Event: Arena Invitational
Record: Aggies, (6-2)
Where: Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool – Long Beach, Calif.
When: Thursday to Saturday, all day
Who to watch: Standing at six feet tall, senior Ashley Chandler knows how to intimidate her opponents.
Though the Newport Beach, Calif. native has been sick for much of this season, she plans to dive back in the competition this weekend at the Arena Invitational.
“Ashley will benefit from racing against national-caliber athletes,” Coach Barbara Jahn said. “She just missed qualifying for Nationals last year. This weekend, she’ll be going head to head with people who went.”
Did you know? Not all of the team will be traveling to Long Beach. Those who do not travel with the team this weekend will be preparing for the Texas Invitational in early December.
Preview: Up against some the stiffest competition in their league, the Aggies will battle it out this weekend against nationally ranked foes.
“These are fast teams,” Jahn said of the competition. “They are some of the best in Division I. We are just looking to take advantage of the competition.”
Jahn said the Arena Invitational will be about individual competition.
“Our best swimmers will get second swims,” Jahn said. “I am not as concerned about the team score.”
Despite the intimidating circumstances, freshmen duo Megan Leung and Joann Liang are ready to make a splash.
“They’ve both been leaders in their particular strokes,” Jahn said. “This is a test to see how they handle the pressure and elite competition.”
Though the Arena Invitational will prove to be one of the more challenging meets for the Aggies this season, Jahn knows it will help them prepare for races further in the season.
“The Arena Invitational is in the same pool as our championship conference,” Jahn said. “We’ll stay in the same hotel and have the same routine. When we go to conference in February, everyone will feel more comfortable and confident in their race.”
– Caleigh Guoynes