War in the water

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Feb 012007
 
Authors: Amanda Schank

If something’s earned a glimpse of Facebook fame, then you know it’s got to be good.

The women’s swimming and diving team hosts its final dual meet of the season at 5 p.m. today at Moby Pool, competing against conference and border foe Wyoming. With the combined factors of a long-time rivalry and a final home meet, the stage should be set for some dynamic competition.

“We’re going to see good races contested in every event.and are going to have to swim smart to win this meet,” said Head Coach John Mattos. “Because it’s a big rivalry, (Wyoming) will be very spirited and will have their boys here, which helps that spirit level out.”

Wyoming’s swim program is co-ed, creating an automatic cheering squad against CSU. In an effort to gain extra voices, junior Tara Staley created a Facebook event for the meet, calling all “CSU football players, athletes and students” to prove their green and gold spirit at Moby Pool for “one night only.”

“We hope to get a lot of people to this meet because it is Wyoming and they do have this sick rivalry with us,” said Staley. “We don’t like the Wyoming swim team men’s comments – they’re not classy at all – so we want a lot of guys to be there.

“But we don’t let it affect our performances – it makes us want to swim faster.”

Currently, CSU (4-3 in conference) trails Wyoming (4-2 in conference) by one place in the Mountain West Conference standings. Mattos said a variable that could factor into the final score is the possibility that four of the team’s top swimmers won’t be competing at 100 percent.

Two of the team’s sprinters won’t be attending the meet; another Ram is recovering from an illness, and a top breaststroker, freshman Victoria Curtis, continues to nurse a pulled groin. On Wednesday, Mattos said he was unsure whether Curtis would be able to compete today.

Despite swimming without a full team, Mattos said today’s match-up is still anyone’s game – and the history of this season acts as proof of that.

The season has yielded its share of discrepancies, from CSU’s early win over Wyoming and other conference teams at the Early Bird Invitational to Wyoming’s later win against UNLV – CSU’s most recent loss.

“We want to end with a boom,” Staley said. “But you never know what to expect.We can beat them this weekend if we have the right attitude, which we do, and with the depth and the speed that we have.”

Mattos said he hopes the short breaks will help keep the crowd at the pool and engaged in a “celebratory atmosphere” to counter Wyoming’s sometimes “derogatory” cheers.

But despite what Wyoming brings to rival CSU this year, the Rams’ motive remains the same as it is for every other opponent.

“Our main goal is to win with class,” Staley said, “and that’s what we’re hoping to do this weekend.”

Swimming and diving beat reporter Amanda Schank can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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