Sept. 30, 2013
The University of Minnesota women's swimming and diving team officially begins its 2013-14 season this weekend. The two-time reigning Big Ten champions host Arizona State on Oct. 5 in a non-conference dual meet. To preview the upcoming start, Gophersports.com caught up with Head Coaches Kelly Kremer and Terry Nieszner.
What are your expectations for the 2013-14 season?
Kelly Kremer: "We are coming off a year where we won another Big Ten title and were in the top ten in the NCAAs. The women are talking in terms of wanting to do something historic, something that has never been done in our program's history: getting inside the top eight in NCAAs. They are fortunate, they have the NCAA Championships in their home pool and the Big Ten Championships are again in our home pool as well. So I think they really have an opportunity to do something great. Talking about it and doing it are two different things however, but I would say that my expectations are aligned with what the team wants to do."
You have a large senior class this year, what type of leadership are you expecting them to give to the team?
Terry Nieszner: "Our Senior class have been a part of two Big Ten Championship teams. Obviously that experience alone gives them a sense of leadership and pride. They are experienced competitors at the Big Ten and NCAA levels and bring that maturity and confidence to this 2013-14 team."
Minnesota will be hosting both the Big Ten Championships and the NCAA Championships, how does that encourage the team?
TN: "Hosting the Big Ten and NCAA Championships in our home pool gives us a sense of excitement, anticipation, and confidence. We are so proud to be the team that we are and the school that we represent, we couldn't be more enthusiastic about having the championships here at the University of Minnesota. The University of Minnesota aquatics staff and athletic department host one of if not the best championship environments for student-athletes. It only adds to our pride as Golden Gophers!"
What kind of talent can we expect to see from this year's freshmen class?
TN: "This year's freshmen class will make an immediate impact on our dual meet season, and will be vital to our championship season."
What are your goals for the season?
TN: "Our goals for this season are to contend for the Big Ten title and place in the top ten at the NCAA Championship."
Which competition are you looking forward to the most?
TN: "We look forward to every dual meet and embrace the competion. Of course, Big Ten competiion is always anticipated and the Border Batttle is alive and well in our sport."
What are you hoping to improve on from last year?
TN: "Improving from last year. We hope to compete a little better with our relays at the NCAA level."
KK: "We were so well prepared when we came out of a Big Ten Championship meet and then we got down to NCAA meets and we caught a couple adverse moments. For example we had some stomach stuff so I just do not think we were at our best at the NCAAs. I really hope we can see this year from start to finish. I hope all of our unhealthy stuff is happening now so that we can get healthy and we can get into a year where we can really show what we are capable of."
Who on the team can fans be excited to see compete this year?
TN: "I think the fans should be excited to see our entire team compete this year. We had some huge improvements this summer from many of our veterans and I think our newcomers will surprise many people."
What is the energy for this 2013-14 team?
TN: "This team knows and feels the effects of being the 2012 and 2013 back-to-back Big Ten Champions. Along with that comes expectations and some degree of pressure. However, this team knows we are starting anew and will develop their own personality and drive to contend and compete in what we believe is the best conference in the country."
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Gophers Lead Denver, Wyoming on Day 1
Minnesota's women won seven swimming events on the first day of competition in Denver.
Meet Preview: Denver
The Gophers are set to compete at the University of Denver after a successful meet in Hawaii.