COLUMBIA — Two weeks ago, the Stephens swimming team lost by a point at Hannibal-LaGrange. The Stars say they are hoping things will go in a different direction when they host the Trojans at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Winning won't be easy, though.
Two of Stephens' swimmers can't make the meet, leaving the Stars with six swimmers to the Trojans' 12. The Stars also didn't get to prepare as they usually do.
The pump went out in the pool at Stephens Natatorium and for a week and a half while it was being replaced the Stars could not hold practice there. Coach Laura Wacker had the team practice at the Mizzou Aquatic Center and also held dry land workouts. The Stars' Jaimie Link said the dry land workouts are something the Stars want to do more.
“We enjoyed it and it gives us a break from the water,” she said. “I think the facility (Mizzou Aquatic Center) in itself was a great motivator for us. And it's always good to have a vacation from your home pool anyway, just so we don't get too comfortable.”
Nonetheless, Wacker and her swimmers say having a home pool advantage Saturday will definitely help Stephens.
“It is my last dual swim meet of my swimming career and my last chance to get my 100 butterfly and 100 breaststroke national cuts," the Stars' Jennifer Alander said. I am very close to each cut, and I think being at my home pool will be an advantage and will motivate me more to get my cuts.”
The meet will be Stephens last before national competition on March 4 to 7.