Team Blog: Swimming & Diving Visits Puerto Rico

Team Blog: Swimming & Diving Visits Puerto Rico

January 2
We started the morning off with our usual long course practice. The coaches separated us into different groups based off stroke. We stretched out after with yoga led by Mitch (Posk).  Some of the swimmers took advantage of our last couple days of sun and worked on their tans at the beach. The time flew by and we found ourselves back at the pool. Kristy took it easy on us and we stretched out with a long ladder set. I think everyone could tell we were tired. The lifeguards looked liked they were contemplating saving me. We then spent some quality time with our grade at class dinners. Each class went to a different restaurant. We all stayed local and the first-years went to one called Lucky 13. Our bond became even tighter and we continued to hang out after dinner with Alex Damiecki's amazing muffins for dessert. Tomorrow is our last day of training trip and even though I will miss the sun, my muscles couldn't be any happier for a brief break from doubles.

-Tirza Rentovich '20

January 1
The Babson Swimming & Diving team started out the new year with a bang. Fireworks on the beach helped us ring in the new year. After a one-set morning practice, the team went on an excursion to Cascades de Gozalandia (Waterfalls of Gozalandia).

The highlight of the day was indubitably the 8-meter ledge most of the team took the time to jump off of numerous times. We watched as the locals did ridiculous aerial maneuvers (see below). Our divers were feeling some type of way so our very own senior captain and NCAA Regional Qualifying diver, Paris Ekman took to the ledge to show her stuff.

A few members of our team were not thrilled by the idea of waterfall jumping, so they sought adventure down river. Led by Alex Dameicki (First-Year), a secondary excursion unfolded. The group traversed rocky, slippery terrain for about a mile before conditions forced them to turn around. They even tried to catch fish by hand. Team studs and part-time photographers, Mitchell Posk (Junior), Kenneth Mun (Sophomore), and Alex Grant (Junior) documented the events that unfolded.

As you can see, the first day of the 2017 was certainly a day to remember. We're sleepy. We're sore, but we're bonding as a team like never before.

-Alex Grant '18

December 31
For this morning's practice we split into groups: the people who swam the five required practices before we left for break and those who didn't. Luckily I fell into the first group. Our practice wasn't easy, but it was definitely a step up from the distance IM set the other group received.

In the afternoon we did a fun practice. After a warm up we broke into heats and did a series of get-out swims. The winner of each heat was exempt from the next set. To finish practice we all received a diving lesson from coach Jim and were allowed to go off the platforms. This was very exciting, as every year prior we had begged to go off the platforms and diving boards. I wasn't brave enough to jump from the 10 meter, but a few of our boys took the plunge.

The evening ended with our traditional team dinner and secret santa gift swap. This is always a fun time, as the team receives a variety of comical gifts. Following dinner the team rang in the new year together by watching the firework show from the beach.

It's hard to believe that our training trip is almost over. For our seniors, this training trip is bittersweet as it's the last time we will be ringing in the New Year with the team in Puerto Rico. This realization usually leads to a few nostalgic New Year's tears. That being said, the annual training trip always reinforces our strong team bond and re-invigorates us for the upcoming NEWMAC Championships.

-Madeline Dupre '17

December 30
After yesterday's tough test set, we woke up to a nice morning practice. We did a lot of drill work, and it was great to let our muscles recover after a long couple days of double sessions. We did some sets with our gear (snorkels, fins, paddles, etc.) and even got some time to film with the go-pro. We also did a much needed group stretch after practice on the deck under the sun. Mitch (Posk) led us, as everyone stretched out all of their tight muscles. Although morning practice was pretty laid back, we knew that it wouldn't be so easy later this afternoon.

During the day, we spent some more time under the sun at the beach. There is a water sports stand next to our hotel, and a group of our swimmers decided to go on a banana boat ride. They got pulled around the ocean by a boat and even got flipped off a few times. It looked like a lot of fun!

In the afternoon, our predictions came true, as it was a pretty tough practice. We were split up into sprint, mid-distance, and distance groups to do stations. There was one station of dry-land, one of parachutes, and one of pace. The stations were definitely challenging, but we got though them twice (even in the pouring rain!).

For dinner, most of us decided to go to a local restaurant down the street. We had some delicious Empanadillas and other Spanish food. It was nice to get to spend some more time with the team and eat some great food after a long day.

Tomorrow is our last day of practice in 2016, and we can't wait to see what 2017 holds for Babson Swim & Dive!

-Olivia Gilbert '19

December 29
On Day 2, we began to get into our rhythm. After our 7 am wake-up call, we started the day with long-course practice, and while the less fortunate distance swimmers suffered through the two hours, the rest of us enjoyed our practice. Next, we lifted using our strength and conditioning coach's workouts, and then went back to the hotel and, in our time off from the sunny pool, spent a couple of hours at the beach.

While morning practice was relatively enjoyable, afternoon practice was quite the opposite. After a long warm-up, we swam a "test set," which consisted of multiple rounds of various distances swam at race-like paces. Cramps, groans, and sheer exhaustion swept over the pool. However, the rewarding feeling after finishing and hearing the coaches' praise made it all worth it.

After arriving back at the hotel, we ventured out for dinner to a taco stand that, sadly, was closed. Luckily, we found a knockoff Chipotle, where we shocked the employees by how much food we ate: one of them told Ross it was the largest burrito he's ever seen. I guess our athlete-sized portions are a little different.

Now, I'm off to bed to recover for tomorrow morning to do it all over again!

-Adam Kershner '19

December 28
Today I woke up to the relaxing noise of the waves on the shore and the beautiful Puerto Rico sunrise very excited to get back into the swimming groove.  The pool facilities were perfect for our training; providing us with more than ample room, only having one or two people in each lane. No crashing into other swimmers due to having a crowded pool!  After our first practice we were able to have some fun in the sun at the beach.  The water is pleasantly warm and refreshing. Overall it has been a great team bonding experience from the moment we landed in San Juan.

-Michael Cerny '20