Utah head coach Greg Winslow
Feb. 21, 2012
With an exciting inaugural Pac-12 Conference season almost complete, the University of Utah swimming & diving team is about to embark on what its been preparing for all year, the Pac-12 Championships. The Utes will see four nationally-ranked teams on the men’s side and five on the women’s side over the next two weeks.
The Ute women and the diving team will compete Wednesday through Friday in Federal Way, Wash. At Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center, while the Utah men’s team heads to Long Beach, Calif., on Feb. 29-March 3.
“This is what we’ve been focusing on all year long,” Utah head coach Greg Winslow said. “Our goal here is to get kids qualified for the NCAA Championships. I feel really good about our season thus far. We’ve been training hard. This is why we get up in the morning and work so hard. This is an amazing opportunity to race against some of the fastest teams in the country.”
The Utes approach the Pac-12 Championships with goals of making NCAA qualifying times. For the team, this is an exciting but nerve wracking time. Utah Junior Kayla Buck says there is more pressure at a big meet like this.
“With a meet like this you have to focus on the moment. It gets tiring, but we’ve been doing this for so long. You just have to take it one thing at a time,” said Buck.
“The conference meet is more serious,” junior Karson Applin said. “You have to pull out everything. It’s all about times.”
LeighAnne Oliver relays her jittery excitement at her opportunity to be a freshman swimming for Utah at such an exciting time.
Utah 2011-12 Season Review
The Utah women’s squad completes its regular season 5-6 overall and 2-5 in Pac-12 competition, while the Ute men turned up 6-6 overall and 1-4 in conference meets.
The Utes’ season began on Oct. 7 at the Intermountain Shootout. The Utah women bested Northern Colorado (259-76), Colorado State (221-113) and Colorado Mesa (275-56), as the Utah men came out ahead of Colorado Mesa (270-83) and Air Force (190-164).
The Utes then took a trip to Calif. on Oct. 20 to face Stanford and Cal back-to-back in their first Pac-12 meets. Stanford topped the Utes on the women’s side (180-112) and on the men’s (155-124). Cal also took home the win in the women’s meet (155-124) and the men’s meet (158-119).
In the Utes’ first home meet of the season, the Utah women beat Washington State on Oct. 29, 147-114. The Ute women turned around to beat UNLV in Salt Lake City the next weekend, 164-136, but the Utah men fell short, 165.5-128.5.
On Nov. 11, Utah faced the Colorado School of Mines and came out with the win on both sides, 103-86 in the women’s meet and 109-88 on the men’s side.
At Denver on Nov. 12, the Utah women topped Colorado School of Mines (192-50) and Seattle (151-83), but fell to Denver (142.50-99.50). The Ute men topped Seattle (153-68) and also fell to Denver (133.50-96.50).
The Ute swimmers then took a month-long break from competition as the Utah diving team competed in the Incarnate Word Invitational on Dec. 18-20.
Utah was back in action on Jan. 7 for Senior Night at Ute Natatorium. The Ute men pulled out their first Pac-12 win over Arizona State, 165-135, but the Utah women were topped, 178-100.
The Ute women then took a trip north to face Oregon State and UCLA. The Utes dropped both dual meets, 147.5-114.5 to Oregon State and 176-81 to UCLA.
In the women’s final meet of the season, Utah took on rival BYU at Richard’s Building Pool. The Cougars were the winners of the Deseret First Duel by a 162-138 score on the women’s side and by a 161-137 margin on the men’s side.
Utah men took on USC in their final regular-season meet. The Utes broke two school records (100 free: Nick Soedel, 400 free relay: Karson Applin, Bjorn Gunnarsson, Ken Tiltges and Soedel), but the Trojans topped the Utes in the end, 157-148.
Pac-12 Quick Facts: Scouting the Competition
Next Time Out
The NCAA Zone Diving Championships will be held in Long Beach, Calif. Feb 29-March 3. NCAA Women’s Championships are to take place in Auburn, Ala. March 15-17, while the NCAA Men’s Championships will be in Federal Way, Wash. March 22-24.