It is the last meet of the season. A win secures a solo second place finish. And it is against border-rivals, Wyoming. It just does not get any better than that.
CSU is currently 5-1 in conference and 7-4 overall, and compares favorably to the Cowboys, who are 1-4 in conference and 3-8 overall. A loss for the Rams would mean sharing second place with Utah, but if history repeats itself, that chance is minimal.
When both teams faced each other at the beginning of the season at the
Early Bird Invite, CSU took first in the tournament by outscoring second-place Wyoming by over 500 points. The Rams’ record all-time against Wyoming is 37-1 and they have never lost while defending their home territory.
“We are just going to get out there and race,” head coach John Mattos said. “I made some decisions last week about who will make the conference squad and more decisions will be made against Wyoming.”
The Mountain West Conference Championships will be held on Feb. 19 in Oklahoma City. For the first time ever, the MWC is having both a regular season champion and a conference champion. UNLV took the regular season championship with a perfect 7-0 record, but the team who races the fastest on Feb. 19 will be the conference champion.
“We are pretty confident we can beat Wyoming,” junior Kristen Schneider said. “We still have to prepare for it, but we really want to use it as a stepping stone for the conference finals.”
Since many of the CSU swimmers are at a higher level than Wyoming, Mattos has the freedom to switch around the lineup.
“Hopefully our top swimmers can race in their best events and then we can put them in another event that they are not used to and see how they can do,” Mattos said.
Mattos also realizes that his swimmers have worked hard, having a long season, and he doesn’t want them to be tired for the conference meet.
“We have gotten up for so many meets this season,” Mattos said. “The last thing we want to do is run out of gas when we need it the most.”
Senior Erin Shumway, junior Lori Vigil, and sophomores Kara Crisp and Liz Kidner will look to add more points to the team’s score when they take on the Cowboys in the diving competition. Vigil, a recent recipient of the MWC Diver of the Week, (her third of the year) is expected to dive well.
The meet starts tonight at 5 p.m. at Moby Pool.