Hawaiian Training Trip Blog
Dec. 18, 2017

Training Trip Info / @PurdueWSwim Instagram

Purdue swimming & diving is spending the holiday season in Honolulu. The Boilermakers' winter training trip features daily two-a-day practices and other adventures around the island of O'ahu. Selected student-athletes will be writing daily blog posts about the once in a lifetime experience. Also check out the @PurdueWSwim Instagram account for daily student-athlete takeovers featuring photos from the day.

Saturday, Jan. 6 -- Morgan Meixner & Lexi Vincent / Photos

Sup y'all - it's your resident Boiler besties, Morgan and Lexi, here to conclude our crazy Hawaiian vacation! First off, we'd like to thank everyone from Purdue (Dar, coaches, etc.) for making this unbelievable trip possible. Thanks to our parents for putting us through sports in the first place so that we were able to get good enough to come to Purdue, which in turn led to this trip. Also, thanks to them for the fun gifts!

And now onto the fun stuff. The divers started their day with a 3:30 a.m. wake-up call after less than three hours of sleep to head back to LAX and get on the flight home that had been delayed 10 hours. Although we were exhausted from traveling and just wanted to be home, we made the most of our morning (showing the Soldati clan the beauty of snapchat filters). And before we knew it, we landed in Chitown. We weren't done traveling yet though, as we had to board a bus to get back to West Lafayette. We made it back to LaLa at 4 p.m. (more than 6 hours later than planned) and loaded up our cars, where some of us went to our houses on campus and others actually went home. What a beautiful thing it was to be greeted back home by our furry pets. But, what a day it had been! Over 30+ hours of frustrating travel, and the Boiler divers were back home - only to be greeted by freezing cold temperatures and school in two days!!!

To finish off this post, Lex and I thought it'd be fun to sum up some of our best memories of Oahu:
1. SKYDIVING!! - Jumping out of a plane 14,200 feet. up in the air over the North Shore, freefalling for over 60 seconds - stop by the food trucks while you're over there, too!
2. LANIKAI PILLBOX TRAIL - Two-mile rock climbing hike with a beautiful panoramic view of the southeast side of the island, where we checked out two different military bunkers from WWII.
3. LEONARD'S BAKERY - The BEST malasadas the world has to offer (you can't go just once).
4. MAKAPU'U BEACH - By far the BEST waves to body surf on, although you'll leave with a diaper butt full of sand and a few cuts & bruises.
5. TANTALUS SUNSET - Prettiest view of the sunset on the island.
6. SPITTING CAVES - Go for the sunset!! A few of us also manned up and jumped off a 13-meter cliff into the crashing waves below.
7. PEARL HARBOR - If you've never been you need to go. Some of us toured the USS Bowfin sub, while others toured the USS Arizona & Missouri. Although we all learn about the bombing of Pearl Harbor in school, it doesn't compare to actually seeing the rich history in person.

8. ELECTRIC BEACH - If you're looking for a pretty gnarly place to snorkel and see some turtles and fishies (and maybe dolphins too), this is the place for you!! Guaranteed turtle sightings!
9. MANOA FALLS - Hiked up this trail with another dive team where we were greeted by a waterfall at the end of the hike; some of us got underneath the waterfall and it made for some pretty cool pictures.
10. GERMAINE'S LUAU - It's a must that you go to a luau while in Hawaii! The food, the dancing, the overall atmosphere - all give you the best representation of Hawaiian culture.

Friday, January 5th -- Samm Reese

What's up Boilers. It's your one and only senior diver Samm Reese here to update you on the near end of our training trip to Hawaii! Today the Boiler divers are sadly departing the amazing island of Oahu. We were so grateful to have the opportunity to train in such an amazing place and made the best memories with the best people. With the amazing trip wrapping up, you know the Boiler divers couldn't travel back home to good ole West Lafayette without doing it with some style...

As you may know, the Boiler divers have not had the best luck when it comes to traveling on this trip. We were looking to change that luck on this trip home and bring some of that Hawaii sunshine back to Purdue! Our travel plans started off very smoothly. We departed the condos at 9:30 a.m. in our three vans with everyone arriving safe and sound at the airport. Everyone was able to get through security and board the 12:30 p.m. flight with zero problems. This was looking very promising for us and we were very excited to be on our way!

