Fresno State has begun construction on a new aquatics center that will be located on Barstow Avenue next to Bulldog Diamond, and no one is happier than the Fresno State women’s swimming and diving team.
The team is excited for what the completion of the new pool will do for morale.
“I feel that the construction of the new aquatics center will spark a new team spirit because we will have a place to call our own,” Kendra Weeks said. Weeks, a junior diver, expects the pool to be a big advantage for the Bulldogs on a variety of levels.
“We will have a real home turf and a real home-team advantage when it comes to competitions instead of being visitors to a high school pool,” Weeks said. “I also think that it will be so much more conducive to both academic and athletic success to have the place where we practice right next to where we study and live.”
This will be a big step up from the high school pool that the team currently uses for practice. Since the revival of the team in the fall of 2008, the swimmers and divers have had to conduct practice at nearby Clovis North High School. Diving coach Taryn Patrick thinks that the lack of an aquatics center did not hurt recruitment, but she believes that the addition of one could certainly help.
“I don’t think it necessarily hurt our recruiting because we have great facilities near that we are lucky enough to use,” Patrick said. “I do, however, think that having a pool to call home will be better, and it being on campus will be more beneficial to the athletes.”
Along with the new aquatics center, the Bulldog swimmers and divers are anxiously awaiting the start of the new season.
The swimming and diving team is set to make its season debut in Stockton, Calif. at the University of Pacific Invite on Oct. 15. Rayanne Nguyen, a sophomore swimmer, is ready to begin the season.
“We are really excited for the season to start,” Nguyen said. “We are all working very hard in the pool and the weight room in preparation for our first meet in a couple of weeks.”
The team hopes to improve on last season when they finished eighth in the Western Athletic Conference Championships. Patrick expects the team to take a big step forward this season.
“We have a great group of girls that I think are going to take our team to another level,” Patrick said. “I look forward to winning more dual meets and moving up in the WAC Swimming and Diving standings.”
The swimming and diving team hopes to be able to make their final season without a place to call their own a successful one and is ecstatic to get into their new place. As Nguyen put it: “I can’t wait until it’s finished.”