The Horned Frog swimming and diving team will compete in its last combined home meet of the season when Missouri State visits the University Recreation Center on Saturday afternoon.MSU is a deep squad possessing strength in both distance and sprint competition, said senior swimmer Allan McCallum.
Head coach Richard Sybesma said he thinks MSU will be even competition for TCU.
“Missouri State and us are pretty equally matched teams,” Sybesma said. “It’s always exciting because you never know who’s going to win until the meet is in the last few events. They have a very strong program, and we match up very well against them. We’re really excited about them being here in our last home meet.”
Saturday’s swim will also recognize seniors wrapping up their Horned Frog careers. Five men and five women will be honored.
An asset for the H20 Frogs this season is the camaraderie shared between the members. Senior swimmer Leann Cathcart thinks more demanding training and traveling schedules have made the team an even more close-knit group.
“Through training together (and traveling more), we’ve gotten to know each other a lot better,” Cathcart said. “Last year, we traveled one or two times. We went to San Diego, Colorado and Utah. We got to experience new places together.”
Cathcart and the women’s team fell eight points short of sharing the Mountain West Conference regular season title with BYU at a Jan. 14 match against Utah. Cathcart said the narrow loss will serve as a source of motivation at the MWC championship meet Feb. 22 in Oklahoma City.
“We know who our competition is, and we know how to prepare for them,” Cathcart said.
Though talented, the men’s team has struggled this year due to a lack of depth. The men’s team has 14 members and up to 18 swimmers can enter at a tournament. At conference, the number of swimmers in each event is equal for each team.
“Our team’s a little smaller than some of the other ones so we can’t enter as many events but at the conference meet; we have a lot of quality guys,” McCallum said.
Sybesma said TCU will have lower-intensity practices in the weeks leading up to the championships to ensure that swimmers are rested and peak at the right time.
“We’re hitting the last part of our season, and what we’re trying to do is fine-tone and get our kids mentally and physically prepared for the conference championships,” Sybesma said. “We feel like both our teams have an opportunity to really challenge for a championship.”
Swimmers and divers will hit the water at noon Saturday.