Jan. 29, 2014
Weekly Release (PDF)
Colorado State at Northern Colorado | Friday, 5:30 p.m. | Greeley, Colo.
Air Force at Colorado State | Saturday, 12 p.m. | Fort Collins, Colo. | Orange Out
Air Force Diving Invitational | Friday-Saturday | Colorado Springs, Colo.
The Colorado State swimming team will close out its regular season this weekend with a pair of meets. The team will face Northern Colorado (Friday, 5:30 p.m. MT) in Greeley, before hosting Air Force Saturday at noon. Saturday’s contest in not only the Rams’ final home meet of the season, but it is also an Orange Out. The first 100 fans in attendance will receive a free T-shirt. Admission is free.
In addition to swimming’s meets, the diving squad will be competing in the Air Force Diving Invitational, in Colorado Springs. The 16-team tournament will span both Friday and Saturday.
“This is a weekend that we’ve had before,” Head Coach Christopher Woodard said. “We haven’t always had back-to-back evenings, but we’ve had these two meets pretty tightly packed before. Hopefully it will tell us a lot about how tough our team is and how they’re able to shut out distractions. To be able to swim Friday night and then come back and swim a conference opponent the next day, that should get them amped up for conference. It’s exactly what we’re going to face at conference – short turnaround times and multiple events.”
The Rams have had a history of success against this weekend’s two opponents, going a combined 52-4 all-time against Air Force (21-2) and Northern Colorado (32-2).
At 5-4 on the season, one win this weekend would give CSU its most victories and its first winning season since 2009-10, when the Rams finished 8-2.
Although the Rams have had plenty of success in the past, Woodard believes both teams are vastly improved, and pose challenges for his team.
“Greeley has some very strong upperclassmen leaders, especially Gina Riggle, who has done a great job for them,” Woodard said. “I don’t take them lightly. We’re going to try some new events and see how we do there, but it’s a great situation for us to go across the road, race as effective as we can, hopefully swim for first places and wins, come back home, and then prep for Air Force.”
The Falcons, Woodard believes, may be the most-improved team in the Mountain West.
“Air Force has had an outstanding season,” he said. “This is probably one of Casey’s (Converse, head coach) best teams. He has, top to bottom, a really solid team, but he has four or five girls who really get the job done. We will have to be smart, we will have to be sharp and we will have to be tough.”
Diving will also face a very challenging weekend at the Air Force Academy. The invitational will pit 16 top diving programs against each other, including many of CSU’s conference opponents. The Rams will look for valuable practice in situations similar to the Mountain West Championships.
CSU’s performances in the preliminary competition will add to the swim team’s overall dual-meet scores on both Friday and Saturday.
“It’s a big meet, so there will be a lot of teams and a lot of divers,” head diving coach Kevin Witt said. “That’s good, but it’s a challenge to maintain concentration and energy levels when you’re sitting around waiting for a half hour between every dive you do. That’ll be good for them, in a sense, but it will also be challenging.”
Women’s 1-Meter diving will take place on Friday, beginning at 9:30 a.m., and the 3-Meter event will begin Saturday at 11:25 a.m. Participating schools include Air Force, Boise State, BYU, Colorado College, CSU, Denver, Idaho, New Mexico, New Mexico State, Northern Arizona, Northern Colorado, San Diego State, Texas A&M, UNLV, Utah and Wyoming.
This will be CSU’s final tuneup before the 2013-14 Mountain West Championships, Feb. 19-22, in San Antonio, Texas.