Q&A With Cyclone Swimming Coach

The Big 12 Championships begin Wednesday and competition will conclude Saturday.

Talk a little bit about the season so far:

"The team has swam much faster in our dual meets this season compared to what they did last year. So, they are way ahead of were they were last season. And last year we were awesome at the Big 12 Championship meet. I'm very pleased with how our women have trained and raced so far."

How has the team been doing against Big 12 opponents this season?

"Against Missouri, a number of our women were injured or sick, so I was a little disappointed we didn't swim better, in that meet. Marni Benson had a breakthrough meet in her breaststroke races, swimming to lifetime best times in both races. At Nebraska, we swam great but Nebraska swam better and they touched us out for first in five races. That turned the meet around. Against Kansas, we had a very good first day. I thought we raced and were competitive in every event. On the second day, we weren't ready to go and learned a very valuable lesson on preparing to swim fast in the morning. Kim Rogers and Lauren Breunig really swam well."

What are your goals for the Big 12 Championships?

"Our number one goal is for each of our women to swim to lifetime bests because that's all we can control. We could finish in third to sixth. All of the teams in the Big 12 have outstanding swimmers."

Who do you see as having their best performances during the Big 12 meet?

"At the Big 12 Championships I think Lauren Breunig should really swim well in her three races, the 200 IM and the 100 and 200 free. Kim Rogers is looking good in her three races, the 400 IM, 200 back and 200 fly. Maggie Peterson should place high in the 100 and 200 backstroke. I think Lydia Smirniotis should swim just as fast as she did in last years meet in the 500 and 1650 freestyle races. Chelsey Walden has really trained hard and raced well this season and should swim to lifetime bests in the 500 and 1650 free."

Talk about this years seniors:

"This year's senior class has really worked hard this season. They've done a nice job leading the team in and out of the pool. Maggie Peterson, Kim Rogers and Hillary Nichols have been outstanding captains."

What are some of the highs and lows of the season?

"The highs include seeing how much faster we are swimming compared to last year at this time. The lows are all of our season-ending injuries and long illnesses. Losing on touch outs in our last couple of meets was frustrating."

What freshman has stood out the most and in what ways?

"Marni Benson has really stepped up this season. She has already swam to lifetime bests in the 100 and 200 breast and should drop more time at the Big 12 Championship meet. She will also swim the breaststroke leg on the 200 and 400 medley relays. She has really worked hard at practice day after day, both on her technique and strength. I think Marni has adjusted the most, mainly because her sister swam here and she had a very good idea of what it would take to compete at this level."

Who are the swimmers that have been standing out the most this season?

"Lauren Breunig, Kim Rogers, Marni Benson and Chelsey Walden have been doing a great job this season and have had big performances for us."

What will be going on during the last few days leading up to the Big 12 Championship in terms of preparation?

"Like all swimming teams nationally, we will be resting and working on our speed."

Ideally, how would you like to finish at the Big 12 meet?

"Having all of our women swimming to their personal bests, getting two or three of our women qualified for the NCAA meet and finishing among the top four teams would make for a great meet."


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