Quick recap after a 13 day training trip.
1) New England Blizzard messes up most of our travel plans and causes about 10 athletes to arrive to Florida 2 days late (along with too many airport runs after midnight to mention!). However our team is finally back together with 8 returning from a semester abroad!
2) Florida weather. 75 degrees and sunny the whole time. It was perfect for training and coming together as a program. I can't remember a team responding so well to the countless challenges I threw at them. They have never worked harder in the preseason, or over the first 5 weeks of the season, and I am guessing that had something to do with their success.
3) Flew home right after what many believe was our "poopiest" practice of the season - and arrived late Wednesday night. Friday we jumped back in for a doubles - with an absolutely fantastic nutrition talk by our wellness coordinator Mike Milliken in between workouts. The talk was scheduled for an hour, and lasted two. Needless to say the team learned a lot, and asked a ton of questions. I think it will make a difference as they eat better during our final push, and then adjust things accordingly as we taper.
4) Drove 4 hours to Norwich and walked away with two victories and 3 pool records! Catherine Sparks' 50 breast (31.4), and both 800 Freestyle Relays. Women's relay was Elle Sergi (2:01), Charlotte Green (2:01), Kara Leasure (2:03), and Emilie Geissinger (1:59). The men's was Sammy Schadt (1:52), Won Ho Chang (1:49), Nick Karlson (1:55), and Tom Boniface (1:48). Dan Aupi also went 55.7 in the 100 IM and missed the pool record by a tenth.
5) Drove another 90 minutes north to Middlebury the next day and mixed up our line up a bit as injury and illness has introduced itself, especially to our men's program. However, some tremendous highlights included.
1) Tara Dugan and Kara Leasure one-two the mile. Tara's 18:12 is Number 1 in the conference!
2) Charlotte and Geissinger both drop under 2:00 in the 200 and Charlotte wins with a 1:57.0.
3) Tom Boniface pulls another "last minute surgery" and saves the race on the last lap winning with a 1:47.9 (a breakthrough swim for sure).
4) Pat Carrol goes 22.7 in the 50 - an in-season LTB.
5) Dan Aupi wins the 100 back with a 54.3 - another in-season best
6) Zingale swims her most aggressive 100 fly at Bates showing the team she is on a mission.
7) Moore and Sparkles come up huge in the 100 breast with a 1:10 from Amanda and 1:09 from Catherine (3rd in the conference!)
8) Elle Sergi and Emilie Giessinger one-two the 50 free.
9) Won Ho Chang beats the defending national champion and national record holder in the 200 fly with a time of 1:56, tops in the conference.
10) Kara Leasure went a lifetime best, set a new school record, and posted the second fastest time in the conference in the 200 breast! (2:27.8)
6) We wrapped the weekend up with a (traditional) drive through a Vermont blizzard going 20 mph for 90 minutes - and then another 5 hours at regular speed listening to the team play "would you rather...", attempt to produce "Northeast Charter Bus Idol," and then finally break into a-cappella renditions of American Pie and Don't Stop Believing.
Truly an amazing 13 days together.