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Swimming and diving Puerto Rico daily blog

12/18/2012
Athletic Communications
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After arriving to the airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Sunday evening, our group of 40 embarked on a two and a half hour bus trip to the resort we would be staying in. A whole new culture flew by us as we drove across the island. Rich green grass, overgrown bushes, and tall, flowing trees were abundant everywhere the eye could see. The different roads, people, language, city structure, and establishments were all different and exciting. And we were graced with a stunning sunset overlooking the mountains and ocean on our trek to the resort as well.

Our entire team was separated into four, colored teams last week. Each team met and selected two team captains, a team name, and practiced their unique cheer. After about 20 minutes, we all got to present our team and cheer to the judges, who were our trainers. I am on the green team, The Hulkettes. The other teams are the Blue Ballers, PBP (Pequenas Demonias Purpuras), and the red team is Wacka Facka Flame. Each team had an awesome cheer, and we (The Hulkettes) got to present ours last. As we arranged ourselves in a circle, I was crouched in the middle, and got to jump out at the end with a Hulk mask with lit-up green eyes. It was quite hilarious, and had several of the coaches doubled over laughing. Needless to say, the Hulkettes took the lead with the Blue Ballers following in second, and PBP and WFF in third and fourth.

This morning we were greeted with the sight of a beautiful sky and bright blue ocean. After a delicious breakfast, we made our 30 minute bus trip to the University's natatorium we would be swimming at.

Training was rather intense; I am in the distance group, so I will give you our portion of the day.

For the first hour, Coach Todd (Mann) threw at us everything he could think of. I kind of felt like I was in boot camp in the marine’s. We were challenged with an array of med-ball and abs routines, TRX planks, running bleachers, hopping bleachers, push-ups, and more running. We all were just glistening golden with sweat.

Following dry land was our swim workout, which was not an easy feat either. After completing a grueling two hours of distance free, kick, and stretch cord sprints, we headed back to the resort for lunch. Following lunch, everyone suited up and hit the beach. We had a blast laying out, playing in the ocean, and taking lots of fun pictures!

At about 4 p.m., our first real competition of "Survivor" began - a sandcastle challenge! It was good fun, but as you can imagine, a group of 33 girls on a Division 1 SEC team are all going to be extremely competitive. When time was up, our team looked over at the purple team and saw that our mask had been stolen. We were not the happiest people on the planet, but as they say "Let your haters be your motivators". So we moved on and are ready for what the rest of the week will bring!

With some fruit and nutrition bars, we headed back to the pool for our second training session. D-group did a prime stroke practice, and it sure was a good amount of work. Ready for dinner after the long practice, we made our trek back to the resort.

Jordan, our trainer and co-judge with Casey (the diver's trainer), announced that the Blue Ballers had won the sand castle competition with the Hulkettes coming in second place; and I believe that the red team beat PBP. Overall, the final scores of the day are The Blue Ballers and The Hulkettes tied for first, with PBP in second (yes, they did earn points for their thievery), and following up closely is the Wacka Facka Flames.

And so entails day one - filled with intense training, fun in the sun, great food and a beautiful atmosphere. I look forward to the adventures of the rest of the week!

-Rebekah Harvey (freshman)
"Hulkette Harvey"

A note from the diving crew:

Today was the first day actual day of the training trip in Puerto Rico! We had two practices, one from 10-12 a.m. and then a second from 6-8 p.m. It was our first day in this pool and we had to adjust to diving outdoors, which some of us had never done. However it was still very productive, especially for Shelby Bartlett who learned two new dives on the 3 meter board. Between the practices we came back to the resort and had lunch, some free time and then had a sandcastle building competition where the team was split into four groups and will stay in those groups for other mini competitions throughout the week.

Kesha Naylor (junior diver)


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