We arrived in Los Angeles about 8 p.m. and were scheduled to take off for Chicago at midnight. Once we landed in Los Angeles, a few divers were looking at the departure flights only to realize that our four-hour layover (which we already thought was long) would be extended to a surprise overnight stay as our flight was delayed until 6:15 a.m.! Hungry and tired, we fueled up with some Panda Express, burgers, and sandwiches to prepare for a short night's sleep at the Aloft Hotel.

Although morals may have been low at that point in the trip, the Boiler divers rallied and prepared to wake up at 3:30 a.m. for our flight home. We are hoping for some better luck in the morning and can't wait to be reunited with the rest of the team safely back in West Lafayette!

Thursday, Jan. 4 -- Joe Cifelli

Today is our last full day in Hawaii. After a windy practice this morning at 7 a.m., the man behind the muscles (Ryan Lehman) absolutely destroyed our abs. We were able to refresh ourselves with a solid açaí bowl (or 2, or 3--no shame here) and then headed to Makapu'u Beach. We've done a lot of hiking and training over the past 10 days, so we were all ready to just lay on the beach and relax for the final day of our training trip.

We spent about two hours in the water getting crushed by waves that were about four to five feet high, but luckily using our diving skills we were able to dodge a decent amount of them. After a few kicks to the face and hard hits from the waves, we decided to fall asleep on the beach for another hour in the 80-degree weather.

Once we woke up, we headed to Spitting Caves for a little bit of cliff jumping (don't worry, we just watched) and got to see the sunset. We finished the night off with a nice team dinner and a couple more hours walking around Waikiki to take it all in.

Couldn't be more grateful for an incredible training trip!!

Wednesday, Jan. 3 -- Jake Thomas / Photos

What's up Boilers. This is Jake Thomas, your favorite townie from the men's team reporting on our last full day in Hawaii. The day started out like the rest - I was woken up at 5 a.m. by the invasive noises of the Nahua Street trash truck. Even though it's been annoying to be woken up every morning, we are very fortunate that the trash service takes their job very seriously, and is thorough with the upkeep of Waikiki's streets.

After a quick practice and lift, my van hit Kono's Restaurant (Est. 2002) for some breakfast burritos. Then we headed to Makapu'u Beach where most of the men's and women's teams were enjoying their last day on the island.

At the beach, you can usually find me playing spikeball - a fast paced game that requires above average coordination and extremely activate shoulders. Today, I was 5-0 with my teammate Michael Smith, who was a runner-up in the eighth-place game at the 2016 Dana Point spikeball classic. Along with spikeball, the team enjoyed playing in the waves, tossing around the football and taking naps to prepare for the highly anticipated long course meters evening practice.

After a full day at the beach, I always recover with an Açaí bowl from my favorite local health bar. Açaí bowls are very rich in antioxidants and are a great source of fiber. After that, it was time for a quick dip in University of Hawaii's pool for a co-ed practice. After a very wholesome and fulfilling practice, my van ate dinner together and talked about how fun the trip was, and how excited we are to return to the blistering tundra in West Lafayette.

We are all very thankful for such and amazing trip with our teammates and friends. Boiler Up!

Tuesday, Jan. 2 -- Brandon Loschiavo

Hey, Brando here! Today was quite the day of hiking and exploring the beautiful island of O'ahu. We started our day with a water workout and weights after. From there we hit the condos and got all of our gear to hike.

Our first hike was the Pillbox trail, which round trip took us about two hours. The hike was very easy and gave us a beautiful view of the eastern side of the island. The second hike, Tantalus, was a little bit harder and longer to finish. In the end, we were able to watch the beautiful sunset from an old phone tower and then called it a day!

Thanks for reading! Brando out.

Monday, Jan. 1 -- Emily Meaney / Photos

Aloha Boilermaker Ohana! And Happy New Year! This is Aussie diving sophomore Emily Meaney here. What an exciting day for me to be writing the blog - the first day of 2018!

Today started much earlier for us than any other day so far this trip. Midnight to be exact! Most of the team fought exhaustion and managed to stay up until 12 a.m. to see the new year in. And, wow, the fireworks on Waikiki Beach really were a magical start! I've heard many New Year's resolutions going around so far. Let's hope we can keep them up beyond January, Boilers!

After a few hours of sleep the swimmers were back up and ready to celebrate the New Year with a hike up Koko Head to watch the first sunrise of 2018. The Koko Head trail ascended the equivalent of a whopping 63 flights of stairs! That's like walking up to the 10-meter platform 20 times in a row! As a reward, most headed to the Dole Plantation where they devoured mountains of Pineapple Ice-cream, essentially balancing out all those calories that were just burned off!

