It will be a busy weekend for the Ball State women's swimming and diving team. They will travel to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio to compete for the second time this season after losing a meet there earlier in the year against the host RedHawks.
The Cardinals will compete in the Miami Invitational, the largest invitational of the season, from Friday through Sunday. Fifteen other schools are scheduled to compete at the three-day event.
"We're just treating this event like any other invitational. It's not the most important meet of the year, the Mid-American Conference Championships are," head coach Laura Seibold-Caudill said. "However, some of the Division III schools in this tourney have been tapering for the event because they must do well to qualify for their National Finals."
Division I opponents such as Michigan State, Indiana University, the University of Cincinnati, Miami (Ohio), Northern Illinois and the Illinois diving team will all be competing at Oxford.
Several of the top Division 3 programs will compete at Oxford this weekend as well. Seibold-Caudill said among the competitors is Kenyon College who has a top Division III program that has dominated their circuit for nearly 15 years.
"This meet is important because it is a preview of the MAC Championships," Senior Elizabeth Phillips said. "We all have to be enthusiastic and stay positive because there will be a lot of fast competition there."
The Miami Invitational also marks the halfway point of the swimming season. After this weekend the team will not compete again until Jan. 3
Twenty events will be held each day at the invitational, starting with the 200-yard free relay which will begin at 9:30 on Friday morning. The coach said this will make for a grueling and tiresome affair for most Cardinal swimmers.
"My goal for this meet is to get an idea of where everyone is at and see how they handle swimming while fatigued," Seibold-Caudill said. "I will get a chance to see if they can continue their routines."
"We can not get bummed out if we fall behind," freshman Tara Zimmer said. "It's important to stay pumped up and swim our best throughout the entire meet."