Nebraska swimming and diving has 22 members on its team, a smaller number compared to the 28 members on the previous year’s team.
While this can pose a challenge, diver Reagan Hinze said the Huskers need to support each other throughout the season.
“We are kind of small this year, so just being able to go to anybody on the team if we need it, being able to rely on the team to cheer you up if you’re not necessarily in the best mindset on game day,” Hinze said.
The Huskers opened the season with the annual Scarlet vs. Cream Intrasquad Meet at the Devaney Center Natatorium on Wednesday, Sept. 21. The Cream team came out on top with a score of 91, and the Scarlet team was not far behind with a score of 89.
Swimmer and captain Berkeley Livingston said the intrasquad meet helped the team set expectations for the season.
“It really helps with setting the standard for the team atmosphere and what we expect out of everybody on deck,” Livingston said.
For Hinze, the intrasquad meet allowed the Huskers an opportunity to see how they perform under pressure.
“Performance-wise, it really helps putting the pressure situation on because that’s when the nerves get the best of you,” Hinze said. “It’s not just practice.”
Livingston competed in the 200 meter individual medley, 200 meter medley relay and 100 meter butterfly events for the Scarlet team at the intrasquad meet. She finished first in individual medley and third in butterfly. Hinze competed for the Cream team, and she scored the most points in the diving events.
Livingston said the intrasquad meet showed her that she could compete through fatigue.
“It’s surprising that we all did so well with this being so soon,” Livingston said.
On the diving side, Hinze said she learned she could make good take-offs but still needed to improve on coming out of the dive.
Nebraska next competes against South Dakota State on Oct. 7 in Brookings, South Dakota. The Huskers’ schedule this season includes meets against Iowa State, Minnesota and Omaha.
Between now and the first competition against a different school, Livingston and Hinze said the team needs to focus on fundamentals, technique and continuing to support one another.
“Just really focus on lifting each other up at practice,” Livingston said. “Keeping a good positive attitude.”
Last year, the Huskers finished the season with seven wins and one loss. One Nebraska swimmer made it to the NCAA finals in three events, placing in the top 30 spots in two events.
This year, Nebraska has a lot to prove because the team is smaller. Livingston said Nebraska’s swimmers and divers need to stay confident when facing bigger teams.
“I think we just need to remember we are a D1 Big Ten school,” Livingston said. “We deserve to be here.”
Check out some of the sights and sounds from the annual Scarlet vs. Cream Intrasquad Meet below.