The divers started the day a little later with a trip to Makapu'u Beach. The drive to and from was incredible with amazing views of the ocean, with multiple lookouts. Some of us took a hike and even saw whales! When we arrived at the beach we made a run straight to the big waves. In an attempt to body surf some 10-footers most of us were continually dumped, but in the pursuit for the insane split seconds where we were riding them we continued. After clearing all the sand we accumulated in our suits from the body surfing, we worked on our tans (or lack thereof!) for the next couple of hours.

To finish of a great day, the divers made their way to Volcano Shakes, which we had been eyeing for the past couple of days. They were incredible! After downing an Oreo and a cookie one between us, we made a quick stop at the local market where we tried to barter and buy some things that will help us remember this beautiful holiday... I mean training trip!

Well that was our New Year's from Hawaii. Ready to make the most of the next few days here in paradise before we depart back to campus and negative-degree weather... Brrrrr.

Excited for the year ahead! Wishing a successful and cheerful year ahead for everyone. Boiler Up!

Sunday, Dec. 31 -- Tim Barth

Hello Boilermaker fans. It's everyone favorite Jersey boy Tim Barth coming at you with a brief look into the day of our van, the Aloha Mobile.

We were blessed by no morning practice and took full advantage to get a great night's sleep only to be woken up by the trash truck at 5 a.m. Some girls took advantage of the morning off with heading down to Sandy Beach (Dan told us not to because it's dangerous) to see an awesome sunrise. We walked down the block for breakfast at Lamill. We returned to the roof of our condo where ate and talked about Nathan Barsanti's life goals for a while (including purchasing a wooden boat).

We decided on heading out to the Ala Moana mall for some quick shopping and walking around to get out of our room. After buying as much Louis Vuitton and Gucci as we could, we decided it was time to go and head back before practice.

Dan threw us a 40x25s dive set for our last practice of 2017, and the team capped off the year on a short and fast note. We were greeted after practice by pizzas on pizzas on the roof and refueled after the strenuous workout. The Aloha Mobile hustled down to Waikiki Beach for the final sunset of the year, only to be denied by the large amount of clouds blocking the view.

I am thankful to be surrounded by my teammates and friends as another year ends. I can't wait to see what 2018 has in store for the Boilers. Boiler Up, Hammer Down, Hail Purdue!

Saturday, Dec. 30 -- Danielle Auckley

Aloha Boilermaker friends and family! This is junior Danielle Auckley here to give you a recap of another beautiful day in paradise. I hope to bring some sunshine to our Boilermaker family experiencing some snow back in West Lafayette!

The women's team woke up before the sunrise to complete the first practice of the day, which consisted of a solid stroke active rest workout. The men's team followed with its one and only practice of the day. Both teams received a visit from Santa who brought us some sweet Hawaiian styled socks. They will definitely come in handy when we return back to the frigid Indiana weather!

The afternoon was filled with some fun under the sun for the women's team. The women had a short turnaround between practices so we spent most of the afternoon soaking us some sun at the nearby Waikiki Beach or the rooftop of our condo. The sun was bright and so was our glowing skin after a few hours under the Hawaiian sunshine!

The men's team took advantage of their afternoon off to explore the attractions that the island has to offer. Groups of the guys went to Pearl Harbor to learn about the Missouri Battleship, the Dole Plantation to feast on some ice cream sundaes, and a hike through the breathtaking Ka'ala Mountains.

After the women's team finished the second practice of the day, there was plenty of time to grab a bite to eat from many of the local eateries. Some of us decided to reward ourselves with some sweet treats such as the famous Volcano shake!

With the New Year quickly approaching, we wanted to thank everyone for making 2017 such an amazing year! We have one more practice of the year left and what better way to finish off the year like a good ole co-ed practice! Stay tuned for more. Thanks for reading and Happy New year to all.

Friday, Dec. 29 -- Emily Bretscher / Photos

Aloha Boilermakers!! This is freshman diver Emily Bretscher here to tell you all about the divers' adventurous day on Oahu!!

Today was absolutely incredible!! For sure the best day we have had yet here in Hawaii. We started off the day bright and early by waking up around 5:30 a.m. and leaving at 6 to go SKY DIVING! It was AMAZING!! We got to jump out of a plane that was 14,200 feet in the air, free falling for 60 seconds and then gliding the rest of the way down. No words can describe how cool of an experience it was! The view was breathtaking and allowed us to truly see the natural beauty of this island. We all made it back safe and sound, and were all ready to go up and do it again!

