Swim and dive teams to compete at Pacific Invite

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After the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams started off strong with their Blue and White meet, they are hoping to bring the same energy and results to Stockton, Calif., for the Pacific Invitational.

The athletes are focusing on improving their performance as a group as well as individually to create a stronger team.

“Now that we have a better idea of where we need to step up and see where we’re at, we’re ready to go in and make some marks,” said Taryn Toolson, a junior majoring in elementary education.

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Vytenis Slenys, now a BYU alum, swims in a meet against Air Force last season.

Members of the team are more worried about making their own improvements rather than focusing on the other team’s numbers. They are taking their personal scores from the Blue and White meet and making it a goal to beat their own time.

Sophomore Raphael Alfaro said he now knows his strengths and weaknesses and is setting new goals for each of his times.

Only a selected number of universities will compete in the two-day event at the Pacific Invite, not allowing any time for relaxation. The players are anxious for another chance at competition and tension.

“We’ll keep working hard because we don’t rest for these meets,” Toolson said. “We work right through them and keep our heads up the whole time.”

Men’s team captain Daniel Bates, majoring in business management, has high hopes for the team this weekend and tries to emphasize the individual efforts of each athlete and creating a stronger team.

“I feel that everyone on our team is very important, everybody plays a role in making our team better,” Bates said.

The swim and dive coaches pushed the team in the last couple of weeks of practice, but the players were happy with the successful and promising outcome.

“It’s fun to go fast even after we’re so broken down from all the training,” Toolson said.

Even though Bates tries to push and lead his team, he wants them to know he is proud of everyone. Bates wants to teach his teammates more than the typical concepts expected at each practice.

“Practice isn’t just to improve strokes, but it’s about building character,” Bates said. “We want to build good, successful people that will go into the world and be leaders.”

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