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Mean Green swimming and diving gears up for Conference USA championship meet

Mean Green swimming and diving gears up for Conference USA championship meet

Mean Green swimming and diving gears up for Conference USA championship meet
February 24
23:04 2014

Akshay Mirchandani // Staff Writer

The Mean Green swim team will travel to Atlanta, Ga. from Feb. 26 to March 1 to compete in the Conference USA championships — the meet that the team has been preparing for all season.

“This is finally where we get to see where we are, and this is kind of what we’ve been working for all year,” head coach Brendon Bray said.

The Mean Green has been in a taper phase recently, where the practice intensity is cut down in order to avoid fatigue and get prepared for the C-USA championships. This meet will have nine teams, different than the usual meets that consist one or two opponents with a more intense atmosphere than any meet this season.

“Obviously the atmosphere will be a lot different, a lot louder, a lot stronger but exciting if anything,” backstroke and freestyle senior Natalie Jakopin said.

Rice University is the defending C-USA champion and Bray said the team is the favorite to win it again. The Mean Green lost to Rice in a dual meet on Nov. 2 and competed in the University of Houston Invitational Nov. 21-23, which Rice won.

In addition, the Mean Green also had the experience of competing against No. 2 ranked Texas A&M University, which has two Olympic swimmers, in a dual meet Feb. 1 in College Station. Bray said all of this experience against talented teams will help the Mean Green in its first C-USA championship meet.

“When you race teams like that, it gives you a lot of confidence because when you go to the conference meet, we’re not racing those teams,” Bray said. “Now we’re racing East Carolina and FIU and FAU and Tulane. Those are schools I think we can get a lot of confidence racing against.”

The team has embraced racing against the top schools and, in addition to gaining confidence, took notice of different techniques other swimmers use.

“It’s always nice to see people who are better,” breaststroke senior Sarida Muslow said. “You can watch their stroke and what they’re good at, and maybe take a few things for yourself and apply it later.”

The team only faced conference opponents Rice and the Tulane University this season. Since the team has yet to see the other six schools in person, Bray said it’s hard to project how the swimmers will do.

“We’ve spent most of our dual season racing teams that aren’t in our conference, so I think that doesn’t really give us a fair evaluation of where we are in our league. I think it’s going to be really great to race them,” Bray said.

Feature photo: Biology Junior Sarah Manning is ready for the 200 Yard Backstroke against TCU on Feb. 5. Photo by Zixian Chen / Senior Staff Photographer 

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