Loss doesn’t faze utes

By Paige Fieldsted, Staff Writer

If the past two weeks had been the Olympics, the Utah women’s swimming and diving team would’ve been Michael Phelps.

The team recently swam four meets over eight days, immediately after returning from 12 days of intense training in Mexico.

“It’s really hard on the girls, we pressed them as hard as we could in Mexico and jumped right back into things when we got back,” said head coach Greg Winslow. “Not getting a break wears on anybody. Our girls are tough.”

The Utes, who trained about 40 hours a week while they were in Mexico, swam two back-to-back meets on Jan. 9 and 10 against Texas Christian and Northern Texas, before facing conference foes Colorado State and New Mexico on Thursday and Saturday.

“It’s hard mentally and physically, we just sleep every chance we get,” said freshman Whitney Lopus. “We really support each other8212;it makes it a lot easier when you know we are all going through the same thing.”

The exhaustion finally caught up with the Utes against Colorado State as they lost their first dual meet of the season.

“Colorado State got us just at the right time,” Winslow said. “We got down by 38 (points) early and battled back but we couldn’t pull it out. Hopefully we learned you’ve to be on your A game at all times.”

After opening the season with a 9-0 record, and going undefeated for nearly three months, the team lost to the Rams by just one event in its third meet in six days.

“We were upset of course, but our focus really isn’t on dual meets,” said Lopus, who finished first in six events in the loss. “It’s hard, but we are still on the right track to be where we want to be at the end of the season.”

The Utes, however, didn’t dwell on the loss as they finished first in all but two events to bounce back and earn a big win over New Mexico on Saturday.

“We really just worked on being a team, we put our best effort forward and had a lot of fun,” Lopus said.

Although the team wasn’t pleased with the loss to CSU, Utah’s focus isn’t on winning individual meets and events, but on preparing for the MWC and NCAA championships coming up at the end of the season.

With a tie against TCU, the loss to Colorado State and win over New Mexico, the Utes are currently sitting at fourth place in the MWC.

“All we can do is take care of ourselves8212;our goal has never been on dual meets but on getting prepared for the championships,” Winslow said. “We just have to go out and put our best foot forward8212;it’s an overall process.”

Utah will be back in its home pool this coming weekend as both the men’s and the women’s teams will be facing Wyoming and Air Force.

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