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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Swim teams go their separate ways

By Tony Pizza

The U swimming teams will be going on different paths this weekend-but hopefully for the Utes, it will just be a divergence in opponents and not in performance for the men and women.

The men–who are coming off a strong performance despite a loss to UNLV–will travel to Indiana for the Purdue Invitational this weekend.

The invitational will pit the Ute men against some of the best competition in the country, and is also an opportunity for the Utes to go outside their normal circuit of competition that typically keeps them on the West Coast.

“This is going to be a really interesting opportunity for us?we jumped on right away simply because we get to see out-of-conference action, and that is big,” said U head coach Mike Litzinger.

Other teams competing at the meet will be Georgia, Louisville, Penn State and host Purdue.

Georgia, which is ranked in the top five in the nation, will be the class team of the meet. Penn State and Purdue are top-25 teams and will be very competitive, as well.

Although Utah is thrilled just to be a part of the five-team meet, Utah feels that it has a chance to be very competitive in Indiana. Georgia will almost certainly separate itself from Utah and the rest of the competition, but the Utes will be looking to hang around with the big teams out east.

“We’re shooting for being in the running with Penn State and Louisville?if we can give those teams a run for their money, I’d think we’ve done our jobs,” Andrew Cole said.

The meet is a unique opportunity for the men in and of itself. The way the invitational is being run, the Utes will actually be competing in four separate dual meets at the same time.

The meet should also produce some of the fastest times for the Ute men all season, as Purdue has held the NCAA Championships and is known as one of the fastest pools in the country.

An invite to the meet also gives the Ute team exposure to the East Coast, which can do nothing but help to expand the U’s recruiting articles beyond the West Coast.

Because San Diego State is a conference opponent without a men’s swimming program, this weekend is a perfect opportunity for the women to slip back down to San Diego to take on the Aztecs and continue their perfect start.

“I think we’re doing great; we’re right where we planned on being,” senior Amber Walter said. “Each meet we learn something new, and we’re going to be ready by the end of the year.”

SDSU’s swimming program has been dwindling as of late, and its loss could be Utah’s gain.

The meet provides the women an opportunity to compete in events they aren’t as accustomed to participating in.

“The reality of the situation is, top to bottom, we’re just much deeper and much stronger (than San Diego State),” Litzinger said.

This opportunity is beneficial because the more experienced swimmers get a break from routine and swim in more relay and sprint events, but the less experienced swimmers also get a chance to compete in events that are normally reserved for the more seasoned swimmers.

Still, the women must come in with their game faces on, because nothing would be worse than messing up a perfect season by underestimating what the opponent is capable of.

“A meet like San Diego State allows us to swim some off-events,” Litzinger said. “We have to be serious about it–and we will swim some primary events, but maybe our third event will be a little bit different than it normally would be.”

Litzinger will be traveling with the men this weekend for their two-day affair in Indiana, while assistant Ron Lockwood will be taking charge of the women’s team this weekend.

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