|ISU swimming and diving team members stay on pace over break|
|Written by Todd Marver, Daily Vidette Reporter|
|Wednesday, 12 January 2011 00:37|
Winter break often serves as a time for college students to relax after the conclusion of a busy semester and catch up with family and friends from back home.
But sacrifices come with participating on an intercollegiate athletic team.
Relaxation was limited for Illinois State swimming and diving team members as they were required to train in their respective hometowns in the late weeks of December.
“I’m from St. Louis and went back home to practice with my club team, Clayton Shaw Park,” junior swimmer Michele Stoeppelman said. “We had practices once a day for a couple hours.”
The Redbirds trained in Tempe, Ariz., from Dec. 29 to Jan. 7, and competed in the Arizona State Winter Invitational.
“Despite the chilly and unseasonable cold temperatures in the Southwest during that time of the year, the attitude, training intensity and focus was there every day in practice,” ISU swimming and diving head coach Steve Paska said.
“I commend the young ladies for paying attention to detail and realizing what we were there for, in terms of training. We did not have a bad day of training and got done what we needed to under the circumstances.”
While many ISU students were likely busy celebrating the New Year, the ISU swimming and diving team took to the pool early Jan. 1 for the Winter Invite where the Redbirds swam outside in 40-degree weather. The meet was not scored.
Paska was impressed with the way the squad competed in the meet, especially considering the unusual circumstances.
“I believe they handled themselves with class and gave solid efforts in all the races they performed in during the competition, despite the chilly weather and adversity we had to deal with,” Paska said.
“It was very important that we got back into the competitiveness of racing because it was our first meet since the Akron Invite [Dec. 3-5]. The meet went well for us.”
While the Redbird swimmers and divers missed out on precious time in their respective hometowns because of the trip to Arizona, they were able to have grow as teammates in and out of the pool. They climbed Camelback Mountain in Phoenix, Ariz., during their visit.
“I feel that the training trips are always really important because that is where we bond a lot and get to know each other the best,” Stoeppelman said.
“April Livingston is new to our team this semester, so that helped everyone get to know her right away. We were able to focus just on swimming, unlike at school.”
The Redbirds return to action to face Ball State Friday at 6 p.m.