Two days ago, Pete Accardy, coach of the Cal State Northridge swim team, sat down with members of his men's team and told them to prepare to be humiliated.
A unique coaching strategy?
Well, let's just say Accardy is a realist.
He knows that about the only chance Northridge has of defeating Cal State Bakersfield at the California Collegiate Athletic Assn. meet this weekend is if the Roadrunners get lost on the way to the pool.
And since the meet will be held at Bakersfield beginning today, that seems highly unlikely.
There are two reasons for Accardy' pessimistic view:
Bakersfield swimmers will be shaved and rested for the CCAA meet, while those from Northridge are not. Secondly, the Roadrunners are probably better anyway. Bakersfield, the defending NCAA Division II champion, is ranked No. 1 again this season.
Which means, all things considered, that Northridge probably will be in for a rough go throughout the four-day meet.
"We have to concentrate on what we need to do individually and forget about what they're doing," Accardy said.
The Northridge men's team, which placed third in the nation last season, has set a goal of qualifying at least three more swimmers for the Division II finals in Buffalo, N.Y., which begin March 9. The Matadors already have 11 swimmers and a diver who have met qualifying standards.