Feb. 15, 2010
MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin women's swimming and diving head coach Eric Hansen offered a preview of this week's Big Ten championships Monday, addressing the media as part of UW Athletics' weekly news conference.
Archived video of Hansen's session, as well as a full transcript of his remarks, is available below.
▪ Hansen previews Big Ten championships
HANSEN: Thank you. We finished our season, our dual meet season two weeks ago in the Quad Duals with Purdue, Illinois, Minnesota, and ourselves, and we ended on a positive note. We ended up winning each one of those dual meets. And since then, we had an inter-squad that was just for the team and the staff, and it was very, very impressive. As always, our main focus will be the NCAA championships, which will be a month after our Big Ten championships in the same place, which is West Lafayette. So although the Big Ten championships is a lead-up to our NCAA championships, the week of the meet we take it very seriously and we're going to see what we can do. But we talk a lot about breaking new ground and doing things that haven't been done. And I think this group of women knows that they're capable of kind of redefining what success in the pool is here at this institution, and they've made it known that they have that have that expectation. So I'm really looking forward to our final two meets.
QUESTION #1: You talked about this team reaching new heights. Does that mean that this team could possibly win the Big Ten championship?
HANSEN: That's a possibility. We were in the middle of a team meeting on Saturday prior to our workout, and I'm pretty general. My philosophy is buy into what we're doing because I get a lot of kids that are very developmental and they take bigger steps than I think they really believe they can take.
And I got midway through what I was trying to say, and a couple hands went up and they kind of took the meeting over and told me what they were going to do and how they were going to it. And that, that's ownership to me, and I'm excited about that. We can show them the way, but they're the ones that have to execute, and they feel very strongly about what they're capable of. So I'm really looking forward to seeing that.
QUESTION #2: Eric, you had freshmen step up the past couple of years at Big Tens. Maggie Meyer two years ago, Ashley Wanland and Beckie Thompson last year. Is there anyone people should have an eye on this year as far as the freshmen on the team?
HANSEN: I think there's two freshmen right now that are going to play very important roles, and hopefully will come back as All Americans. Number one is a local, Ruby Martin from Madison East. She's just been phenomenal. And then we have another girl, Laura from Portland, Laura Miller, and she's very versatile.
And we have four of five are phenomenal relays, that I honestly think they're going to have a shot at NCAAs in four of those five. In this fifth one, we had two freshmen come in and fill in and I think they're going to surprise me, and I think they're going to surprise themselves, too. So you know it's a good team when your relays are going to have a shot at the highest level, and that's something that we haven't had. And then when you have relays like that, you have individuals that are going to come out of those, and also vie for national championships, too. So it's going to be a lot of, it's going to be very interesting.
QUESTION #3: Maggie (Meyer) has obviously had a great year so far. What are her goals? Have you talked about what she could possibly do at the Big Ten meet?
HANSEN: She keeps her goals pretty close to her, between herself and myself, and both at the NCAA level and internationally. But let's just say that she expects to be the very best immediately. And with having her named to the U.S. National A team and Ashley Wanland, that not only helped them but it helped our team, too, because they now that they train, they compete, and are part of, of this big thing that's continuing to, to produce kids like that. And once you make the U.S. National team, you are one of the best in the world and the next step is to prove it, and that's what we're about to do.