Jan. 6, 2013
January 4, 2013
Second update from Hawaii finds the team in good spirits. The sun finally came out yesterday! We spent our first two days here swimming practices under one never-ending rainstorm, so when the rain subsided, we were more than motivated to take advantage. We only had around two hours of strong sun in between practices, but I think every single member of the team managed to sunburn him or herself to some degree, which I would say is a pretty impressive feat. It took a lengthy game of catch with a Frisbee, a football, and some other projectiles to turn most of us red. Others required less. I think Luke Bushman burned walking across the street to buy sunscreen. Even the legendary Josh Hall showed up to afternoon practice with a bit of a reddish tint. He’s putting in some extra sun time this year because he knows I’m working to out-tan him by the end of the trip.
And while we’re enjoying the Hawaii sun out of the pool, our training has also heated up. The sprint group tackled the annual Fishburn set a few days ago. A good rule of thumb for swimming training: if a set has a name attached to it, it’s probably a tough one. Fishburn is a set that all of our training groups will do at some point during the trip; it adds up to 3500 yards of freestyle that starts in the strong-aerobic range and ends in the swing-your-arms-as-fast-as-you-can-so-you-can-just-make-the-interval range. The sprinters set a nice tone for the rest of team with some great performances on the set, notably freshman Greg Norsten and sophomore Max Cartwright successfully tackling a very fast interval and senior Ben Griggs, mostly known for his sprinting prowess (and his chiseled beach bod), throwing down an impressive time on the final 500. Those of us in the mid-distance and IM groups get to look forward to that set tonight.
But while the sprint group was ‘Fishburning’, we’ve been putting together some nice swims as well. This morning the stroke specialists did a series of 100s in our primary strokes, holding the best average possible. When all was said and done, we’d put in just under a mile of fast specialty stroke, no easy task for a bunch of breaststrokers and butterflyers. On the very last repeat of the set, Josh Hall and Tori Siminec managed to break a minute from a push, swimming breast and fly respectively. CJ Smith has had several nice sets with the milers, who have been doing crazy things like descending and negative splitting 900s. Coach Purdy’s IM group put up its own noteworthy performances this week, with Luke Bushman and Brandon Hatanaka clocking 1:52s on 200 IMs from a push at the tail end of a particularly challenging IM set.
Every few days in Hawaii we depart from our schedule of two-a-days and swim one practice in the morning, leaving us the afternoon free to hit some of our favorite beaches that are outside of walking distance. Our first single day will be tomorrow, something my group is looking forward to after 4 straight days of doubles. It’s also perfect timing, as there is a football game that’s moderately important to many of us going on that day. Since last week’s upset Vikings victory, I think I’ve talked more trash than I once thought humanly possible to resident Packer fans Haley Spencer, Carl Newenhouse, and Danny Brebrick. (Felix Samuels claims to be a Packer fan as well, but we all know he’s just a bandwagonner). Unfortunately, the Viking-Packer rematch in the first round of the playoffs starts at 3 in the afternoon here – a time slot that we often spend swimming. So an uneasy alliance between the Vikings fans and Packer fans was formed earlier this week to request that the coaches try to work our practices around the game a bit. I think we had at least one member of the coaching staff on board too, as Ryan Purdy certainly wants to see what will, in all likelihood, be his Packers’ last game of the season. Thankfully, the schedule broke right for us, so Saturday’s single is definitely something to look forward to.
So far we’ve settled into a pretty solid routine: we wake up and hit the hotel lobby around 5 A.M. A short van ride later, we’re walking into the University of Hawaii pool, our mesh equipment bags slung over our shoulders (except for freshman Logan Redondo, who forgot his mesh bag and has been instead carrying his kickboard, paddles, and zoomers around in a brown garbage bag). A 5:30 A.M. practice might be cause for complaint back home, but when you’re trying to maximize your time in the sun, taking most of it in a place where you won’t get goggle tan lines, early morning training is just the ticket. We’ll spend an hour after practice doing some strength work. Every other day we lift weights in the University strength training room, a nice facility right on the pool deck. And on the non-lifting days we head to the roof of our condo for a dryland circuit led by coaches Steve Miller and Stacy Busack. At our first dryland session, coach/videographer David Plummer joined us for the workout to show us how to do an ideal V-up. After that, it’s a few hours at the beach, then back to the pool for a 2-4 afternoon swim. The evenings are a time to relax, cook a nice dinner, and walk around the strip. Last night was the weekly farmer’s market, where CJ Smith, Sean Nesheim and I bought some shrimp for dinner and some fresh pineapple for dessert.
Well, it’s getting to be about time for me to head back to the pool. I’ll be back to update you in the next few days, provided Fishburn doesn’t finally do me in, and that the Vikings don’t break my heart on Saturday.
Busch Reflects on McCaul Award, Team Energy
The graduating senior is honored to win the award and looks forward to watching his younger teammates next year.
Purdy Named Head Coach at Youngstown State
The longtime Gophers assistant was on staff for five women's Big Ten Championship team victories.
Gideon Louw Promoted to Associate Head Coach
Gophers sprinters have flourished under Louw's tutelage. He will take on additional roles this year.