Oct. 3, 2012
RENO, Nev. - The University of Nevada swimming and diving team will hold its annual Silver and Blue Intersquad meet on Friday at 4 p.m. at the Lombardi pool, marking the beginning of the 2012-13 season, the team's first in the Mountain West.
The Wolf Pack was 7-1-1 in dual meets last season and finished fifth at the WAC Championships in its final season in the conference. Jojo Mi won two individual events at the season-ending championships, taking the title in the 500-yard freestyle for the third consecutive year and the 1,650-yard freestyle for the second year in a row.
Nevada diver Grace Huang also had a strong showing in 2012, posting the highest score of any Nevada diver in each discipline (1-meter, 3-meter and platform) and garnering WAC Diver of the Year honors. Nevada diving coach Jian Li You was named the conference's diving coach of the year.
The following is a question and answer session with first-year head coach Abby Steketee in advance of the season-opening event on Friday.
In the short amount of time you have been coaching this group, what have you seen as its biggest strength?
"They have all bought in. It's amazing that this team has become so cohesive under a new coach and a new set of philosophies and ideas."
As a first-year head coach, what have you brought to the pool that the student-athletes may not have seen before?
"I'm a low-yardage coach.. My philosophy centers around the idea that is not the number of yards, but how hard you work at the yards you do. There is not a yard that I haven't thought about the purpose of, because training with a purpose and pushing to be the best you can be every day usually makes you better than your peers. That's just the way it usually works out."
Are their cornerstones to your training approach?
"To me, the training has to be relevant for the individual and meaningful for the entire team. I like taking a multi-faceted approach to training. There are physiological, mental, confidence, team environment and other aspects. I tell them every day, train with purpose, race with passion."
What do you expect out of your duel schedule this season?
"I'll say this; everything we do is tailored for the students-athletes to peak at the Mountain West Championships. We work for the entire year to be in the best possible condition when it matters most."
Has anything surprised you in your first few months as head coach?
"I have found the people at this University, from the swimmers all the way up to athletics administration, to be more competent at and enthusiastic about their jobs than any other place I have been."
Has anyone surprised you on an individual basis?
"Everyone, Jojo (Mi) has been such a quiet leader, Luiza (Vieira) can really go, Chavisa (Thaveesupsoonthorn) is such a dynamic swimmer and is so versatile, Kaelie (Reviglio) has worked so hard this offseason and in the lead up to our first events. I knew we had talented swimmers and I saw their desire to work hard from the very get go, but I can honestly say I have been positively surprised by everyone at some point."
From an overall perspective, what do you think you will see out of this group in 2012-13?
"It's hard to say in terms of results, especially because this Friday will the first time I have seen them race, but I know they are working as hard as possible, and as a collective unit as well, to be better than they were last year. We want to win the Mountain West conference in the coming years. I know they believe that it is going to happen if they truly work, and that's wonderful."