Cardinals anxious to begin new season next week

Cardinals anxious to begin new season next week

WASHINGTON – In just one week, the CUA swimming teams will begin their 2011-12 season with a pair of meets.  The Cardinals will host American and George Washington on October 14, and the very next day those same three teams will meet on the campus of American.

Led by Head Coach Paul Waas, CUA had a strong 2010-11 season, culminating with a terrific performance at the Landmark Conference championships, where Waas and his staff were honored as the Women's Coaching Staff of the Year.

"It's a lot of conditioning right now," Waas said in reference to the Cardinals practices.  "Some of the kids came in, in a little bit better shape than the others after the summer, but we're just about up to speed, so we're looking forward to what they can do when we start racing."

Last season then-freshmen Caleb Capozella and Joanna Ladas both won the conference's Swimmer and Rookie of the Year awards.  It was quite a way for those first-year standouts to finish their seasons and Waas is very excited about the talent level of this year's crop of newcomers.

"They've looked great so far," Waas said.  "We've got six freshmen women and five freshmen men. Some of them are ready to contribute at a very high level right off the bat, so we're excited about that, and we're excited about the potential of some of the others who don't have as much experience."

Coming off of a season in which his team accomplished a number of its goals, Waas said the Cardinals look at this year as entirely new. 

"Building on it is one idea, another idea is that every year is a brand new team.  We've got a lot of returners, but the freshmen, and the dynamic will always change, so it's about finding this team's identity and working as hard as we can towards being the best team we can be this year."

While next week's meets are unscored, Waas will be closely watching to see how his team performs and then re-evaluate things before moving forward with the rest of the season.

"Next weekend is a great opportunity for us to just get in and see where we are.  We get to swim every individual event that you would swim at a three-day conference championship style meet, so we get to see where we are."

He added, "We're ready to get racing.  The meets are a lot of fun and they get to show you all the hard work you've put in.  We've got three weeks of practice under our belts, next week it'll be four, and after a month of practices, the kids are ready for meets and we're excited for them."

The meet on Friday, the 14th will get underway beginning at 5 p.m., while Saturday's action begins at noon.

See what else Waas had to say regarding the upcoming season down below.