The University of South Dakota swimming and diving team will compete in one of their biggest meets of the year as they host South Dakota State University Saturday at the DakotaDome.
Head swimming coach Jason Mahowald said the meet will be full of exciting races.
“The meet will be great,” Mahowald said. “We match-up great on paper and any time you get USD versus SDSU, the atmosphere always builds.”
Mahowald said the team will continue to prepare for this week’s meet just like any other meet.
“We have been having a normal week with normal practices,” Mahowald said.
Junior sprinter Drew Guinan said the team always has close races against SDSU.
“We swim against state all the time and every time it comes down to a couple of races,” Guinan said. “It is going a close meet that is for sure.”
Mahowald said in order to pull out a win this weekend the team will have to have a complete meet.
“We are going to need a total team effort this week in order to win,” Mahowald said. “We are going to need our younger kids step up and compete with fourth and fifth place finishes.”
Guinan said the team will have to come together in order to pull out a win this weekend.
“We’re going to need to do well on our relay races because they are worth more points,” Guinan said. “We need to support each other and make sure we race strong.”
Mahowald said the team is expecting to compete and do well with their relay teams.
“We are hoping to get a lot of wins out of our relay teams this weekend,” Mahowald said.
Guinan said the team is coming off tough meets at Wisconsin-Green Bay and University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
“We had two big meets last week that really tested us,” Guinan said. “Hopefully last week’s meet helped prepare us in order to pull out a victory.”
The Coyotes will look for senior Lizz Hoffman to help lead the team. Hoffman leads the Coyote women with 14 event wins so far this year. She was named Summit League Women’s Swimming Athlete of the Week on Tuesday.
Hoffman said the team had a couple of days off after their tough meets last weekend.
“We got two days of rest after the long meet,” Hoffman said. “We got back in the water on Tuesday and are going to train hard the rest of the week.”
Hoffman also said the meet will be a tough one and the team can’t afford to overlook SDSU.
“We have to bring our ‘A’ game this weekend,” Hoffman said. “Every race is going to be neck and neck and we need to have the will to win by swimming our hardest.”
Hoffman said she agreed the relay races will play a crucial role in the outcome of the meet.
“Our relay races will be extremely important,” Hoffman said. “We can’t under value the importance of getting off the block fast in our relay races. SDSU is going to get off the blocks fast and we will need to as well.”
The meet will begin Saturday Nov. 19 at 1 p.m. in the DakotaDome.
USD will face off against SDSU again in Brookings Jan. 21.
The Coyote swimming and diving team will next travel to the Falcon Invite on Dec. 2-3 in Minneapolis, Minn.