After we went skydiving, we came back to the hotel to grab a quick lunch and then headed to practice around 12:30 p.m. We've had lots of good training so far, really working on our technique in preparation for the championship season. There are also a lot of other collegiate diving teams training here over break, so we have been able to meet new people and see old friends!

We came back to the hotel again after practice and headed out to grab some dinner. We all stayed close to the hotel, exploring the beach and the different places to eat.

Today was definitely a day I will never forgot!! I'm beyond thankful to be here in Hawaii with the best teammates and coaching staff. The last couple of days have been absolutely amazing and I'm so excited to see what we take on next.

Boiler Up!!

Thursday, Dec. 28 -- Keith Gill

Howdy Boilermakers, it's been a long and lovely day in paradise! This is freshman Keith Gill with the updates on today.

This morning started off just right for the men's team with the first lift with weight coach Ryan Lehman at Iolani School. Not long after our gains, Coach J gave sprint group a gnarly dive set that we blew out of the water in one of our best sets this trip so far. Hopefully J had a good time teaching his daughters how to surf later in the day as the guys team made up for the canceled practice earlier in the week due to the storm.

That practice called for some R&R at the team's favorite beach, Makupu'u, where chillaxing on the sand was the right call because of the rough water. The huge shore break waves didn't scare off some of the tougher Boilers from having their time in the ocean. That included the birthday girl, Courtney Kresl, who managed to go out with a GoPro to take some Insta-worthy pictures. Also, to the gentleman and his family in the IU shirt that booed us while we were lounging: I hope y'all had a great day seeing the highlights from our bowl win yesterday. :)

In the evening, because the women's team didn't have afternoon practice, they went to a luau where their very own Forrest Brown showed off his moves. He participated in a hula dance, although not with the fire twirlers, which I assume would have been enjoyed by the women's team. From what I've seen, they love him like they would a brother off of the pool deck.

As the day winds down and the team prepares for another double tomorrow, we continue to count down the practices until New Year's Day and our meet against the University of Hawaii. Those are two events that everybody is highly looking forward to.

Happy Holidays Boilermakers! Boiler Up, Hammer Down.

Wednesday, Dec. 27 -- Breanna Robinson / Photos

Hello Boiler Nation! Bre Robinson here to give you all the updates on the fabulous 2017 Hawaii Training trip!

After our night off due to storms and a flood of rain, our bodies weren't too pleased to be back in the pool. However, a good ole John Klinge warmup was just what the doctor ordered to get the blood flowing and the muscles blasting. After a power filled practice, Santa brought mini footballs and popcorn to help us cheer on our Boiler football team!

It was a beautiful day on the island and the Boilers soaked up every last ray of sun. Perhaps a little too much...sorry John.

The rooftop was utilized and the beaches were full. While some decided their bodies felt like lumpy Play-Doh, others found practice just wasn't enough. A group of five men, with too tiny of speedos, headed out to sea. Past the crashing waves they went. A mile away from shore and the men disappeared. Did they get eaten by a shark? Who knows?! I got rained on and left for ice cream. With homemade goodness in my belly, I was ready to cheer on the Boilermakers in Cali.

Alas, it was time for our evening practice and our cheering was cut short. Just kidding! To keep up with the football team a radio blared during practice. An intense game to go with an intense workout! The day finished on a high with the announcement of a victory back on the mainland. Here on the island Boilermakers eat and sleep like normal, and send all the warm thoughts back home.

Quote of the day: "Remember when I said I don't understand how people can't stop smoking? I get it now because I need boba." - Cady Farlow

Boiler Up. Hammer Down. Hail Purdue.

Tuesday, Dec. 26 -- Steele Johnson

Hey there, this is Steele Johnson and I'm taking over the blog for today. With the Christmas season coming to a close, the dive team has departed Indiana and joined the swim team in Honolulu! December 26 was a day completely filled with travel. With a wake-up call at 3 a.m. CT, the dive team set off for the Chicago O'Hare. Upon arriving to the airport, everything was going smoothly and we were all excited to get to Hawaii. But we ended up boarding the plane only to sit on the tarmac for three hours. With this delay we all knew that we would miss our connecting flight in Los Angeles, but our spirits were high knowing that we were still going to arrive in Hawaii at a later time.

