This Saturday, CSU’s swim team will take on a very familiar opponent. However, this is a case when familiarity breeds friendship rather than rivalry.
In celebration of Homecoming Week, swimming alumni will return to CSU to compete against current athletes in the annual alumni meet. The meet takes place at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Moby Pool.
Though the event foreshadows the coming season, which starts on Oct. 20, Head Coach John Mattos scoffed at the idea of the meet functioning as a preview. The meet is instead a chance for current athletes to meet, greet and compete with those who once sweat green and gold in the lanes of Moby Pool.
Mattos, who is now in his 23rd season coaching for the Rams, described the experience as a chance to put faces with the names in the record books.
Mattos is CSU swimming alumni. The weekend also marks an opportunity for him to relax and switch roles for the weekend.
“I coach the alumni, so it is a chance for me to kick back and not be the hard guy around here,” Mattos said.
Former CSU swimmer and Olympic gold medalist Amy Van Dyken, now Amy Rouen, was in town two weekends ago. Rouen has never swum in an alumni meet since her graduation in 1994, but it isn’t for lack of encouragement.
When she was visiting, Mattos said the swimmers were “giving her a hard time about never swimming in one of these things.”
Mattos said there is a chance that she will be at the meet this Saturday, as she is considering a move back to Colorado from her current residence in Arizona.
Though Arizona may seem a distance to come swim with old friends, Mattos said alumni have come from a number of places, including Canada, Florida, Alaska and New York, just for the meet.
The number of alumni who attend the meet usually ranges from 10 to 25 swimmers. They will compete in a variety of events including traditional races and non-traditional ones, such as an inner tube relay.
While there is no official scorekeeping at the alumni meet, an atmosphere of healthy competition exists. Mattos said there are several records kept specifically for this meet.
“I do like to announce it, if indeed somebody breaks a record,” Mattos said, although he claims they are not significant.
After the alumni meet, swimming will have two more weeks of practice before starting its regular season with the Early Bird Invitational at Moby Pool Oct. 20-21.
Staff writer Chad Taylor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What: Alumni Swim Meet
Where: Moby Pool
When: Saturday, Oct. 7, 9:30 a.m.
For a complete swimming schedule, visit csurams.com.