The UCLA swim and dive team has no intention of letting its strong start dip off.
The No. 15 Bruins will host Washington State and UC Davis in a tri-meet today, while the diving team will travel to USC for a two-day tournament, beginning today.
“We’ve been doing really well in practice, staying focused, keeping the intensity up and staying positive,” said senior backstroke and individual medley specialist Laurence Delisle.
The coaches will test the waters to see if their athletes can thrive in events they are not used to competing in, and will use this meet as a way to find hidden strengths in their swimmers.
“Some of our swimmers are very versatile,” said assistant swimming coach Naya Higashijima. “We are putting our athletes in events that they don’t usually swim, so we can see what we have.”
In order to better prepare for more competitive meets coming up in the winter, the coaches are encouraging their swimmers to find success in other aspects of their swimming by competing in events they are not accustomed to.
Coming off two event wins in her last meet, junior Ting Quah has been training hard to improve her times for the upcoming meet, although she expressed concerns about swimming more events than she is used to.
“I’m doing five events which is more than my usual four, so I’m a little bit nervous for that,” she said.
This weekend, the coaches have decided to have Quah swim the butterfly in competition to see how she can adapt to a different stroke. Because this is one of the less competitive meets, the coaches see this as a good opportunity to try this strategy.
“I’m swimming kind of my off events,” Quah said. “(The coach) is putting us in events that we’re not really used to, just to give it a try.”
The junior, who typically swims freestyle events, has an open attitude about swimming a new event.
“I don’t know what I want to do with the (butterfly) because I have not thought about it. I’m just gonna go for it,” said Quah when asked how she will approach the stroke at the meet.
The team is going into the meet with a strong mentality.
“Our team has a lot of potential and we have a great group of girls,” Delisle said. “We expect good things. It’ll be fun.”