By DANNY P. SMITH
It's the hope of Shockwave Aquatic Swim Team coach Robert Gonzalez that the Coca-Cola Fall Invitational will be bigger in year two.
Steps have been taken for that to be the case Saturday at the Sanderson Center on the Mississippi State campus.
Improvements have been made to the timing and scoreboard system at the pool to create a better atmosphere for the meet. A polo event afterward and preview music for the finals has also been introduced.
"There are a couple of new things we are trying out this year to make it more swimmer friendly," Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez is happy about the fact that three more programs have been added to the field.
Teams from Delta State, Vicksburg and Meridian will join the Sunkist Swim Team, the Mississippi Makos, Swim Columbus and the other branch of Shockwave for the fun this year.
"We're projecting that this will be the largest meet ever for our program," Gonzalez said. "We already have a little over 200 swimmers registered and signed up. We're looking forward to it and I think it will be a competitive swim meet. Teams are bringing large numbers so it's going to be a tight competitive meet. It should be a lot of fun and something we can do to enhance our meet, keep teams coming back and continue to expand in the future."
Gonzalez is anxious to see how his team will perform at close to full strength.
After only taking 20 swimmers to the Makos meet in Flowood, the Shockwave will have 50 competing Saturday.
"For 30 of those 50, it will be their first meet," Gonzalez said.
The action starts Saturday at 11 a.m.