BOISE, Idaho-Boise State swimming and diving released its 2011-12 schedule, Thursday, including five home dates. The sixth season of Bronco swimming and diving opens at home Oct. 8, with a dual meet against in-state rival Idaho.
"The schedule really came together this year," said head coach Kristin Hill. "We're competing against some of our new conference teams, and we have some really good invitational meets set up. We have some really strong opponents this year. Our girls aren't afraid to compete against top-20 programs and we will always keep teams on our schedule who will challenge us.
The swimmers and divers will split up for the only competitions of November. Head diving coach David Legler will lead his troops to the Wildcat Diving Invitational Nov. 18-20, in Tucson, Ariz. Redshirt senior Amanda Burnett set a then-school record on the platform at the same meet last season. The swimmers will travel west for a duel with Seattle Nov. 19, the third and final meeting of the season with the Redhawks.
The 2011 portion of the Broncos' schedule wraps up Dec. 1-3, at the Missouri Invitational for the third-consecutive season. Nine teams, including the host Tigers, will join Boise State in Columbia, Mo. The Broncos improved on a fourth-place finish in 2009 to take second at the 2010 invitational. The team will take part in long-course meters time trials Sunday, Dec. 4, as the Broncos look to build on their already-impressive five Olympic Trials qualifiers.
"We have at least six swimmers who can qualify for Olympic Trials or earn an additional cut during the season," said Hill. "We want to provide the right opportunities for them to get those, so that they're not waiting for April, May and June. We want to have them well-prepared for the meet, rather than qualifying at the very end. It's fun to go, but it's even more fun to do well when you're there."
The Broncos return to competition at the end of their winter training trip to Southern California. Boise State looks to avenge its only loss of last season with a dual meet Jan. 4, at UCLA. The Bruins and Broncos will meet again, Jan. 7, at the San Diego Relays. The Broncos won the relay meet in 2011.
The dual-meet season wraps up with home competitions against Oregon State (Jan. 21) and Colorado State (Jan. 28). The return of Big Splash is scheduled for Jan. 21, when the Broncos welcome the Beavers to the West YMCA. After a year hiatus, members of the Boise State football team will once again take to the pool for a diving competition. The Broncos will honor six seniors at the final home meet against the Rams.
The Broncos' first trip to the Mountain West Championships will be Feb. 22-25, in Oklahoma City. Boise State was picked by the conference coaches to finish second, behind defending champion San Diego State. Another long-course time trial meet will follow the championships, Sunday, Feb. 26.
Boise State looks to return to national meets in both swimming and diving, after making the program debut at the NCAA Zone Diving Championships and the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships. Zones, the qualifying meet for the NCAA Championships, will be held March 9-11, at Colorado Springs, Colo. The NCAA Championships take place the following week, March 15-17, at Auburn, Ala.