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Swimming, diving teams prepare for conference

The University of South Dakota men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams are back in the swing of things, with two wins and two losses each, as their season starts back up from a month-long break.

The Coyote women beat Morningside 142-40 Jan. 17 and Western Illinois 208-82 Jan. 18, and suffered losses against South Dakota State 186-107 Jan. 11 and North Dakota 184-108 Jan. 25.

The Coyote men beat Morningside 130-66 Jan. 17 and Western Illinois 158-142 Jan. 18 and lost to South Dakota State 177-118 Jan. 11 and North Dakota 177-115 Jan. 25.

“We’ve had a lot of improvements over the course of the year, including our mid-season meet,” assistant coach Chris Hansman said. “We have seen a lot of time drops with taper.  We’re excited to see what they do with our training we had over the winter break.”

The meet against North Dakota was the team’s last conference meet before the Summit League Championships Feb. 19-22.

“The team has been sick with colds, but it is better to have them at this time rather than in a couple weeks,” Hansman said.

The non-conference swimmers will head to Minneapolis, Minn., Feb. 7-8 for their last meet at the Minnesota Challenge.

“They usually do really well,” Hansman said. “It’s a fun meet and it’s an exciting time for our non-conference swimmers.”

The conference swimmers are now in preparation for the conference meet, which will be held Feb. 19-22 in Indianapolis, Ind.

“The team will be in the pool during their taper,” Hansman said. “We lighten the load as to how much they’re doing in the water. We do a lot more speed work at this time of the year. Divers dive more than normal, but they dive more for consistency.”

The Coyotes hope to excel during the preparation for the Summit League Championships, where they are hoping to bring back a championship, Hansman said.

“Our goal is obviously to win conference, but if not, take second place to Denver. They are the equivalent to where Oakland was before they left the conference, so they will be a tough battle for us,” Hansman said.

Sophomore Jay Nelson said the season still needs improvements.

“Just all around work ethic, you have to keep working hard every day in and out of practice. You have got to go in and give it your all every day even though you’re tired,” he said.

In preparation for the Summit League Conference Championship, Nelson said the team is attempting to get focused mentally.

“We know what we’re going to swim and we know when everything is,” Nelson said.

Follow reporter Kelsey Kroger on Twitter @kkroger34