|Vandals Ready for Broncos|
The University of Idaho Swimming and Diving team will make its debut Saturday against Boise State in Boise at the Boise West YMCA.
The Vandals, who had three individuals win Western Athletic Conference titles, are excited to start the season. They are looking to improve off of last year’s 4-5 dual meet record and start the season off on the right foot.
“It’s important for us to race the first meet of the season,” Coach Mark Sowa said. “It’s important for us to see and evaluate where we’re at from a competition standpoint.”
The Vandals had an impressive team last year that broke 12 school records and finished 25th in the www.collegeswimming.com mid-major poll. There are 23 swimmers returning from last year’s team and Sowa hopes the new freshmen can contribute immediately.
“I think from top to bottom this is by far the deepest team we’ve ever had,” Sowa said. “We need to find where our strengths are and where we need to continue to develop our strengths.”
Paige Hunt, who was WAC Diver of the Year, is one of the returning seniors. Hunt won the 3-meter diving at the WAC Championships last year as well as finishing second in the 1-meter and third on the platform. Hunt broke the school record on the platform with a score of 297.45 at the Zone Championships at the Air Force Academy.
Another returner is junior Rachel Millet. Millet, won the 200 individual medley at the WAC Championships and posted a time of 2:00.37, a school record. She also won the 200 freestyle at WAC with a time of 1:47.89, another school record.
Jamie Sterbis also will be returning this year. Last year as a freshman, she won the 200 fly at the WAC Championships and broke school records in the 100 and 200 fly.
Swimming against Boise State will be no easy task. Last year Boise State finished second at the Mountain West Conference championships.
“Boise State is a well coached, fast team and a nice measuring stick for us,” Sowa said. “Two years ago we won one event against them, last year we won four. So we’re trying to close the gap. We’re trying to focus on thing we can control and not worry about the things we can’t control.”
Sowa says that his team values competition and that this meet will be a good start to the season and a great chance to evaluate all the swimmers.
“We’re just excited to be Vandals,” Sowa said. “We’re excited to represent the University of Idaho with class.
“One race at a time and one meet at a time.”