The dual meet season is over, and the championship season looms for Texas swimming. For the divers, the road to nationals begins Thursday at the UT Diving Invitational. The men’s diving team is looking forward to the opportunity to perform in front of a home crowd for the first time in over a month. This meet will mark the Longhorns’ first taper meet, in which they scale down — or taper — their weight training.
“What we do in the pool tends to stay fairly consistent,” junior diver Ryan Anthony said. “It’s what we do beyond the pool that we change. That involves weights and other activities that would strengthen our bodies. We’re backing off of that so our energy levels go up, and we can show how hard we’ve been working on the main stage.”
Anthony, who earned a spot on the Big 12 Commissioner’s honor roll in 2012, sees this meet as an opportunity to build momentum heading into the qualifying season.
“I just want to follow my progression [and] use this meet as a springboard to where I want to be in the future,” Anthony said.
Anthony and his teammates can take comfort in knowing when they do take center stage this week, they will be looking into a sea of burnt orange. The Longhorns hope to claim their fourth invitational title in five years.
“Being at home is very beneficial,” diving coach Matt Scoggin said. “It gives them a chance to get used to diving in front of their home crowd, full of their friends and families like they will be at nationals. They’ll get a chance to step up and hear their name announced, hear it get quiet and then have to dive well.”
A strong freshmen class should perform well at the invitational.
“Even if you have a strong upper-class [team], which we do, we’re fortunate to have young divers that can come in and hold everyone accountable,” Scoggin said. “They compete with the upperclassmen, and it raises everyone’s level.”
The Diving Invitational begins Thursday and concludes Saturday. The end of the dual meet season and the change in training mean the NCAA championships are just around the corner.
“They’ll still be in the weight room, but not as much,” Scoggin said. “Because of the setup, usually your performance rises. It’s a good dress rehearsal for nationals because the guys will have prelims and then a final, which is different from a dual meet where you only have one shot.”