Kansas Opens Regular Season at Home Against Missouri State and Denver
LAWRENCE, Kan. – After months of preparation the Kansas swimming and diving team welcomes Missouri State and Denver to Robinson Natatorium for the first meet of the season this weekend. The competition will begin Friday Oct. 23 at 5 p.m., and will feature both men’s and women’s events.
Sporting pink caps during the two-day event to support Jayhawks for a Cure, Kansas will match up with the Bears and Pioneers in a double dual on the women’s side, while the men’s squads for Missouri State and Denver will compete against each other. Most events will include two heats of women and one heat of men.
“It’s really good because at our conference meet there are men (competing),” head coach Clark Campbell said. “It also helps slow the meet down a bit, which allows us to slow down a bit and coach our athletes. Normally, when its back-to-back-to-back races it’s hard to get feedback to the kids immediately.”
The multiple-day meet will include 19 events, adding three races – two relays and an individual medley – to the typical 16 that are conducted in a one-day meet. Each athlete is eligible to compete in six races, three per day, throughout the duration of the competition.
The Jayhawks finished third at the Big 12 Championships last year and return an experience squad, only losing two seniors. The veterans are joined by five freshmen who will make their collegiate debuts this weekend.
“I’m really excited to see how we all do together,” Campbell said. “This is the first time will be competing as a team and both teams we are competing against are really good. We’ll get to see really good competition right off of the bat, which I think is healthy.”
Kansas will also be honoring its four-member senior class – Chelsie Miller, Haley Molden, Laura Bilsborrow and Bryce Hinde – before the first events on Saturday.
“We do things a little differently and honor our seniors at our first home meet,” Campbell said. “It’s fun to have the senior celebration set the tone for the year and then watch them light it up in their last year of collegiate swimming. They have been such a huge part of the fundamental change of our program and all four of them have meant so much to us.”
Friday’s portion of the meet will start at 5 p.m., and then will resume on Saturday at noon. All home competitions in Robinson Natatorium are free and open to the public, but donations to Jayhawks for a Cure, supporting Lawrence Memorial Hospital and the KU Cancer Center, are encouraged this weekend. Pink Poms will be distributed to fans at the door and attendees are welcomed to hang a pink swim flag tribute in recognition of a loved one affected by cancer.
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