Swimming Opens Season Wednesday at FIU
CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Coming off one of the best seasons in recent history, the University of Miami women’s swimming program opens its 2023-24 campaign Wednesday afternoon with a road meet at crosstown FIU at the Biscayne Bay Aquatics Complex.
Despite last year’s run of success on both the team and individual levels, head swimming coach Andy Kershaw has maintained his focus on the season ahead.
“This is a new season and this is a new team and this is the only year that this team is going to be together,” Kershaw said. “Even for the returnees, this is new. That’s been our message to them – we have a blank slate.
“The world is totally open and there’s no reason for us to limit ourselves based on the past. We respect everything in the past that got us here. This team has bonded, and they’re on a mission to do some special things and I’m excited to see them do that against FIU.”
A season ago, Miami had two NCAA Championships qualifiers, an NCAA All-America performance and more than 20 times that ranked among the top 10 best individual performances in school history.
“One of the key things last year did was show lot of belief that when people are on that mission and want to perform for The U in that way, that it can be done,” Kershaw said. “I think having some people show the way and put the proof behind it, no doubt, they laid the groundwork and made it that much more obtainable for every one of us.”
A talented returning nucleus with a boatload of experience has been bolstered by five freshmen and four transfers who look to make an immediate impact in the lanes.
Kershaw and assistant coach Zach Hinsley added veterans Talia Bates (Florida), MK Kelley (Florida), Emma Shuppert (Duke) and Mary Smutny (Texas) to a veteran group that includes Aino Otava, Emma Sundstrand, Giulia Carvalho and several others who have led the way.
While focus in collegiate swimming often revolves around the postseason on both the conference and national levels, Kershaw has reiterated the importance of Wednesday to the group.
“I talk to them so much about ‘playing the game’ – and that’s what we do. Sometimes, that gets sucked out in our sport. These student athletes should have the same game atmosphere that any student-athlete has – they should go in with that same excitement. I love gameday – football gameday, soccer gameday, swimming gameday. This is no different. It’s special.”
Action is set to begin at 4 p.m. from the Biscayne Bay Aquatics Complex, and all results will be available on the Meet Mobile app.