Divers head to Texas Hall of Fame Diving Invitational

By Monze Hernandez, Contributing Writer

Head coach Sue Novitsky and her swimmers will head to Indianapolis for the House of Champions Invitational, while diving coach, Manny Pollard and his divers head to Austin, Texas, for the Texas Hall of Fame Diving Invitational. The swimmers will be competing Friday-Nov. 24. Meanwhile, the divers will start on Wednesday and compete through Friday.

Illinois had a two-week break in which the team used to prepare for this upcoming weekend. The team made sure to keep training up along with watching films. The team focused on working on things that can sometimes be “a little overlooked but can have a big impact.” The three-day meet will give the Illini a chance to see how well they can handle multi-day competitions, which is the same format as the Big Ten championship, according to Novitsky.

This will be the team’s mid-season meet and an opportunity to “focus on ourselves and take advantage of each opportunity they have,” Novitsky said.

According to sophomore Sarah Cano, the team has been training better compared to last season. Cano said she’s excited about what the team can do with extra rest. She’s also looking forward to beating Michigan State. Last year, Illinois beat Michigan State at its dual meet but then the Spartans came back to beat the Illini at the midseason meet. This year at Illinois’ first dual meet, they tied. Michigan State will be the only Big Ten team at the Texas Hall of Fame Diving Invitational and Cano said she’s looking forward to beating them.

Cano has coined personal-bests in the 100- and 200-yard backstrokes and ended in third place at the same meet and is planning on doing something similar this year.

Pollard and the divers have also been preparing. According to Pollard, preparing mentally is the “most important.”  Pollard wants to ensure the divers learn how to use their experience to become better athletes.

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