Over winter break, the men and women’s swim team dived into an outdoor pool in sunny Miami, Fla. for an intense week of training.
“Miami was a great trip. It was a bonding trip and a chance to get two-a-day practices in so that the team could get in really good shape,” head coach Mike Kernicky said.
“They’ve been training since September. It was a nice break to get outside and have fun in the sun. It broke up the long season and got everyone’s spirit renewed and refreshed for the end of the season,” assistant coach Derek Kay said. “Not to mention, they made all their friends off the team jealous of their tans.”
Practices were strenuous and pushed the men and women on the swim team beyond their limits. The team swam a long course practice in a 50 meter pool in the morning and then dived back into the pool for a short course practice in a 25 yard pool later in the day. On average the team swam 10,000 yards a day which equates to 400 laps a day.
The team trained hard in and out of the water. In addition to swimming 400 laps on average a day, the team weight trained and ran on the beach.
The training trip to Miami was the first training trip the men and women’s swim team ever experienced. Kernicky anticipates seeing the benefits of the trip shine through over the next year. He also explained that the training trip is not only beneficial to the swimmers physically and mentally but said that it is hard to get great recruits without a training trip like Miami.
The training trip was not all work and no play. Saturday was the team’s only day off and they spent the day getting a taste of Miami. They went to South Beach and went shopping.
Assistant coach Tori DeLollo said, “Friends that weren’t friends before are now closer. The trip really helped with team unity.”
Kernicky agreed that the trip was especially positive because the team got away from friends and family and was able to just focus on bonding with the team. The team came back wanting to train more and be a closer team
The trip was a great experience for the men’s swim team as well. There were men on the team that have not been in the water in a while and it helped them get back into the “stroke” of things.
“Two guys in particular worked really hard and have had significant time drops. The coaching team expects that trend for everyone throughout the rest of the season,”Kay said.
Kay added that both sophomore English and communication major Chris Alig and senior accounting major John Kolesnik really benefited from the training trip.
On the women’s swim team Kernicky said that freshman Gina Nicotera and freshman elementary education major Andrea Carabello both really stood up to the challenge and worked the hardest.
The captain of the women’s swim team, junior elementary education major Christina Clark, said, “The whole team worked really hard and put forth a lot of effort. The team became more like a family than just teammates. I think everyone is looking forward to next year’s training trip, especially since there is the possibility that it may be in Puerto Rico.”