Once we landed in Los Angeles the travel issues began to skyrocket. Due to the missed connection and the madness that is flying during the holidays, we all ended up on multiple different flights. Some had another layover in San Francisco, some flew on the same airline earlier than expected, and the rest of us switched airlines for a flight that was later in the evening. As we went to board the airplane, it came to the flight attendant's attention that only half of us were given seats on the flight. After much confusion and a lot of patience from Coach Soldati, we were all able to get on flights that evening to Honolulu and arrived around 11 p.m. HST. Twenty-five hours of non-stop travel is exhausting. But we are all excited to finally be with the team in Hawaii and are looking forward to training hard while we are here!

Boiler Up!

Monday, Dec. 25 -- Michael Smith / Photos

Mele Kalikimaka from paradise! This is freshman Michael Smith reporting live from our white (sand) Christmas. As your favorite Boilers awoke from dreams of sugar plums and Dan Ross dancing in their heads we knew it would be an eventful Christmas.

Some of the excited men and women eagerly arose at the sight of the sun glimmering in the distance. They scurried in their PJ's to the beach so they could peer at the crisp rays of the Hawaiian sunrise. After a decadent breakfast of pancakes and overcooked bacon, we set out for a Christmas hike.

Accompanied by our fearless coaches, the jolliest group of boilermakers on this side of the nuthouse set out on a hike for Manoa Falls. After stopping to gaze upon the beauty of the majestic waterfall some of the more rugged Boilers set off on a "one hour" hike to a lookout. After literally scaling a 20+ foot high ledge and traversing over jagged rocks, we peered up a mountain. Led by the fearless James Boone, we stepped, climbed, slipped, dodged and pulled our way up its dangerous terrain. After a long climb, we reached a dead end. We were short on water, rocks were falling on people, and we were stuck on the side of a mountain...Merry Christmas, am I right?! After realizing that calling Kaleb Gould to pick us up in a helicopter was not a feasible option, we began our descent. Tears were shed, butts were red from sliding, and skin was cut, but every Boiler made it out alive. To recap this unparalleled feat, I have included quotes from some of the hikers:

"Remember when John told us the only time Navy Seals quit is when they get a break? I need a break." - Reagan Thom

"Next time John shows us a Navy Seals video, he should just show a video of ya scaling the mountain." - Kaersten Meitz

"Marat almost died." - Jackson Higgins

"It opens up ahead!" - James Boone

"Dead end." - Erik Juliusson

"Put your right foot where my right foot is...grab on to that branch, it's pretty stable!" - Phillip Phan

"The earth was scraping every crevice of my body, due to mis-stepping backwards on a branch. All I could think was, I don't have to do dryland tomorrow because I will be dead." - Jackie Smailis

"Have you ever wanted to live in an episode of Lost or be on Survivor? This is where they filmed it" - Courtney Kresl

"Don't freak out Alex, it's not as bad as it looks." - John Klinge

"This is frickin awesome" - J Agnew

"We literally almost died today." - Every Girl on the Team

Everyone was exhausted so most people went back home to get ready for dinner, but some people decided to find the real trail and go to the lookout. Total hike time for this group was approaching five hours - for those of you who were wondering why we are complaining about being tired at practice. People gathered in the lobby at 4:15 p.m. dressed to impress. We walked to the beautiful Sheraton Waikiki. There we indulged in an all you can eat Christmas dinner, highlighted by prime rib, crab legs, mashed potatoes and a large selection of chocolatey deserts. Midway through the meal, everyone received letters from their loved ones. It was an emotional time for many, and I will admit, I bawled my eyes out.

Huge shout out to all the parents, managers and coaches for making us feel loved on Christmas. I'll also take this opportunity to publicly thank my parents for always supporting me, I love and miss you guys so much! Puffy eyed and plump, we got to take sunset pictures on the beach. I apologize to all the women who ruined their heals in the process.

I hope you enjoyed this Boilermaker Christmas special, make sure you check in tomorrow to hear more of our exciting adventures.

Merry Christmas - Boiler Up - Hammer Down - Hail Purdue

Sunday, Dec. 24 -- Rachel Ho / Photos

Merry Christmas Eve Boilers! It's Rachel Ho reporting from Waikiki Beach. The Boilermakers started early this morning taking advantage of a rare morning off. Members of our men's team climbed the 1,048 steps up Koko Head to see the sunrise with an amazing view.

Another small group, including myself, went at dawn to see the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. It was a moving and memorable experience to honor the men who are still with the ship. Still before 8 a.m., the ladies got up close and personal with some of the most vibrant creatures in the Pacific at Hanauma Bay.

