have to do is be the best version of ourselves. We need to be there to be focused when we compete, have fun and really get into how the team is doing. Getting excited for how our teammates do, rather than how you do as an individual. If we do those things, we will have a really good week.”
The past few years at the Big 12 Championship the Jayhawks reached unimaginable heights as they have broken the program record for points at the meet two years in a row, and it now stands at a 683.5 from last year’s competition in 2017.
“Every year the team is different and so we refer back to what we have done, but you really have to focus on what is in front of you,” Campbell said. “Every year the dynamic is different, and so right now we are focused on moving forward and being the best team we can be.”
The meet is setup differently from the typical dual-meet the swimmers have seen all year long. The teams will be partaking in preliminary heats in the morning and only those who qualify for either championship finals or consolation finals will move on to swim at night. The goal is to put points on the board in the championship finals, so preliminaries are what Campbell wants the team to really focus on and put its full effort into, to position itself to score points in the finals for team scores.
Although top times are always wanted, scoring the most points as possible is the most important thing for the team to do at this championship. This will help lead the team to a possible second-place finish for the third year in a row.
“One of the nice things about our team is that we are very well-rounded,” Campbell said. “We have a lot of depth in about every event. We are well-positioned to do well at this meet. You go there with the goal of scoring the most points possible. Meets like this are won and lost in prelims, and we have goals for us that define the winning, but they all center around getting it done in the prelims. If you don’t get it done there, you may not have that opportunity at night.”
The meet begins each day with preliminary rounds in the morning, starting at 10 a.m., with finals taking place each day at 5 or 6 p.m.
In addition, the Big 12 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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