Feb. 21, 2011
By Sarah Thomsen
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- The Rams hope to have their hard work during the dual-meet season come to fruition at the MWC championships, which begin Wednesday at the Oklahoma City Community College Aquatic Center in Oklahoma City, Okla.
With their 2-6 conference dual-meet record, the Rams are heading into the championships – their most important competition every season -- with something to prove.
“We certainly are underdogs,” Head Coach John Mattos said. “We’re in the bottom half of the conference right now. And to get up in that top half we’re just going to have to go out and prove our potential and I certainly have all the confidence in the world that these young ladies can do that.”
At the 2010 championships CSU finished sixth in the conference. In recent seasons, the Rams have finished in the middle of the pack at the champioships. This year their goal is to at least break into the upper three.
The Rams will be relying on their star athletes for strong performances. At the 2010 MWC championships, junior Breann Fuller earned first-place finishes in both the 100 and 200 Backstroke evevts. Fuller hopes to defend both titles this year and make NCAA cuts.
“This being my third year,” Fuller said, “I’ve learned to take each race as it comes, but the third time adds more pressure. I almost feel that people are looking at me as the one to beat.”
Freshman Yana Garvey will join Fuller in the backstroke events at the championships for her first time.
“This being my first championships at the collegiate level,” Garvey said, “I’m mostly excited, but I get pretty nervous sometimes. I just want to make sure I give 100 percent and do better than I’ve done in the dual meets.”
The championships will be organized into three days, running Wednesday-Saturday.
The athletes that are not going to Oklahoma will be participating in the Denver University Senior Meet at the El Pomar Natatorium.
Quoting Head Coach John Mattos…
On what the team has been focusing on in practice...
“These weeks have been a nice downturn in the workload so their bodies adapt at every little phase that they go through. When we were picking the yardage up early in the season their bodies reacted by getting sore and tired; now their bodies react by being better and they have more energy. That’s the key to a successful taper in the rest phase.”
On what it will take for CSU to be sucessful at the championships...
“We’re going to need some heroes. I feel I have a lot of kids in the water that can step up at that level. And if they can, then the only obstacles we’re going to have in our way will be teams that have athletes that are that much better than us. We have a lot of kids that can be up there on that podium. And as long as they continue to perform with their training the way they have been in these past few weeks, we’re on schedule to have a great championship.”
On the advantages CSU may have over its opponents...
“I think that coming out of altitude, knowing that we haven’t shaved yet and that we haven’t put on our elite suits yet and knowing that we haven’t been in a full taper or a rest phase yet will give us an advantage. I think that the athletes are feeling like they can kind of sneak up on the opponents as underdogs.”