Alabama dives into NCAA men's championships

Alabama dives into NCAA men's championships

The swimming team will go into the 2016 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championship fully rested. UA Athletics

The swimming season comes to a close with the men’s section of the 2016 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championship.

The majority of the Crimson Tide swimmers have been to the meet before and know what to expect. Senior Brett Walsh said he knows what’s coming and he’s prepared.

At such a high level of competition, experience helps athletes keep their emotions in check.

“I think you have to take one day as it comes,” Walsh said. “You can’t think about tomorrow or yesterday. It’s not going to help you for what you have to do today. I think that’s the biggest key. You can’t let that define who you are.”

Alabama is doing something unusual. It began its tapering process in early January. The tapering process is when the amount of training has decreased. This helps the swimmers be more rested for the finals.

“It’ll be the first time that we can see what we can do fully rested and fully shaved," Walsh said. "It’ll be a surprise to all of us, I think, how fast we can actually go."

However, with the Olympics coming up this summer, this year's NCAA meet is different. Walsh said some of the swimmers didn’t begin to taper when the rest of the team did because they are starting to prepare for the Rio games. Sophomore Christopher Reid is also one of the swimmers who will compete in the Olympic trials later this year.

“I’m more rested now than what I was for SECs, so I’m expecting to swim a lot faster, but I’m going to go out and give it my best shot," Reid said. "I have to do what other guys are doing and going tough."

The Crimson Tide diving team is also sending one man to compete, junior Brent Sagert. This is Sagert’s first time competing in the NCAA meet.

“I’m assuming it is going to be like the conference championships. I’m trying to keep the same process going and keep being relaxed,” said Sagert. “I feel I can dive like I did in the last two meets [The SECs and NCAA Zone B Championship] I’ll have a great shot at reaching my goals.”

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