Oct 162002
 
Authors: Joelle Milholm

The CSU swimmers and drivers will officially kick off the season this Friday in the Early Bird Invitational at Edora Pool and Ice Center in Fort Collins.

The varsity squads of Wyoming, Denver, Metro State and Colorado School of Mines will compete in both men’s and women’s events, as will the Colorado club team. The University of Northern Colorado and New Mexico will only be in women’s. The Air Force Academy will be represented in the tournament only for diving.

As for CSU’s swim team, it has been practicing hard and swam in a fundraising meet and an alumni meet to prepare for this season opener. Head coach John Mattos, who is entering his 23rd year as coach, is ready to start the season.

“It is only the first tournament of the year and we don’t feel it will be a true test of our potential or that of any other team,” Mattos said. “I think everyone is tired of training and are ready to race.”

CSU will be led by junior Kristen Schneider, who had an amazing year last year and is expected to do the same this year. As the only Ram selected for the NCAA Championships, she finished 35th in 100-meter backstroke and 36th in 200-meter backstroke. She also set the school record in the 200 IM with a speedy 2:03.08.

Last spring, the Rams defeated New Mexico and Wyoming in the Mountain West Conference Championships and hope to do it again. This meet will also give the coaches a chance to get a look at the incoming freshmen. With the loss of 10 seniors last year, CSU has a one of the youngest teams ever.

“We will see who can get off the blocks and get the job done,” Mattos said.

The divers are also excited for the season to begin. Last year the Rams added five new freshmen and have made no new additions this year. They hope their closeness and experience will be an advantage over other teams.

“Practices have been going well and we are ready to go. It will be nice to get the season started,” senior diving captain Erin Shumway said. “Wyoming and New Mexico normally have a good team, so we’ll see how it goes.”

After the meet, CSU will have one week to prepare for the arrival of

Notre Dame Oct. 25. The meet will be one of CSU’s six home meets held at the Moby Pool.

-Edited by Jon Ackerman and Josh Hardin

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