Monday Press Conference: Eric Hansen

Women's swimming coach addressed the media Monday to discuss the upcoming Big Ten championships

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Opening Statement

"Our season has… we got off to a real strong start. We knew it was going to be a pretty solid year for us, but any time you bring in a large group of freshmen you don't know exactly what to expect. They definitely set the tone as a hard working group and we got off to a very good start. I would say our preparation peaked initially at the Texas Invitational in December. We basically qualified seven of our girls to go the national championships, so most of our work was done in preparation for that, so that will allow us to be able to swim through, as I say, the Big Ten championships. We are hoping to qualify an additional three to five girls. The majority of our scoring potential is in place. We look forward to the Big Ten championships starting this Wednesday. We feel like we have a shot. There are a couple of other teams that have shots too, but it is more or less preparation for what really matters. Our primary goal is to be a top ten team by the end of the season."

Could you handicap the field a little bit this week? What is they key to winning this meet – is it individual first place, is it team depth? What is the key?

"To start off to answer your initial question, I would say there are probably three teams that are front runners for the title. The defending champion Indiana squad returns a pretty strong squad. Penn State will have a strong group of women there and then also our team. Dual meet season, Big Ten championships and NCAA (championships) are three very separate things. To start with, dual meets everybody scores points. At Big Tens there are people that score points there that will not move on to the national championships. At the national championships you are going to have a core group of girls that are going to be doing your point scoring for you and that's where our primary focus is. I think that's where we are the strongest. We look forward to challenging for the Big Ten title, however, as I said I am not worried about the top end of our team right now. They have proven themselves. We have a lot of depth there. It is just a matter of whether we can fill in during the consolation heat, whether we get some people eighth through 12th in that region."

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