Jan 172010
Authors: David de Besche

Moby Magic has been spreading through Fort Collins all semester.

The green and gold nation has seen it propel the volleyball to the Midwest and take down the Buffs on the court, which is making people ask is the magic in the water? Yes, that is exactly where the magic is when you look and see that the CSU Swimming and Diving team is undefeated in dual action after the first half of the season and sitting on top of the Mountain West Conference standings.

This year’s team is led by seniors Kathleen McCleary and Shaelen Quigley and sophomore diver Shayna Soloman, who have helped carry the Rams to a 5-0 start. But the swimmers credit their success to the coaches and the rest of the team.

“Each individual person puts in a ton of effort and works their butt off,” McCleary said, “and every person brings something different to the team everyday.”

“(Head coach John Mattos) deserves credit also, being here everyday and working overtime to make us better,” Quigley added about the coach who is now in his 30th year holding the reins for the CSU swimming and diving team.

CSU is off to a great start through the first half of the year. In preseason, the team was predicted to finish fifth in the conference, yet at the half way mark the Rams are leading the conference with a 5-0 record.

These wins include two over in-state rivals Air Force and Northern Colorado. A huge confidence booster for the Rams came in their highlight win in October when they upset the San Diego State Aztecs, who were ranked second in the MWC.

In the Rams’ latest action they headed to Columbus, Mo. for the Tiger Invite two weekends ago. Here many swimmers got exposure and were giving the chance to compete in a very ‘Conference Championship’ atmosphere.

CSU finished sixth overall, including two relay teams, four swimmers and two divers competing in the finals. Leaving Missouri on the third day, the Rams left with more than a solid finish but valuable experience with traveling as a team and competing against schools from the Big 12 and Pac 10.

“We were the only team not wearing our ‘fast’ or professional suites and still got great results against such good competition, this trip really gave us a lot of confidence and compete against successful teams,” McCleary said.

“This invite really showed we can compete and gave us a feel of how it will be at conference,” Soloman added.

The Rams get a well-deserved break for the holidays, which is a great time for the team to rest and ready itself for the second half of their season.

The Rams jump back into the pool with a high-stakes weekend in Utah where they have duels against BYU on Jan. 15 and Utah on Jan. 16. The second half of the season starts fast and doesn’t slow down, but the Rams assure their success isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

“We start in camp before school starts in August and have been working hard all the way up to now,” Quigley said. “We get to rest soon with break, and we are going to come back and work hard to repeat our success with our big trips against BYU and Utah.”

With great competition and results so far, the Rams expect big things for the rest of their season. The team is not shooting low with their goals and has put themselves in a great position to achieve them.

“We want to stay on top of the conference.” Quigley said.

McCleary reciprocated those feelings by adding, “With our team there is no reason we can’t win conference or finish in the top three.”

But Soloman said it best of this team and this year by saying that it’s CSU’s time to shine.

Swimming and Diving Beat Reporter David de Besche can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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