The Colorado State University Rams have released their schedule for the upcoming NCAA Swimming & Diving season, headed by a state rivalry showdown with Denver on October 17.
CSU takes on Denver at home in October, one of three home dual meets on the year. That highlights the fall slate, and the second-semester schedule features three dual meets within three weeks, against Northern Arizona, Northern Colorado and Air Force. The season wraps up with the Mountain West Championships in College Station, Texas in February.
Here’s the full Colorado State press release:
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Head Coach Christopher Woodard and the Colorado State swimming & diving program announced its 2015-16 competition schedule on Thursday. The slate includes three home dual meets, plus an alumnae meet and contests against regional rivals Air Force, Denver, Northern Colorado and Wyoming.
“Our expectation this year is to make a big jump,” Woodard said. “I expect to be in the meet with every single team we’re competing against. We’re seeing a cast of familiar characters and some heated rivals, so I expect my kids to be fully prepared come Oct. 8 when we get New Mexico here at home.”
The season will begin Oct. 8 against New Mexico, a team CSU has plenty of experience against. The Rams and Lobos have battled in the pool 34 times, with CSU claiming 31 of those dual meets, including in 2013-14 at home. The series dates all the way back to the 1975-76 season, CSU’s second as a program.
Two days later (Oct. 10), the Rams will host their Green & Gold Alumnae Meet, a special opportunity to bring back some of the program’s former student-athletes and celebrate CSU’s rich history during the university’s homecoming weekend.
“It will be great to get the alums back to campus and to be part of the current team,” Woodard said. “It’s important for our team to have a homecoming experience and build off of the past traditions and have a good time together.”
On Oct. 17, CSU will remain in Fort Collins to host Denver at Moby Pool. The Pioneers have become the perennial team in the state of Colorado, and this season will mark the 14th year in a row that the two teams have met.
After back-to-back weeks of dual meets, the Rams will get the next two weeks away from competition before traveling to Wyoming on Nov. 6. CSU has faced Wyoming more than any other team, going 41-10 all-time in the Border War rivalry.
The fall season concludes with the swimmers competing in the prestigious Phil Hansel Invite in Houston, Texas. The three-day invitational (Nov. 20-22) will pit the Rams against some of the top programs in the nation.
Returning from break, the spring portion of CSU’s season will include three meets in a 19-day period. It will begin Jan. 16 at Northern Arizona and conclude Feb. 3 at Northern Colorado. In between, CSU will host its Senior Day meet against Air Force on Jan. 30. CSU has been victorious against all three teams in the most-recent meetings.
The regular season will culminate with the Mountain West Championships in College Station, Texas, Feb. 17-20.
“I don’t think the approach is radically different from last year.” Woodard said. “Two years ago we had to be ready for dual meets to instill confidence, and this past year we didn’t let up for anybody. I think the expectation is that kids need to prepare themselves in the summer to be ready for the dual-meet schedule. We had a couple hiccups last year at conference that cost us a couple places, and we know we’re a better team. The expectation now is that we will climb the ladder. Last year was unacceptable and we’re not even going to talk about it once the season begins.”
Against its six 2015-16 dual-meet opponents, the Rams hold an impressive 140-27 all-time record (.838). CSU is coming off of back-to-back winning dual-meet seasons, going 5-4 in 2014-15, and graduates just four of its 30 student-athletes from last season. In total, 12 student-athletes scored at last season’s MW Championships, with 10 returning to the pool in 2015-16.