Kansas travels to Fayetteville for meet against Arkansas

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Firmly entrenched in the “power phase” of the team’s season-long plan, Kansas swimming and diving will make the bus trip to Arkansas on Saturday, January 28. The two squads will resume what has become an annual matchup under head coach Clark Campbell’s tenure after taking a break during the 2015-16 season.
“We’ve been swimming against Arkansas every year that I’ve been here,” Campbell said. “We took a break last year because we had to balance our home and away meets on our schedule. We’re returning the trip they made here two years ago. It’s cool that we have another big school that is relatively close, in another conference and is similar to us. It’s really good competition, a lot of their kids know our kids and vice versa. It should be a spirited meet.”

Due to the one-year break, the senior class is the only group that has raced in the University of Arkansas Natatorium with KU caps on, though the juniors also have memories of competing against Arkansas in KU’s Robinson Natatorium. The Jayhawks will have to overcome a few challenges if they want to avenge their 105-194 home loss to the Razorbacks in 2015. Some team members will sit out the competition to recover from various ailments. Secondly, KU is in the midst of one of the most fatiguing parts of Campbell’s training regimen, the “power phase.” Designed to increase the team’s top-end speed, this phase is comprised of intensive repetitions with little rest.
“(The power phase) is where we focus on making the engine faster by doing faster repeats on certain days with less rest,” explained Campbell. “They are short sets that have short rests, but there’s breaks in between. The idea is to practice race speeds without a ton of rest. Before it was doing the longer aerobic stuff with moderate rest and the race-pace stuff was done with lots of rest to build their capacity up. Now that they’ve got their capacity pretty much maxed out, what we want to do is increase the speed of that. By doing the training with less rest, but with the expectation of the speed being really high, it does increase their power output over time. Right now they’re tired as all get out. It’s par for the course and they’re doing a good job.”
While winning the meet is always a goal, the primary purpose of the trip is to not come home with a win, but to continue laying the foundation for a successful showing at the Big 12 Championships in February. As is the case every year, Campbell has meticulously planned each competition to add another ingredient to create a product ready for competing at the Big 12 and NCAA meets. It is a model that led to the team’s second-place showing and program-best 650.5 points in the Big 12 Championship last year.
“This is something where we may not see the benefits this weekend, but that’s okay,” Campbell said. “We’re going to Arkansas to compete and get some racing in, but we’re practicing our routine for Big 12s. This meet will be at 10 a.m., the exact same time as preliminaries at Big 12s. We will do the exact same morning routine that we will do at prelims at Big 12s. Not only is the competition important, just getting into the routine that we want to do at Big 12s may be the most important thing that we do this weekend.”

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