Dec. 16, 2002
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The nationally ranked Purdue swimming and diving teams will begin their annual winter training trip on Tuesday, as they head to the main island of Hawaii for the remainder of the holiday break. In the most recent College Swim Coaches' Association of America (CSCAA) poll on Dec. 10, both the Boilermaker teams are ranked No. 16 in the nation.
A tradition for the Boilermaker teams, the winter training trip provides several advantages to the team and the program. While in Hawaii, the Old Gold and Black teams will stay and train in downtown Honolulu, at the Iolani School in an outdoor facility.
"What we did in the fall was design our schedule with five weeks on and eight competitions, then five weeks off right now, before we start up again to go basically every other weekend in the second semester," said Purdue head men's swimming coach Dan Ross. "That fall schedule gave us several good racing opportunities. Now, this training will be our most important training of the year because we'll go from our aerobic background training to actually getting race-ready for our most important Big Ten meets and the Big Ten Championships.
"This is going to be a long camp and there shouldn't be any misunderstanding that it's going to just be paradise for three weeks. Our goal is to complete 31 workouts in 21 days, and that also includes two competition days. So, the weeks will definitely be full, but we do want to have as much fun as we can, enjoy the weather and really work the kids hard. Hopefully they'll come back completely different swimmers than before they went."
Although the trip will provide for excellent swimming opportunities, the team's strength and conditioning coach, Tasha Weddle, also will accompany the teams to Hawaii to assist the student-athletes in their strength and training regimen. While on the islands, Weddle will assist the Boilermaker coaching staffs in dry land training, both with individual and group workouts.
"What we're going to do is lift every third day," said Weddle. "We've split the sprinters from the middle distance swimmers, and we'll continue to focus on what we do in the weight room here already. However, the key is going to be that we will be adding extra dry land training and really focusing on their nutrition. On dry land, we'll add things in every second day and do some circuits, med ball and stretch cords exercises and some interval training either on a track or some stairs, if we have some available.
"We'll work on stretching and flexibility and we're really just going to push them from every direction as close to the breaking point as possible. However, we are going to have to be careful to allow enough recovery time. Since they'll get in the water at 5:30 a.m. and not be done with their second swim until 8 p.m. every day, sleep is going to be a key factor.
"For those who are injured or cannot do as much in the water as the full team, I'll work some individually with them and try to get them back to where they can perform at a regular level again."
Both the men's and women's teams will also take advantage of another training opportunity with the Pacific Ocean at their fingertips. Similar to training in Florida, the Boilermakers will participate in several ocean swims, providing them with even more resistance and strength training than is available in a standard pool.
On Jan. 3-4, 2003, the Boilermakers will head to the University of Hawaii for the Rainbow Invitational and will compete against several other NCAA Div. I programs that train in the area, as well.
"This is really a great year for us to go to Hawaii," said Purdue head women's swimming coach Cathy Wright-Eger. "With Purdue hosting Big Ten's and this extraordinary senior class, this trip will just be a perfect opportunity for us to train hard together for three weeks solid. It should give the women the chance to really excel, push and work hard towards the goals they have made and the desire to do something different."
While in Hawaii, the teams will, however, find some time to relax, enjoy each other's company and spend time together to celebrate the holidays. The teams will spend Christmas Day together and enjoy dinner at the Sheraton hotel, while the women's team will also participate in a small gift exchange and decorate their hotel rooms to help keep them in the spirit of the holidays while away from their families.
The teams already have plans in place to watch the Purdue vs. Washington Sun Bowl game together, while plans are also in the works for the senior class' annual New Year's outing together.
Family, friends and fans, as well, can follow both the Boilermaker men's and women's swimming and diving teams throughout their three weeks on the islands on the World Wide Web. Junior Autumn Sample of the women's team and junior Tony Ten Haagen of the men's team, along with photo help from sophomore Ignatius Goh, will provide a diary of their day-to-day activities. Watch www.purduesports.com for more details and the stories to come.
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