Saturday, August 12, 2006

Large cast of newcomers should provide boost


With 11 new swimmers and two new divers, the Kansas University swimming and diving team will look different this season.

The Jayhawks want to build on the success of coach Clark Campbell, who finished his fourth season 8-2, his most successful as KU's swimming and diving coach.

About half the team was in Lawrence for the summer season. Despite the summertime atmosphere, the players have early wake-up calls.

"We swim every morning from 6 to 8 in the morning, and 7 to 9 on Saturdays, then take Sunday off," Campbell said.

The team has long-course training five times a week in the Lawrence Aquatic Center and short-course training two times a week in the Robinson Natatorium.

Kansas finished the 2005-06 Big 12 regular season with a 3-0 record, but didn't face Texas or Texas A&M;, two highly competitive teams.

Campbell said most of the training in the winter and summer seasons were for the team's most prominent meets: the Big 12 Championships in February and the NCAA Championships in March.

Last season, Kansas finished fourth at the Big 12 event in Columbia, Mo. Sophomore Ashley Leidigh was the only Kansas athlete to compete in the NCAA Championships last season. She finished 43rd in the 100-meter butterfly prelims and 39th in the 200 fly prelims.

Of the 11 new swimmers for this season's team, nine will be freshmen and two will be transfers. The two new divers will be freshmen. The team will return 17 individuals from last season, after losing six to graduation.

Campbell said he named seniors Lisa Tilson and Jenny Short captains for this season.


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