Men’s swimmers to face Miami, Clemson

by Ryan Schuster

After three and a half months of juggling school, practices and meets, the men’s swimming team has finally earned itself a vacation.
No. 8 Minnesota will travel to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., on Dec. 15 for their annual winter training trip. The Gophers will swim against host No. 22 Miami and Clemson in a dual meet Dec. 20.
Minnesota plans to do daily swims in the Atlantic Ocean to brake up the monotony of swimming in a pool and to provide challenging training opportunities.
“One of our plans is to get in a whole lot of training,” Coach Dennis Dale said. “We should be in the best shape of our lives.”
The team will train four hours a day in the water, in addition to lifting weights, conditioning and stretching during their trip. For the first time since class started, the Gophers will have a break to relax and concentrate fully on swimming.
Gophers diving coach Kongzheng Li will be in Japan teaching a diving clinic during the training trip, so the divers will not travel to Florida with the rest of the squad.
In addition to receiving good training, the Gophers will also face some good competition from Miami and Clemson. Minnesota is currently rated higher in the latest Speedo America top 25 poll, but Miami and unranked Clemson should offer an inspired contest.
“Rankings are just some people’s guesses of how good we are,” Dale said. “I told the guys that Miami doesn’t care what we’re ranked.”
The Gophers are 3-0 on the season with wins over No. 14 North Carolina, No. 16 Nebraska and a host of unranked teams in the Minnesota Invitational. None of their meets has been a close contest.
Dale is quick to offer praise about his team’s improvement over last year’s Big Ten championship squad.
“It’s probably the deepest team that we’ve had,” he said. “We are a stronger team than we were last year.”