Kansas Prepares to Launch 2015-16 Season with Crimson and Blue Meet
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas swimming and diving hopes to see some early results of its weeks of pre-season hardwork when the team takes to the pool for Friday’s Crimson and Blue Meet, designed to be a fun and light-hearted contest to prepare for the regular season inside Robinson Natatorium. However, if the pre-meet draft is any indication, the event, which starts at 4 p.m. and is free to the public, might have a little more fire and excitement than usual.
“They were definitely getting competitive,” head coach Clark Campbell chuckled as he described his four senior captains, divided into Crimson and Blue squads, drafting fellow teammates earlier this week. “We had a draft and the seniors got to pick who their team was going to be, then they got to put their teammates into events, it’s all on them.”
The coaching staff will serve as meet officials and has relinquished its duty to the four senior captains – Bryce Hinde, Chelsie Miller, Laura Bilsborrow and Haley Molden – with Hinde and Miller overseeing the Crimson team and Bilsborrow and Molden serving as the Blue team’s coaches. The end result is a pair of evenly matched squads looking to continue to push each other as it has through dry land training and team practice in recent weeks.
Kansas returns all but two swimmers from a season ago, but six new Jayhawks will get a glimpse of their first competitive action in Robinson Pool on Friday. While the rookies are testing the waters, the returners will be looking to dust off the rust from not competing over the last couple months – the start of a season-long process to build capacity and swim fast at the Big 12 Conference Championships, qualify for the NCAA Championships and have a chance to qualify for the US Olympic Trials – or for respective national teams – at the end of next summer.
To help facilitate comfort for the freshman class and keep the program light, the scrimmage will use standard high school order of events – 10 swimming events and a diving competition for the two returning Jayhawk divers. Each swimmer will race between two and four events during the meet and head-to-head scoring will determine a winner.
“It’s a chance for everyone to race,” Campbell said. “The freshmen are really excited to show what they are made out of, it should be a really fun meet.”
Kansas will open regular season with a double dual against Denver and Missouri State, Oct. 23-24. The meet will be held inside Robinson Natatorium with free admission to all fans. As in years prior, the Jayhawks’ senior class will be honored on the first day of the meet, and this year Kansas will conduct a Jayhawks for a Cure Meet during the meet’s second day.
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