May 10, 2013
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FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Head Coach Christopher Woodard and the Colorado State swimming & diving program announced its 2013-14 competition schedule on Friday. The season will begin earlier than usual, allowing the large incoming freshman class a few additional weeks to adapt to collegiate swimming, in addition to longer breaks between meets for the entire team throughout the course of the season.
“Since we are going to have so many freshmen, the early start will give us feedback right away on what they’re capable of and allow us to work with them early in the season,” Woodard said.
The program’s 40th season will open with the two-day Colorado Mesa Intermountain Shootout (Oct. 11-12) in Grand Junction, Colo. The invitational will pit the Rams against some of their toughest challengers in the region.
Beginning the season with an invitational should also allow the Rams to see how they perform in a Championship setting right away. The last two seasons under Woodard, CSU has excelled in invitational-style meets, including last year at the Tennessee Invite (Nov. 15-17). Nearly every athlete shaved time off their lifetime bests that weekend, and many top times were recorded and held under the season’s final weekend, at the Mountain West Championships.
“We wanted the girls to not only train early, but race early,” Woodard said. “It’s sometimes difficult to train for six to eight weeks before every competing. This will force our athletes to train hard through the summer, and I think the early start will help them think they can’t take a day off.”
The Intermountain Shootout will be followed by two of the Rams’ four home meets. CSU will open dual-meet competition against Denver, their toughest in-state rival, on Oct. 19 at Moby Pool. CSU will then have a chance for a rematch against Northern Arizona (Nov. 9), who defeated the Rams a year ago.
CSU will cap off the first half of its season with the three-day Las Vegas Invite, in Las Vegas, Nev. (Nov. 21-23). The invite will again give the team an opportunity to prepare for the MW Championships by racing in a similar format against talented teams.
In usual form, after the holiday break, the team will face a full lineup of competition weekends, beginning with a trip to San Diego State (Jan. 10). In addition to facing the Aztecs, the defending MW champions, CSU will also compete against Tulane for the first time ever.
CSU will then host conference foe New Mexico (Jan. 18), followed by a trip to Laramie, Wyo., for a Border War clash against the Cowgirls (Jan. 25). The final weekend of the regular season will feature two dual meets on back-to-back days: at Northern Colorado (Jan. 31) and vs. Air Force (Feb. 1). CSU closed the regular season against the two intrastate rivals last year, as well, picking up a pair of victories heading into the conference tournament.
Again being held in San Antonio, Texas, CSU will look to improve on its seventh-place finish at this year’s MW Championships (Feb. 19-22). In addition to CSU's 15 freshmen/transfers, the Rams return 17 letterwinners to the pool.
“We’re really excited about the opponents we’ll compete against this season,” Woodard said. “There will be some challenging teams, but I think we’re willing to put in the work to see results, which will hopefully help us toward the end of the season and at the Championships.”