Swimming and diving team has high expectaions heading into season

Swimming and diving team has high expectaions heading into season

Swimming and diving team has high expectaions heading into season
October 02
13:10 2015

Brady Keane | Staff Writer

@BradyKeane3

With the Mean Green women’s swimming and diving team set to kick off the 2015-2016 season this weekend at the North Texas Relays, head coach Brandon Bray has high expectations for his program that finished fifth at the Conference USA Championships last season.

“We just want all the athletes on our team to perform better than they have ever performed,” Bray said. “You can’t game plan to win a meet the way you can in football, so we just want to perform the best we can every meet.”

Last season, record-setting seniors Krista Rossum and Mona Groteguth led the way for the Mean Green. With their departure, Bray is focused on building a successful group led by a consistent team effort rather than the success of one or two swimmers.

That new mindset begins with a practice regiment that has increased in intensity from a year ago, as the Mean Green entered the fall in better shape and at a higher level than they did last season.

“Practices have been really hard lately,” senior captain Bianca Bosca said. “We’ve changed a lot, but everything we’ve done in practice has reflected well so far.”

After finishing in 3rd place at the C-USA Championships as a member of the 400-medley relay last year, Bosca echoed the importance of the team effort that Bray mentioned.

Bosca will play a key role in developing that a team atmosphere as a leader of the strong group of newcomers to the team that Bray feels could step in to make an immediate impact this season.

“All of our newcomers have done a great job,” Bray said. “They have raised the level and have made it a more competitive practice. Our returners are preforming a lot better, and they all bring different things to the plate.”

Claudia Kitching, a sophomore transfer from Antibes, France, hopes to be one that makes her mark right away. Kitching placed third at the French Open Championships in the 200m breaststroke in 2015 and holds all senior records for the CN Cannes France Swim Club while also qualifying for the 2012 British Olympic Trials.

“I like competing,” Kitching said. “I would like to get the school record in the 200-meter breaststroke.”

On the diving side of the program, the Mean Green have added coach Mark Murdock to lead a diving team that spent last season in a rebuilding stage. It was the first time in five seasons that North Texas failed to send a diver to the zone diving meet, but each of the divers posted career-bests throughout the season.

Murdock, the 2014-2015 Western Athletic Conference Diving Coach of the Year at Northern Colorado, hopes that his new coaching style focusing on fundamentals and skills oriented training will help to build on last season’s performance.

“We want to make competitions as a whole more fun,” Murdock said. “They’ve adjusted really well, and it’s taking some time, but they understand that it’s going to continue to get better and better.”

After recording the fifth-best score in school history on the platform board last season, junior Samantha Scheck is looking forward to kicking off the team’s inaugural season under Murdock.

“I’m really excited,” Scheck said. “I’m ready to just get out there and start competing. I think we’re going to do very well this season.”

Heading into the season-opening meet this weekend at the North Texas Relay’s in nearby Southlake, Bray and Murdock share a common goal for the weekend and the season as a whole.

“Consistency,” Murdock said. “I just hope to see consistency. Hopefully they do as well as they’ve been doing in practice, and it’s consistent every time.”

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