UCLA swim and dive is in the midst of a three-week break from competition.
UCLA swim hasn’t competed since its two losses against No. 22 Arizona (3-1, 3-1 Pac-12) and No. 24 Arizona State (3-1, 2-1) on Nov. 3 and 4 and will not compete until Nov. 29 at the Texas Invitational.
The No. 25 Bruins (4-3, 1-2) had a close loss to Arizona and were defeated by Arizona State almost three weeks ago.
Coach Cyndi Gallagher said the break from competition has made it difficult for her and the coaches to evaluate the team and pinpoint exactly what the team needs to improve on. Nevertheless, she added the team has been taking advantage of this long break by training hard.
“We’re just trying to get down to the nuts and bolts of it, just grinding, “ Gallagher said. “They’re lifting weights – they’re running – so they should be stronger.”
Aside from athletic training, the team is also working on its technique to gain a competitive edge in the upcoming four-day Texas Invitational.
“As these next few weeks come, there’ll be much stronger competition and bigger (competition),” said senior Sarah Kaunitz. “Texas is a four-day meet, so we are all trying to improve on getting faster and getting more detail-oriented so we can swim faster.”
Gallagher added that she hopes that the practice they are putting into their technique pays off.
“We’ve worked a lot on technique, so pushing off the wall should be great,” Gallagher said. “They should really go far and that makes a difference for a lot of great swimmers … so we’re just trying to work on those things to be the best we can be.”
Senior Carly Reid added she’s working on any details that she can change.
“For me, it’s just the little things, like technique-wise. For freestyle, it’s stretching out more with my stroke and focusing on things underwater. … So right now, it’s just focusing on the little things that make you faster,” Reid said.
The diving team has also been working on its technique since the Bruins’ last meet at the Trojan Diving Invitational, where they landed a first-place victory against No. 7 USC (5-0, 3-0) and six other teams.
The team used last week to focus on the aspects of the dive that happen in the water, said diving coach Tom Stebbins.
“We were trying to get to a place in entry work that would maybe change how the dives and entries looked,” Stebbins said.