July 15, 2014
Summer Blog #4: Swim Meet of Champions | Written by Kiera Janzen
A few weekends ago, a group of Gopher women and men traveled to sunny Mission Viejo, California for the annual TYR Fran Crippen Swim Meet of Champions, which is called SMOC for short. Our team has been traveling to this meet for years, and it is always a lot of fun in and out of the water.
The meet now serves as a memorial for Fran Crippen, an American swimmer whose legacy as an athlete and a person is recognized throughout the swimming community. Unlike most of the meets that we travel to, SMOC is unique in that we stay with host families. Families from the Mission Viejo club team take us in for the weekend and provide us with home cooked meals, comfortable beds, and a relaxing, homey atmosphere.
We all had a blast getting to know and spending time with our host families, and many of us had chances to explore the area when we weren't swimming. In-N-Out Burger, local beaches, and even Disneyland were some of our favorite spots.
The weekend was a very fun one in the pool, as well.
The meet ran Thursday through Sunday, with distance events (800 free for the women and 1500 free for the men) on Thursday evening and prelims and finals sessions on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Swimming outside was a nice change of pace, and a number of top competitors from around the country and the world provided numerous opportunities for great racing.
Across the board, we posted many in-season best times and a few lifetime best times, all of which are good indicators of the hard work that we have been doing and the awesome performances that are to come at our end of the long course season taper meets.
Now back in Minneapolis, we are continuing to train and prepare for the final meets of the summer.
We're looking forward to Speedo Sectionals and various national and international meets in the coming weeks.
All of us here hope that you're having a wonderful summer! Go Gophers!
About Kiera Janzen
Class of 2015
Distance Freestyle Swimmer
Hometown: White Bear Lake, Minn.
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