Our ultimate Hawaiian Christmas Vacation activity tested our artistic sides in a gingerbread house decorating contest. Coed teams of five came together in an hour-long heated battle. J. Agnew and his family served as the celebrity guest judges. It was a close call but in the end Kaersten Meitz and her elves were chosen as champions.

Both the men and women had only one practice this afternoon, each with a little Christmas challenge involved. The men did a relay in which each relay member had to eat an Oreo and chug a glass of milk before sprinting a 50 free. The women used their "Santa" mesh bags to swim equipment across the pool and deliver equipment to each side.

A very busy Christmas Eve, but one to remember for sure. Thank you so much to all of the parents who have helped make our Christmas away from home a great one. Wishing all Boilermakers and their families a very Mele Kalikimaka!

Saturday, Dec. 23 -- Taite Kitchel / Photos

Mahalo fellow Boilermakers! This is Taite Kitchel coming to you from beautiful O'ahu, Hawai'i after a clear, sunny, and exciting day! The Boilermakers started out the day with a two-hour morning practice consisting of broken swims and a full dryland for the women and a special J/Dan concoction for the men. Not going to lie it was tiring, but a surprise visit from Santa with some Purdue shades boosted spirits all around for the rest of the free day!

With only one practice and the entire afternoon off, swimmers were free to roam the island and explore different areas. The women's team ended up going to three locations: Hanauma Bay for snorkeling, Turtle Beaches at North Shore for paddle boarding, and Diamondhead for hiking.

Fun was had by all with a few highlights from each place. At Turtle Beach, the ladies perfected their paddle boarding skills as well as got up close and personal with some large sea turtles! At Hanauma Bay, we also had a turtle encounter as well as an encounter with a school of fish! On Diamondhead, people sent me amazing views from the top as well as pictures of good memories made throughout climbing it.

The men's team also dispersed into different activities today such as: visiting North Shore, revisiting Makapu'u Beach, seeing family who made the trip out, as well as classic relaxation and enjoyment of paradise. The day ended with people enjoying meals mostly around their respective locations for the day or around the hotel at the restaurants and mall. All in all a very good day to be a Boilermaker here in the Rainbow State as we count down the final days until Christmas!

Sending love to everyone at home and to everyone: have a great Christmas Eve and Merry Christmas!!🎄🎁❤️

Taite Kitchel signing off

Friday, Dec. 22 -- Nate Thomas / Photos

Aloha everyone! Nate Thomas here. Today we woke up to rain, but the sun ended up shining brightly above Waikiki. The men's team mainly stayed around the Waikiki Beach area, while some of the women took a trip to Ala Moana.

The day started out with the men's and women's teams practicing at the Iolani pool. Coach Dan and J gave us a butt-kicker ab set before practice! After morning practice, some of the guys went and got malasadas (a Portuguese donut) from Leonard's Bakery. They were amazing! After getting back to the condos, some of us got a haircut from the one and only Mrs. Zawatski. She always makes sure we are the best looking team in the NCAA.

Some of the men went shopping and some went out to catch some rays at Waikiki Beach. It was a very relaxing day after a lot of hard practices. We have all been hiking and playing in the waves for the past few days, so we are very tired! A relaxing day was definitely needed. I wanted to give a quick shout out to all the parents that have surprised us with all the awesome Christmas gifts. You all rock! We are always excited to see what the gift of the day is!

After a tough dive set in the evening, some of the men went to a Mike Love concert while some of us stayed and bought gelato (shhh don't tell Dan or J). Tomorrow we only have morning practice, so we get the evening off! Many of us will be hiking Diamond Head tomorrow. Stay tuned for lots of pictures. Thanks for keeping up with our time here. BOILER UP!

Thursday, Dec. 21 -- Evan King / Photos

Greetings from Hawaii! It's British freshman Evan King here reporting on our fourth day on the island. Today the sun came out for the Boilers and many of us headed out to beaches.

The day started with the men and women travelling to Iolani pool for practice. Both teams had grueling swims and weights sets. Then it was time to hit the waves! After some delicious donuts and chocolate milk supplied by the parents (thank you!), some of the men's team traveled to Lanikai Beach to take advantage of the sun. Meanwhile, the women's team returned to Makapu'u Beach to take on some truly gnarly waves!

