|Redbirds prepare for intrasquad meet|
|Written by Todd Marver, Daily Vidette Staff Writer|
|Thursday, 30 September 2010 19:10|
Many collegiate athletic programs across the country start seasons off with an intrasquad scrimmage, taking place only within their own team, before competing against many other schools. ISU swimming and diving is one of those programs.
The Redbirds are looking to move past last weekend’s Saluki Miler and 5K Open Water, which took place in Carbondale, Ill., and look forward, beginning with the Red/White Intrasquad Meet at the Horton Pool today at 7 p.m.
“Last week is over. It was our first distance-oriented meet, but now I don’t even want to talk about that,” ISU head coach Steve Paska said. “It’s done; it’s history. I’m excited about it, but now we’re focusing on the team moving forward.”
The intrasquad scrimmage will be very similar to meets that the ISU swimming and diving teams will take part in for the rest of the season, only with one major wrinkle.
“The one thing we’re doing differently is we’re having three relays, instead of the typical two,” Paska said. “But other than that, it’s a format that we’ll be using throughout the season.”
That extra relay in this meet, which is not typically done, is being held for two reasons, so more women on the swimming and diving team can participate and so the coaching staff can watch the team members compete in longer events than the norm.
“It’s giving more kids the opportunity to race. Also, this competition is one where we need to see them swimming distances longer than 50s and 100s,” Paska said.
“We are concentrating more on the 200 yard stroke events, the 400 IM, and we’ll swim a couple of distance events such as the 1000 free and 500 free,” he added.
As far as diving goes, the format will be identical to that of a typical meet.
“In the NCAA, we do the one meter and the three meter diving events with six dives on each level. For each board, one meter and three meter; they need to hit all five categories,” ISU diving coach Phil Hoffman said.
“The categories are front, back, reverse, inward and twisters. And then they pick sixth dive to double up on. They have to compete both levels, the one and three meter, in every meet that we do throughout the year,” he said.
The intrasquad meet is a very exciting one for the Redbirds. Not only are the ‘Birds looking forward to it because it is their first home meet of the season – one of only three home meets on the schedule – but also many members of the squad will have family and friends in attendance.
“It’s going to be exciting because we get a chance to compete at home,” Paska said. “Unfortunately, this year we only have three home meets on our schedule. That’s just how it worked out. I’m going to relish this opportunity to see how we can compete at home.
“The girls will have a lot of their parents, friends and family in attendance. It’s always special when we get a chance to compete in the Horton Pool. It’s a fantastic facility for our family, friends and fans to come out and watch the meet,” he added.
Diver Maureen Doyle echoes the value of the intrasquad meet.
“I would definitely say the excitement level is pretty high. I love meets and the rush you get. My family is coming so I am definitely looking forward to that,” Doyle said.
The coaches hope to use this event as a measuring tool to see where they are at in this point of the season, before the Redbirds go off and compete against other schools.
“Swimmers are getting ready to compete for races and divers are convening in the one and three meter, so it’s all about us gauging where we are at in this point of the season as we prepare for competition against other schools in the next three weeks,” Paska said.
Hoffman believes the same is true for the diving team.
“I think that what helps us on the diving side is it gives me a chance to see everyone compete at once in a comfortable setting. They’re just competing against their teammates,” Hoffman said. “They’re competitive and motivated, but it’s a good chance to see everyone all at once. I think that it also gives the opportunity to gauge where they are at this point in the season,” he added.
Both Paska and Hoffman believe the team’s strong preseason practice and training could take them a long way and propel them through the rest of the season.
“We have them as close to meet-ready as we can this week as opposed to waiting until next week at the Notre Dame Relays as in past years,” Hoffman said.