BYU swimmers and divers left in the early hours of Thursday morning to arrive in California well before the Pacific Invitational was to begin. In fact, the team showed up a whole day early.
Because of an unfortunate error, the Cougars flights to the University of the Pacific were pushed a day earlier, forcing the team to make an early appearance and prompt departure before some of the teams even arrive at the invitational.
Despite the setback, BYU swim and dive made plans to make the most of the meet, taking on the University of the Pacific in a relay meet yesterday and competing for at least one day in the invitational today.
Jessica Ampuero, a junior from Windsor, Calif. who placed first in both the 200 IM in the alumni meet and 200 fly at the blue and white meet said that although it is unfortunate that BYU won’t be able to compete against anyone on Saturday, the short-lived meet still plays an important role for the team.
“”We’ve got to take every race as an important race because we take every chance we can get to improve our times,” Ampuero said. “We want to always perform at our best.”
Last year BYU gained attention after placing first place for the women’s team and second for the men’s against Stanford, Pacific, and San Diego State. This year the team will compete to retain last year’s reputation.
The only official meet the swim and dive team has competed in thus far was the Hawaii meet two weeks ago, which Head Coach John Brooks reserved for a smaller amount of swimmers and divers who earned the trip after displaying a considerable amount of hard work over the summer. For this meet, however, Brooks is eager to see how the team does in greater number.
“I’m looking forward to a larger group of swimmers to participate in the meet this weekend,” Head Coach John Brooks said in a press release. “This will be a good benchmark for the team to see where they are at and where they need to improve.”
Sophomore Hayden Palmer who placed first in both the men’s 200 IM and 400 IM in Hawaii said he looks forward to seeing more of his team mates come to the meet who couldn’t go to the last meet.
“It’ll be their first time racing against someone other than our own team mates,” Palmer said. “So it will be a really good opportunity for us.”
After having lost to the University of Hawaii’s men’s team 183-168, Palmer said he thinks one of the biggest reasons was simply getting “out-touched.”
“One thing that everybody on the team needs to work on is finishing.” Palmer said. “Just getting to the wall and sticking our heads down and not giving up at the end.”
Palmer said the team has been consistently training every day for this upcoming meet and future meets so they can compete naturally when it is time to race.
After yesterday’s relay meet against Pacific, the team will compete in the invitational today starting at 1 p.m Pacific time. To stream the invitational live or check out event updates, fans can visit www.pacifictigers.com.