Only some were brave enough to go out to sea and tackle the huge waves. We found out that coming back to the shore was a much more difficult task than expected. Natalie Myers has some interesting marks made by waves throwing her onto the ocean floor! Many of us chose to stay on land and watch from a distance instead. We had a rough morning workout and knowing we had another coming up in the evening made us want to conserve some energy. Nevertheless, the views were beautiful and there was a lovely ocean breeze.

After driving back to Honolulu mid-afternoon, the men's team swam back at Iolani and the women at University of Hawaii. Then it was back to the condos, where some chose to eat in and some took to the restaurants. Courtney Kresl, Emily Converse, Katie Hughes and I had some seafood to remember at a local eatery! The fresh fruit and the seafood are two things you don't want to miss out on here - what says 'island' more than that?

Now we're off to bed. We have another double workout tomorrow and I'm sure we'll have some great adventures too!

Wednesday, Dec. 20 -- Roxy Griffore / Photos

Aloha Boilers! It was unfortunately a cold and rainy day today in the normally warm and sunny Honolulu, but we gratefully only had one practice this morning. Then we were free to do whatever we may please the rest of the day... as long as John approved. We started the day by going to practice followed by an awesome day three Christmas gift. Then a few of us caravanned to the local doughnut shop for some absolutely delicious doughnuts for the first or second time since we arrived here in Honolulu. Afterwards, some of us made our way either to North Shore or did some touring at Pearl Harbor.

Those going to the North Shore explored the beautiful beach, and those who went to Pearl Harbor took in the great history of the naval station. As our day wound down, a few of us went to dinner at Udon and ended our day with some boba, ice cream, or the fan favorite so far... shaved ice!

I'm definitely looking forward to the warm weather, new adventures, team bonding experiences, and getting to train with the best group of girls around in this slice of paradise.

Tuesday, Dec. 19 -- Kelsey Macaddino / Photos

Aloha Boilers!! Time for a recap of our second day of Pain in Paradise brought to you by freshman Kelsey Macaddino.

We may have left the power towers at Purdue, but that didn't stop the team from getting our power going this morning during our 7-9 a.m. practice via pulling, parachutes, stretch cords, drag socks, vertical kicking and underwaters. Rain and storms were in the forecast, but held off not only for practices but for most of the day as well. The men's team was able to sleep in a bit and began their practice with a weight session at 8 before jumping in the pool as the women got out. The women then hit the gym at `Iolani, where we were able to get in our normal weight routine, although in much more humid (and sweaty) conditions.

By the time weights ended it had been over 3 ½ hours since anyone had eaten so naturally the team was ravenous. Many of the vans drove straight to Leonard's Bakery, where we bought and consumed absolutely exquisite malasadas (similar to donuts). I personally am not a huge donut fan but decided to try one with a coconut crème filling. I was VERY pleased with my decision. Overall, the malasadas were a huge hit and I'm sure we will be paying a visit to Leonard's again before the trip ends.

Unlike yesterday where the whole team went to the same beach, today groups ventured off and went to activities of their choice. These activities included hiking on the beautiful Maunawili Falls Trail and wading through the waters of the falls, exploring the shops in the outdoor mall right by our condos, and relaxing on Waikiki Beach, which is also a short walk from our condos. Having chosen the beach as my activity for the day I can report that there was much less active water activities and much more beach bumming action occurring as the effects of our training has clearly begun to hit. However, there was some excitement on the beach as Erik Juliusson found a sea urchin on the ocean floor. After determining it wasn't poisonous, he picked it up and showed the little creature off.

Following our various activities, the Boilers returned back to the condos to regroup before heading off to our second practice. The women practiced from 5-7 p.m. at the University of Hawaii pool while the men were back at the `Iolani pool from 6-8. Both groups grinded through some pretty tough practices under the lights before calling it a night. However, not before we received our presents from the parents (THANK YOU), which consisted of decks of personalized Purdue Swim-Dive Training Trip playing cards. They were delivered by a guy with a white beard who calls himself Santa, but closely resembles Forrest...?

The tired Boilers wasted no time in retiring to their condo rooms after practice. Most stayed in to cook a quick meal before settling down for the night. Some hit the town once again and grabbed some shaved ice to help Natalie Myers celebrate her 19th birthday. Happy birthday Natalie! Now as the clock strikes 9:30 p.m. it is officially bed time and the end to another day in Paradise!

