LAWRENCE, Kan. – The University of Kansas swimming and diving team will host Big 12 rival Iowa State in its final home meet of the season beginning this Friday, Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. and concluding on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 10 a.m., inside Robinson Natatorium.
Despite having senior day earlier in the year, the meet this weekend will be the last time this group of Kansas (5-4, 1-0 Big 12) seniors race in Robinson.
“It is (the seniors’) last home meet, but we still have work to do at conference,” Kansas head coach Clark Campbell said. “We got the senior celebration done early in the season for a reason, so our seniors don’t have to really concern themselves about that. Right now it is all about gathering up and putting up some really good numbers going into conference.”
This will be the second time this season the Jayhawks have seen Iowa State (4-4), since both teams participated in the Kansas Classic in November. Kansas finished second in the meet with 853.5 points, defeating the fourth-place Cylcones who finished the meet with 410 points. Despite the lopsided score at the Classic, Campbell knows with dual meet scoring, which places a higher emphasis on first place, and the addition of divers, the meet this weekend will be a lot closer on the scoreboard.
“They are a real solid dual meet team,” Campbell said. “Because invitational scoring is different than dual meet scoring, I think our task of competing with them is more of a challenge than at the Classic, because they have good people in all events and they are going to bring their divers. I think looking at it on paper, we match up well in everything. I think it is going to be a really good meet.”
In a rivalry that has been recently dominated by Kansas, the Cyclones defeated the Jayhawks, 158-142, last year in Ames for the first time since the 2003-04 season. Campbell attributes the team’s recent success against Iowa State to the timing of the meet and the nature of the rivalry.
“Iowa State and KU’s history has gone way back and we are the last two Big Eight schools standing in the conference in the sport of swimming,” Campbell said. “I think it is a meet our team has always risen to the occasion for. Traditionally, (Iowa State) is always the last meet before Big 12’s. We want to put up really good swims and go into conference with some momentum and hopefully we will do that this weekend.”
This weekend’s multi-day format gives the Jayhawks a chance to prepare with a championship meet mindset, leading into the Big 12 Championships later this month.
“It helps break up the racing a little bit so that they aren’t doing everything in one day,” Campbell said. “Our kids need the opportunity to do back-to-back days of racing, because that is what they are going to be doing at Big 12’s. I think our kids are excited for that one last opportunity to put up seed times for Big 12’s and see how close we can be or surpass where we were in the fall.”
This weekend’s dual meet features 11 individual swim events, two relay races and two diving events. The full order of events is as follows:
Friday’s event order (6 p.m.)
200-yard medley relay
three-meter dive (Start concurrent with 1000-yard freestyle)
200-yard freestyle (begins after diving concludes)
Saturday’s event order (10 a.m.)
one-meter dive (full break)
400-yard freestyle relay
The Jayhawks will have a two week break from competition after the conclusion of this weekend’s meet to turn their focus to the Big 12 Championships, Feb. 27-March 2, in Austin, Texas.