By: Olivia Wile
Like many University of Findlay students, the UF men’s and women’s swimming and diving team got to enjoy their time away from campus this winter break. This time away, however, was much less of a break.
Traveling back to campus just two days after Christmas, the swimmers got right to work in preparation for their seventh annual training trip. After training in Findlay for two days, the team departed for Fort Lauderdale, Fl. on Dec. 29. to train for nine days.
Senior Austin Stevens explains why his team’s trip to the Sunshine State is not merely a vacation.
“Training trip is a week to really focus on just training without having other things interfere with it,” stated Stevens. “It really gives us a chance to focus in and get some really good work in before we go back to school.”
Stevens says his freshman year training trip has been his favorite, though this year he got to feed iguanas.
“I was still new to the team, so I bonded with a lot of people during it,” said Stevens about his first trip. “We also did a lot of cool activities like snorkeling and going to the Everglades, but I didn’t feed an iguana that year.”
Head Coach Andrew Makepeace emphasizes that training trips allows his team to both bond and focus on their training.
“The biggest reason is just to train in a tropical location and build team chemistry,” Makepeace said. “You’re able to focus solely on training and enjoying time with teammates.”
Team Captain and junior Hanna Cederholm also believes this week provides a chance for her team to get better both in and out of the water.
“I think training trip brings us together because we get to hang out in a different environment than school and we get to room with different people,” said Cederholm. “We practice so, so hard and we all come together because we make it through together.”
As for her favorite trip, Cederholm says this year has been the best.
“I liked where we practiced, and where we were. I also liked the activities we did as a team.”
After going on four Florida training trips with her team to Boca Raton, Clearwater and Fort Lauderdale, senior Jenna Dasher comments on how difficult these trips can be.
“They’re all very different, but I think the more you go on, the more you know what to expect, but at the same time, they still hit you like a truck,” said Dasher.
Like Cederholm and Stevens, Dasher enjoys watching her team come together during the intense training.
“Just getting to see my teammates get pushed to the absolute maximum, how they get through it and getting to be apart of it is my favorite,” said Dasher.
The swim team is back in action at home this Friday at 5 p.m. as they take on Grand Valley State University. With only around a month left in the season, the team looks forward to securing two more team titles at the GMAC Conference Championship meet in February.