Monday, Dec. 18 -- Luke Ingram / Photos

Aloha to all. This is Luke Ingram. Today the team started training. We all had to wake up at around 6:30 a.m. and then head to the pool for our 7 a.m. practice. Talking to some of the guys on the team it seemed like most of them woke up around 4 a.m. because really that is 9 a.m. back home. The guys' morning practice was kind of a flush, getting all the traveling and end of finals out of our systems. Then we had a meeting about the plan for the rest of the day.

We went back to our rooms to pack for our trip Makapu'u Beach. My roommates Jake Heidecker and Chris Bals joined me in eating a quick breakfast outside on our balcony, while our other roommate Jared Schimmelpfenning was taking a shower. Once we ate and packed we hit the road for the beach. It was a decent drive, but very beautiful. We arrived at the beach and Jake and I instantly ripped our shirts off and hit the water.

The sand was incredibly soft, water just the right temperature, and the waves were the biggest I have ever seen or experienced. It was fun trying to body surf and see how far the waves would take you. We played soccer, Frisbee, spike ball and threw a football around. We all made sure that we put on sunscreen so that way we would no fry, but some people still did. Once we worn out from the beach, some of the guys went back to the hotel to relax from the sun. I took a shower and had sand literally everywhere. It was crazy.

Then it was time to head back to the pool for evening practice. It was awesome getting to swim under the stadium lights. Tonight was more of an aerobic workout for the guys, and from what I heard the women's team had a tough session. Some of the guys went to dinner at Marukame Udon, which is a noodles restaurant. But Jake and I opted for Maui Onion Burger. It was $20, but I would say it was worth it because the burgers were so big we did not even finish them. Very tasty as well. Jake and I walked around the mall, which is by far the biggest and nicest mall I have ever been to, and got a few things. Finally, we walked back to the room to call it a night. We're getting ready for weights in the morning.

Sunday, Dec. 17 -- Alex Ford

Aloha! Your favorite Texan, Alex Ford, is here reporting live from the 18th floor of the Waikiki Beach Condos in beautiful Honolulu, Hawaii. What a day it has been for the Boilers! We all had a very early start with a 5 a.m. bus pickup time to take us to Chicago, where the journey was just beginning. After we all got some breakfast and coffee at the airport, it was time to board the plane and begin the nine-hour flight to Hawaii!!

The most common activities on the plane included: sleeping, eating and watching movies. Even saw a few boys doing some calf raises?? The coolest thing though was about half way through the flight the pilot told us we were about to pass Lake Tahoe, and it was incredible! From there we just had a few more hours until we landed on the island of O'ahu.

Once we landed, things became a bit hectic. Underclassmen traveled on a bus to the condos while the upperclassmen got in vans and maybe got lost a few times trying to find the condos (definitely my fault Julianne). Everyone got settled and then kind of scattered around the island with some people going grocery shopping, some going straight to dinner, and some lucky people got to watch the sunset on the beach. At the end of the night, most of the women's team ended up at Surf N Turf Tacos (missing Fiesta already??), where we just got to hang out with each other, enjoy being in Hawaii, and finally eat some real food!

While it has been an incredibly long day of travel (been awake for 20 hours now), the Boilers have finally made it to Hawaii and are ready for the first practice tomorrow!! I can't wait to see what is in store for the next 18 days!!!


Date @PurdueWSwim Instagram PurdueSports.com Blog
Dec. 17 Hanna House Alex Ford
Dec. 18 Adam Noens Luke Ingram
Dec. 19 Jackie Smailis Kelsey Macaddino
Dec. 20 Riley Kishman Roxy Griffore
Dec. 21 Emily Converse Evan King
Dec. 22 James Boone Nate Thomas
Dec. 23 Natalie Mudd Taite Kitchel
Dec. 24 Jake Heidecker Rachel Ho
Dec. 25 Kaersten Meitz Michael Smith
Dec. 26 Trent Pellini Steele Johnson
Dec. 27 Cassidy Sampson Breanna Robinson
Dec. 28 Erik Juliusson Keith Gill
Dec. 29 Annie Spalding Emily Bretscher
Dec. 30 Batuhan Hakan Danielle Auckley
Dec. 31 Julianne Heyde Tim Barth
Jan. 1 Nathan Barsanti Emily Meaney
Jan. 2 Chris Bals Brandon Loschiavo
Jan. 3 Will Schrensky Jake Thomas
Jan. 4 Cady Farlow Joe Cifelli
Jan. 5 Grant Lewis Samm Reese
Jan. 6 -- Lexi Vincent / Morgan Meixner




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