Iowa swimming and diving set for tough training in Florida

The Hawkeye swimming and diving teams are preparing for their peak meets in the spring.

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Tate Hildyard

A pair of Hawkeyes converse as they rest during the meet against Iowa State on Dec. 7.

Tanner DesPlanque, Sports Reporter

The first half of Iowa’s swimming & diving season came to an end after the women’s victory over Iowa State on Dec. 7.

The Hawkeyes now enter training mode as they head into the winter break. The diving teams will compete in the USA Diving World University Trials in Atlanta from Dec. 16-21. The swimming teams will head to Florida for training.

RELATED: Iowa swimming and diving tops Iowa State for ninth-consecutive season

“Right after finals week, we fly out on Saturday morning and go down to Florida, and we run a training camp,” head coach Marc Long said. “We have some traditional workouts we do. It’s just a great time to get them away after all the academic stress. These are high achievers in the classroom. We get them away and really get to work with them in a little bit different environment. We have some of our best training of the year down there.”

The training switches the environment for the athletes and helps them work toward specific goals.

“I think team bonding is always a big goal as well as just coming together as a team,” junior Hannah Burvill said. “The training helps us do something to switch out the environment a little bit. We all know that training in the sun is so much more positive than training in a pool every single day.”

The swimmers who capitalize on the motivation of the training trip are likely to be more confident at the meets after the trip. But along with the tough grind of training, there is still fun involved.

“That week [in Florida] is just super intense training,” sophomore Sarah Schemmel said. “The training is all challenges that are set every day. We do 100 100s sometimes or 50 100s with a partner like a race. It’s really fun. There is a lot of team building stuff, too, because we split up into groups and do like a sandcastle building contest.”

Iowa’s training is at the beginning of winter break, and the swimmers need to focus on staying in shape all break long. Winter break is about a month long for most University of Iowa students, but not for the swimming and diving teams.

“We come back together as a team [Dec. 31] I believe,” Burvill said. “So it is important to stay in shape throughout December and throughout winter break, just so we don’t lose anything we gained in Florida. Then back to it fully in January to be ready for the Shamrock Invitational and a couple more meets before we go to Big Tens in February.”

The swimming and diving teams return to action before the Shamrock Invitational on Jan. 25-26.

The women will compete in Champaign, Illinois, on Jan. 11 against Illinois, and the men will host Notre Dame on Jan. 12 at the Campus Recreation & Wellness Center.  The men and women will swim against Northwestern and Wisconsin on Jan. 19 at the Campus Rec.

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