Six Home Events Highlight 2012-13 Swimming and Diving Schedule
Aug. 10, 2012
LAWRENCE, Kan. - The defending Big Ten champion, a pair of Big 12 foes - old and new - and a five-team, championship-style meet are among six home events on the 2012-13 schedule released by Kansas swimming and diving Thursday.
Minnesota, a perennial Big Ten power and 11th-place finisher at the NCAA Championships last season, will travel to Lawrence as well as long-time Big 12 opponent Iowa State and league newcomer TCU. The Jayhawks will also play host to a five-team field at the Capital Federal Natatorium in Topeka's Hummer Sports Park.
"We are really excited about this year, because we have more home meets than we are generally used to," head coach Clark Campbell said. "We have a good mix of teams coming in and we are really excited about going to Topeka for our fall championship meet. It will be the first multi-day meet we have had, in a championship format, since I have been coaching here."
Looking to improve on last year's fourth-place finish at the Big 12 Championships, the Jayhawks will kick off the 2012-13 season with their annual intrasquad meet on Sept. 28, allowing fans to get a sneak peek at this year's team.
Kansas will open the home regular season with a dual meet against defending Big Ten champion Minnesota on Oct. 20. The Golden Gophers, who finished last season ranked 15th nationally, will be a tough early test for the Jayhawks, but one that Campbell is looking forward to.
"Minnesota will be one of our best teams we will face all year," Campbell said. "Getting them that early is a real good indication of where we are going to be. They are going to be pretty sharp coming in, so it will be an interesting start to the year. We may not be as swimming fit as we will be later on, but it will be a really good early gauge against a top-15 program."
Also on the home slate for the Jayhawks, a tri-meet on Nov. 2 and 3 featuring North Dakota and new conference foe TCU, who placed seven swimmers on the All-Mountain West team a year ago. SEC foe Arkansas (Feb. 2) and familiar Big 12 rival, Iowa State, will also make the trip to Lawrence to take on Campbell's squad.
"Iowa State is our big rival, because we are both in the original Big Eight," Campbell said. "We're going to end the dual-meet season with them and both teams get really excited about swimming each other."
In addition to the five meets in Robinson Natatorium, the Jayhawks also travel down the road to Topeka, where they will host the three-day, championship-style Kansas Classic (Nov. 16-18), which features Iowa State, Nebraska, Nebraska-Omaha and Notre Dame. The format allows the team to prepare for championship style meets like the Big 12 (Feb. 27-March 2) and NCAA (March 21-23) Championships, while casting a spotlight on local swimming.
"It is not very often that we get to swim a big invitational like this (close to Lawrence)," Campbell said. "With all of our local athletes, there is going to be a lot of local interest. I think there will be good attendance there and it will be a good chance for the community to see what high-level swimming is."
Rounding out the 2012-13 schedule, the team will hit the road three times, starting Oct. 6, when the Jayhawks travel to Houston to open the regular season with a dual meet against Conference USA runner-up, Rice. The team will also make a trip to Omaha for a dual meet against a familiar opponent in Nebraska-Omaha (Oct. 25), who Kansas defeated 150-78 at home last season.
The highlight of the road schedule comes just after the holidays, when the team travels west to Los Angeles for a tri-meet (Jan. 12) with the Mountain West runner-up San Diego State and host UCLA. The 2012 Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year, sophomore diver Emma Ivory-Ganja, highlights the Bruins roster. After spending a few days in California, the team will leave the lower 48 to travel farther west to Honolulu for a week of training. The week will conclude with a dual meet against Hawaii, who placed third in the WAC a season ago.
"Hawaii is something that will be a first for our team," Campbell said. "Getting to spend a few days to do the Hollywood thing in LA and getting to swim really good UCLA and San Diego State teams, helps to break up the trip a little bit."
Closing out the season, the Jayhawks will travel to Austin, Texas for the Big 12 Championships. Kansas will look to improve its performance from a year ago, where the Jayhawks recorded their highest point total since 2005.
"I think we are going to have a really exciting year," Campbell said. "We are really looking forward to the Big 12 Championships at the end of February. With the new composition of the Big 12, we're really excited about where we are going to finish within the league."