Stiff Competition Awaits Kansas in South Florida Swing
LAWRENCE, Kan. – In the midst of an intense three-week training camp the Jayhawks will utilize back-to-back double duals against some of the country’s top teams to prepare for the championship portion of the season that awaits.
After a month’s hiatus from competition and a week into its winter training, Kansas swimming and diving visits Miami, Florida where they will meet No. 13/19 NC State along with last year’s Conference USA champions, Florida International. Combined, the two teams boast a 9-3 dual record and have competed against a total of six top-50 opponents throughout the 2015-16 season. The three squads will face off on Friday, Jan. 8 at FIU’s Biscayne Bay Aquatic Center at 2 p.m. CT.
“NC State is one of the best teams in the country, they’re going to be very, very hard,” head coach Clark Campbell said. “It will definitely be our highest level dual meet of the year with a team that is close to a top-10 type nationally. Florida International will also be a very tough team.”
The Panthers enter this weekend with a 6-2 dual record along with a second-place finish at the FIU Sprint Invite last weekend. They have faced three opponents ranked in CollegeSwimming.com’s top-50 this season, holding a 1-2 mark against such teams. Florida International will tally two more ranked opponents to its campaign this weekend when they face NC State, who heads to Florida ranked among the top-20 in both major swimming polls, and Kansas who came in at No. 44 in CollegeSwimming.com’s latest rankings. The Wolfpack has garnered a 3-1 dual meet record and registered a fourth-place finish at the Nike Cup Invitational. Like Kansas, this weekend’s meet will be their first competition of the New Year.
With less that 24-hours rest, the Jayhawks will head south eight miles to Coral Gables where the University of Miami will host Kansas and Rutgers in their newly renovated facility, Whitten University Center Pool. Saturday’s competition, scheduled to start at 10 a.m. CT, will be the first meet held in the updated facility.
The second day of competition won’t prove to be any easier for Kansas as Rutgers heads into this weekend with a 5-1 record on the season – their only loss was to a ranked Villanova team. Miami has tallied a 3-3 dual meet record through the first half of the season.
The Jayhawks closed out their fall campaign with a 4-1 dual record along with a slew of career-best performances. They will look to continue progress as they head into the winter slate. While the beginning of the season was focused on building a foundation and team bonding, the squad will now increase their training in preparation for the Big 12 Championships in late February.
“Training trip meets are when you have the biggest variance in performance that you have in any other meet,” Campbell said. “One thing about swimming is that a really good week of practices doesn’t always mean that you will perform better because their bodies are so broken down. So we don’t know what we’re going to get, but what we’re hoping is that we have two meets and basically four duals – two duals each day – to get back into our routine.”
Following Saturday’s meet, the Jayhawks will head to Key Largo, Florida for five days and continue winter training camp. Kansas will return to Lawrence Jan. 14.
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