The CSU swimming and diving team will travel to Denver for a non-conference tri-meet with the University of Denver and Northern Arizona on Saturday. The team will look to improve its record to 4-1 on the season.
The meet will be in a slightly different format than usual, only consisting of 13 events instead of 16. Head coach John Mattos highly anticipates how the team will do in the new format.
“Northern Arizona has a solid team, but we have beat them in the past and should do it again,” Mattos said. “We will have a stronger crew, but we have to see if the new format works and if it is going to be good for us in the future.”
The Rams have had a lot of success in the past against both teams. With the exception of the Early Bird Invitational each year, they have only faced DU in one other dual meet, back in 1986 when they won 97-40.
CSU is 4-0 all-time versus Northern Arizona including last year’s victory of 151-92.
Junior Kristen Schneider is one of the 22 swimmers competing in the meet and is ready to prove history repeats itself.
“They are descent teams, but we should have no problem beating them,” she said. “We aren’t going to underestimate them because Northern Arizona always brings good competition, but we should do well. It should be a lot of fun.”
A major highlight of the weekend will be the team’s exposure to Denver’s new swimming facility. The El Pomar Natatorium is part of DU’s Ritchie Center that opened in 2000. It is an Olympic size pool, featuring a moveable blockhead, 9 1/2-foot wide lanes and 19,000 six-by-six inch individually hand-painted tiles that make up a 270-foot ceramic mosaic.
“I am mostly looking forward to the new DU pool. It is supposed to be a really fast, good high-altitude pool,” said Mattos.
The divers will also be competing and looking to win as they are coming off of their Air Force victory. Junior Lori Vigil was once again named Mountain West Conference Diver of the Week after taking first place in the one and three-meter events at the Air Force Academy. Vigil’s outstanding scores of 285.05 on the one-meter and 324.1 on the three-meter were her best of the year.
Vigil and the rest of the divers have had a good week of practicing and are ready to compete.
“DU and NAU have some good girls and it is always good competition,” senior captain Erin Shumway said. “We should do pretty well. We just have to keep doing as well as we have all season.”
CSU will also be hosting the Colorado State Invite this weekend at Moby. The event gives all of the swimmers that are not going to Denver a chance to swim in a competition.
Swimmers from all over the northern Colorado region that have interests in attending CSU, or just want the opportunity to swim against other swimmers in a competitive setting, are invited. Mattos believes it is a great recruitment opportunity for the team.
“Hopefully we get a lot of young swimmers out here that will want to be part of CSU either by coming to school here or just attending our camps. We want to make them feel at home and hopefully see them return.”
The Rams are entering the weekend tied for first in the Mountain West Conference with UNLV and Utah, whom both also have 2-0 conference records.
Northern Arizona is 0-2 so far this season, losing to Arizona State and UNLV. They will make a stop in New Mexico for meets with BYU, San Diego State and New Mexico before Saturday’s meet.
Denver swum in one tournament besides the Early Bird this season, when they went 2-6 in the Sun Belt Classic. The will have a meet with the Colorado School of Mines on Friday before taking on the Rams.
Edited by Jon Ackerman and Josh Hardin