July 4, 2018
Tuesday, July 3, 2018 - Day 9 of Grand Junction Training Trip
By Bridget O'Shaughnessy and Dora Wu
Day nine started just like all other mornings, with swimmers rushing off to breakfast to eat as much food as they could, before their practice began promptly at 8:15 am. We shoved hash browns and waffles into our mouths before whisking off to the pool only a few yards away. We socialized and mentally prepared ourselves for the upcoming horror that was to be our practice. After letter stretches, squats, warm-up, and kick set, we were ready to tackle the dreaded main set. Though it was a set we had done many times, the 4 x 300, 4 x 200, and 4 x 100, seemed to be a brand new challenge. Each lane pushed each other with only positive vibes. We continued with a short set and then began the second half of our main set. 4 x 200, 4 x 150, and 4 x 100 made us push our physical and mental limits. We concluded the practice with a short cool down, then stretched and had our post-practice meeting learning that Grace was the practice champion, because of her perserverance through practice despite horrible blisters.
The morning was a typical start to another day of our
training trip, but that would soon change when we had to perform in
the CSC - Country Song Competition. Coach Ray's love for country
music inspired this peculiar competition to see who could create
the best song with the components typical to the genre of country.
Assigned on the fifth day of the trip, this contest put each room
to the test judging on their singing, lyrics, teamwork, and how
country-esk the song was. Every room did a superb job and exceeded
all expectations, however the group that won was Hannah and Skye.
The runner up team was Grace and Maddie, followed in third place by
Mason and JJ. After lots of convincing, Hannah and Skye were able
to get Coach Ray to award them with a pint of ice cream each.
Everyone else, however, was rewarded with a healthy dose of
After lunch, afternoon practice was found to be long course instead of the short course. After a brief warm up, we began the "hour of power" set where each swimmer had 60 minutes to complete at least 10 x 50 sprint as fast as they could go. The swimmers did such a great job with that Coach Ray could no longer base practice champion off of quality, and instead judged based on quantity, thus causing JJ to win the 15th practice champion award by doing 24 x 50, while the majority of swimmers did 10-12 x 50.
As usual, practice was ended with a relay of skill: getting four cups of water to the other end of the pool, and in the end, determining which group had the most water in their bucket. This was a difficult challenge for most groups; many struggled to keep the cups on the kick board, while other struggled to keep it still and not allow any water to escape. After lots of strategizing through experience, it came down to judgment time. A-lane and B-Lane’s buckets were compared, with B-lane being victorious over A-lane. And then there were two - B-Lane and C-Lane's buckets were lined up side by side, with all gathering around as if they were witnessing history. Coach Ruth waited for the water to settle, she made her call, B-Lane had won! After our meeting we were dismissed to dinner and then to our rooms where swimmers began to prepare for the next practice and an exciting day white water rafting.