While the majority of the student body is thinking of turkey, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie in these last few days before break, the CSU swimming team has something else on their mind: the pool.
The Rams are headed to Lincoln, Neb. today to take part in the Husker Invite, which will run from today until Sunday.
The team was in Moby at 4:15 this morning to get in extra time before they left around 5 a.m. They had practice and a stretching session prior to getting on the bus for the long ride as the sun slowly went up.
After taking time to get into the zone and catching some sleep, they will be ready to swim tonight at 4 p.m., a task that any athlete will tell you is not so easy. To combat the long bus ride the Rams will have to put in an extra long warm-up and stretching session.
“We worked extremely hard last week and up to this point and we’re ready to go in and swim fast this meet,” said junior speech communication major Jen Muniz.
They Rams have high hopes for this weekend and rightfully so. They are 6-3 so far this season, and are excited to get back in the pool against tough competition. The Rams are looking to get some revenge on nationally ranked Arkansas, who handed them a heart breaking loss earlier this year.
“It will be nice to have a rematch with them, see how we do after we’ve rested,” said senior human development and family studies major Stephanie Meyer.
A win at this invite could mean more than just a “W;” the team could use some confidence after they were recently dealt two other tough losses. The Rams lost to Texan Christian University Nov. 7, their first loss of the year.
Soon after they beat North Texas and MWC rival New Mexico they were dealt losses from Southern Methodist University and Arkansas. And the Rams are ready to prove what they can do this weekend.
“We don’t have a lot of weaknesses and everybody’s been very, very solid as far their performances go,” said head coach John Mattos. “We’re just going to try and go out there and swim fast.”
There will be number of teams to beat at the invite, including tough completion in Rice, Nebraska, North Texas and in-state rival Northern Colorado, but there will be no conference rivals included in the competition. Coach Mattos said that this weekend is a good way to get ready for the conference championships later in the season.
“It’s a good opportunity for all of us to sustain our momentum,” Mattos said. “Some of the kids that haven’t traveled yet, the younger ones, this will be their first opportunity since the Early Bird in the middle of October. It is similar to what the conference championships are going to be like.”
Most of the invites CSU participates in do not give the swimmers the opportunity to race in preliminaries — this invite does. And the team is thrilled about the opportunity to get into the pool and race more than once a day.
“I think we are ready,” said freshman business major Breann Fuller. “We train twice a day, sometimes three times a day, so our bodies are definitely ready. I’m really excited.”
Sports writer Keith Robertson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.