North Texas Daily

Swimming and diving set to host season opener on Sept. 28

Swimming and diving set to host season opener on Sept. 28

Swimming and diving set to host season opener on Sept. 28
September 19
14:05 2018

The North Texas swimming and diving team is looking to improve upon last season’s No. 4 finish at the Conference USA championship last season.

Head coach Brittany Roth said there is no time table for when a C-USA championship might come the Mean Green’s way. Instead, North Texas is focused on taking everything one step at a time to work their way up the conference standings as efficiently as possible.

“Conference USA is tough for swimming and considered one of the top mid-major conferences,” Roth said. “We have to be better than the day before and take it one step at a time. If we’ve been No. 4, the next step is getting to No. 3. We are trying to do it more progressively rather than trying to take one big leap.”

North Texas opens their season at home with the North Texas Relays, an exhibition event, on Sept. 28. The first swim meet in which points will be counted and team medals will be awarded is the Little Rock Invitational on Oct. 6.

Before both of these dates, however, the North Texas swim team will be participating in the Dallas Open Water Swim for the organization Swim Across America. All proceeds for this event are donated directly to Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center, and by Sept. 15 more than $168,427 had already been donated for cancer research.

“When I was introduced to the Swim Across America Open Water Race, I stopped in my tracks,” Roth said. “I thought it was a great way for our athletes to give more than they get for the race. What an amazing opportunity for our swimmers to use their talents and platform to help in cancer research and funding. We get to use our sport for a much bigger cause than any race or meet.”

North Texas graduated nine athletes after last season. The Mean Green are now looking at a whole new team, with 12 returning swimmers and 12 newcomers.

“It’s a whole new slate and a whole new ball game this year,” Roth said. “We are super excited.”

One of the 12 returners is sophomore diver Meghan Miller. Miller had two wins in a dual meet against TCU, finished No. 9 in the conference in the 1- and 3-meter dives and was named C-USA Diver of the Week last year.

She said that she has been working on new dives over the spring and summer to prepare for the upcoming season.

“Last year was a foundation for where everything starts,” Miller said. “I’ve been working on new dives, getting stronger and progressing to get myself into the A Final to give myself a chance to win at the C-USA Championships this year.”

Senior swimmer Emmabeth Jensen, a New Zealand native, has been the anchor of both the 200-yard freestyle relay and the 400-yard freestyle relay the past two seasons for North Texas. She helped set school records in both events in 2017.

However, Jensen was not able to finish out spring 2018 due to illness. She said that she has been working very hard over the season and is ready to get back in the action this fall.

“I think that we’ve been stuck in a rut the past few years with getting fourth place,” Jensen said. “I think that coming in No. 3 would be a great success for us, and if we all work together, then I think this could be a successful year.”

Swimming and diving is a unique sport. It is based on speed in swimming and form in diving, but there are also several strategies that go behind the scenes as well, such as swimming a race a particular way or creating new dives.

Coach Roth said that she thinks her sport is different than the commonly-watched football, basketball and baseball because there is no controlling what the other team is able to do. A swimmer or diver must focus on themselves only.

“In our sport, we don’t get timeouts, we don’t get to play defense,” Roth said. “We can’t control what somebody else is doing in another lane or what dive someone is attempting, but at the same time, another team cannot prevent us from having a great day either.”

Featured Image: New Zealand senior swimmer Emmabeth Jensen practices in preparation for the upcoming season. Jordan Collard 

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Bronte Hermesmeyer

Bronte Hermesmeyer

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