UConn hosts Bucknell and Fordham
Published: Thursday, October 18, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 18, 2012 23:10
The UConn women’s swimming and diving team’s season is ready to begin, as the Huskies host Fordham and Bucknell this Saturday. The team has already set the bar high for the 2012 season.
“Expectations are a little bit lofty because of the big talent and competency that these kids have," head diving coach John Bransfield said. "It’s a long year. We start training in the middle of September and go right until the beginning and middle of March. So, given that span of time, trying to keep everybody operating at an optimal level with all the demands that a student athlete has these days is difficult. I have no predictions, but I am optimistic that we can shine at the time of the year that’s most important.”
Training starts early for these athletes and continues on throughout the season up until the Big East Championships.
“We spend a good six to 10 weeks really working on building blocks. For those weeks we are breaking things down and building it up, breaking it down and building other areas up, so they aren’t all in rhythm. Capabilities are there, but they are somewhat on their heels. We’ve been doing a lot of drills as opposed to complete list of skills,” Bransfield said. “But the second semester is all championships.”
Although the 2012 season is just beginning, both coaches feel confident in their teams’ ability.
“It is early in the season, but our team is training hard, focusing on the Conference meet in February,” said head swimming coach Bob Goldberg. “Our expectation is to be our best for that meet.”
Both swimming and diving have seen phenomenal records from women who are returning to the team this year, thus making it more of a challenge to break them. “The women want to break every record,” Goldberg pointed out. “That is what training and competing is all about.”
Isabelle Nat, Katie Dobler, Jordan Bowen, Katie Kyle and Chineyte Pigot have helped UConn break records in the freestyle relay, medley relays, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000 and 1650-meter freestyle and 100-meter backstroke for swimming.
“Women’s [diving] records are going to be difficult because the girl who has them is still here,” Bransfield said. “The better you get, the more difficult those increments of change are. But she’s certainly capable.”
Danielle Cecco, a senior this year, holds the record for both one-meter and three-meter diving.
“She’s our leading returning female. She’s been to national championships twice, she’s competed at a high level and succeeded at a high level,” Bransfield said. “Having a veteran like that in the program makes the teaching a lot easier because she sets a pace. She sets the tone.”
For this upcoming meet, neither coach seems very concerned about competition. They have the upmost confidence in their team.
“I’ll be honest, I don’t pay attention to who we have as competition for a couple of weeks,” Bransfield said. “We try to treat our practices like competition and we try to treat our competitions as though it’s another day in practice. Whoever the faces are that we are going to have a contest with, they do their thing, we do our thing and we see how it falls.”
The women’s swimming and diving team seems to have a bright future ahead of them as the season begins to unfold.