Swimming and Diving Kicks Off 2014 With Double Dual

LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas swimming and diving team heads to Winter Park, Fla., for a double Dual against Rollins College and Florida, Saturday, Jan. 11 at 1 p.m.
The meet is the start of the KU’s annual winter training trip, as the team heads to Puerto Rico following after the competition for a weeklong training trip. After over a month hiatus from competition, the student-athletes have been back in Lawrence for about a week preparing for the meet.  
“Practices over break have been very good,” head coach Clark Campbell said. “We use these weeks as our training camp and it has started well. The team came back with a lot of energy and all the girls were ready to roll up their sleeves and work hard. The first 10 days have been very successful. We call it ‘train, eat, sleep, repeat.'”
With no school in session, the athletes are able to focus on getting better for the rest of the season. With only two months until the Big 12 Championships, Campbell is seeing improvement in his swimmers. 
“Bryce Hinde has been doing well throughout camp,” Campbell said. “Morgan Sharp and Chelsie Miller have also worked hard since we have been back. I have been proud of the way Allison Merecka has been training. She had a rough start, but she has turned things around. Deanna Marks is another person that has done some good things while she has been here. I really haven’t had anyone that hasn’t been performing at a high level.”
The last time the Jayhawks hit the water for a competition was Dec. 7, when they divided their efforts to take on William Jewel and sent four to the 2013 AT&T Winter Nationals, where Miller and Lusk broke school records. Campbell hopes his swimmers will pick up where they left off when they head to Florida.
“It’s almost like our first meet in October,” Campbell said. “There is some rust to shake off. There isn’t as much as there was at the beginning of the season, but it’s time to get back into race mode. We need to get back into the process of competition. Everything from how we prepare for it mentally to training physically. We want to kick off 2014 well.”
Once the team heads to Puerto Rico, the focus will continue to be what it has been during training camp over the winter break.
“I expect this meet to bring some momentum into the Puerto Rico training trip,” Campbell said. “Once we get to Puerto Rico, we will be purely focused on training. It’s basically taking our training camp on the road, so it’s not a different training philosophy. We will be doing what we normally do on a weekly basis, but we will be doing it outside.”
With a 3-3 overall dual record, the training trip will be a chance for the student-athletes to build upon what they accomplished in the first half of the season.  
“Once we got back to campus for training camp, training switched gears in the sense that we are doing a different format now in order to increase our speed,” Campbell said. “It takes a while to get to where we want to go, but we had such a good fall and that has created a base for us to work off of. We have been able to perform at a high level already and we want to keep that momentum going.”
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