UCLA swim and dive will be split again this weekend, as only divers will compete.
The No. 25 Bruins (4-3, 1-2 Pac-12) will send five divers to the Trojan Diving Invitational, hosted at USC this weekend. Considering the structure of the invitational, which will include preliminary and final rounds, the Bruins will be entering this meet with a forward-thinking mindset.
Diving coach Tom Stebbins said that the team has been training hard. He said it will be using this meet to gauge where it is athletically and as practice for similar competitions that they will see later this season.
“This is the format that best prepares us for the end of the year versus the dual meets where you are doing multiple events over a couple of days,” Stebbins said. “For us, it’s just about gathering information over the course of the week. How are we managing ourselves? What are we doing well? What are we not doing well?”
After this meet, the divers will have two and a half weeks to train before competing again.
The invitational will host both platform and springboard events, and will be the Bruins’ first opportunity to compete on platform this season.
“It’s going to be our first (platform) meet, so that’s kind of exciting,” said junior Traci Shiver. “For me especially, because my last tower competition was nationals and that was all the way in summer, so this is the first one of the year.”
While senior Ciara Monahan will be solely competing on springboard, she too said that she is looking forward to experiencing a fresh meet structure this weekend.
“I think having that double chance of completing your dives in a competition will be really good practice for us for later in the conference meets,” Monahan said.
Shiver said the team’s main focus remains on the perfection of details.
“I’ve just been trying to really fix a lot of little specific things because the bigger part of the dive is good,” Shiver said. “It’s just the little things that I need to put the final touches on.”
UCLA will face a total of 21 other divers at the invitational, including athletes from No. 7 USC (5-0, 3-0).
“‘SC always presents a really big challenge. They’re really well coached, and they’re disciplined,” Stebbins said. “For us, looking at the result is just a function of what we did well.”
The Trojan Diving Invitational will take place at Uytengsu Aquatics Center at USC on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.