Men’s swim coach says time is now to find kinks in system

David La

For coach Dennis Dale of the No. 10 Gophers men’s swimming and diving team, swim meets begin to take on a different meaning this time of year.
At this point, Dale said, it’s not if you win, but how you win. And with the Big Ten championships less than a month away, now is the time to work out any kinks in the system.
Minnesota travels to West Lafayette, Ind., to swim in the Triple Duals against Wisconsin and No. 25 Purdue this Friday and Saturday. Coach Dale said he’s satisfied with his team’s progress so far this season, but that he expects even more.
“We have yet to decide our Big Ten travel squad,” Dale said. “We’re looking for our swimmers to swim races in which there are fewer mistakes.”
With many swimmers gone from last year’s team, the Gophers coaches are looking for contributions from their younger swimmers. But when needed, Coach Dale still has many veterans to rely on.
“John Cahoy did a really good job in the fall,” Dale said. “He kind of picked up the slack.”
While the margin for improvement is smaller on a top 10 team, Dale pointed out the need for a total team effort.
“We would like to see a little more production out of our distance swimmers,” Dale said. “Hopefully we’ll see that this weekend.”
Dale is also leaning on Brazil native Alex Massura, who participated on the Brazilian 400 free relay team that broke the world record by two seconds in December. The junior suffered a dislocated finger at the Dallas Invite last weekend, but is still expected by Dale to compete in the backstroke.
Purdue and Wisconsin have bright spots that will allow them to stay competitive in some events, but Minnesota’s overall team depth should provide two more team wins this weekend. But that’s not the whole story.
“The times tell all. The fact that you beat someone else doesn’t mean you swam well,” Dale said. “We’ll get some good races this weekend.”