Season opens against familiar foe

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Despite inconsistencies connected with the renovations at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center that forced the closure of the pool throughout their summer practice schedule, the Longhorns are poised for an exciting season. Texas travels this weekend to compete against the University of California in their first true contest of the season.

Diving coach Matt Scoggin praised the team for how they have handled these less-than-ideal conditions.

“When we moved back in, things weren’t exactly perfect just yet, but kudos to the team for really not throwing a single complaint up through the whole month,” he said. “They are ready to go.”

Swimming and diving head coach Kim Brackin mirrored Scoggin’s optimism despite the renovations, maintaining that the team is “well-conditioned” heading into the fall.

The team has positive expectations as it heads to California — the same place they began their 2008 campaign.

“Just knowing what the pool looks like and having that sense of familiarity is a positive thing,” Brackin said.

This sense of familiarity will go a long way as the Longhorns face a strong California team lead by sophomore Caitlin Leverenz, junior Liv Jensen and senior Hannah Wilson.

Texas brings a team heavy with freshmen, but Brackin is confident that they are where they need to be."

“They are doing a great job,” Brackin said. “They understand that this is the University of Texas and [that] they have to work really hard.”

In addition to a large amount of freshman talent, Kathleen Hersey, along with Laura Sogar and Karlee Bispo, lead a strong returning group.

The diving team is no less prepared.

“Physically we’re stronger than we’ve ever been,” Scoggin said.

Junior Lauren Caldwell, sophomores Maren Taylor, Diana Wilcox and Samantha Holland and redshirt sophomore Shelby Cullinan lead a diving team that will be a “force to contend with.”

The Longhorns surprised California when the two squads last faced off in 2008. This year, Brackin knows the Golden Bears will be ready.

“They know when Texas travels to a meet that we’re ready to race,” Brackin said.