Jayhawks Leave for Annual Training Trip

Jan. 10, 2013

LAWRENCE, Kan. – The University of Kansas swimming and diving team departed Lawrence on Thursday for the second part of its winter break training camp, which takes place over the next 11 days, splitting time between Los Angeles, Calif., and Honolulu, Hawaii.

After heading South to Mayaguez, Puerto Rico last year, the team will now go West, where the Jayhawks will complete their training regimen and gain valuable racing experience against some of the top West Coast schools. Splitting the training period into two parts garners excitement from the team and keeps the atmosphere fun.

“It is at a time when they can focus on being the best athlete they can be, because they don’t have school and you are able to train at a higher level both in and out of the pool, get a lot of rest and eat well,” Kansas head coach Clark Campbell said. “We have done good work here and now we are really excited about getting on the road.”

While there is an element of fun to traveling and seeing different parts of the country, Campbell is looking forward to the training aspect of the trip the most, ranking its importance only behind the spring championships.

“(The trip) is the second-most important thing we do on our calendar,” Campbell said. “Not only is it good to get out and train in a different environment, but it is important to bond. Building good relationships and getting to know your teammates at a deeper level helps you become a stronger squad moving forward.”

Highlighting the training portion of the trip are two meets against some of the nation’s top teams. The Jayhawks (4-1, 1-0) will face off in a double dual on Saturday, Jan. 12, against San Diego State (6-0), who is receiving votes in the latest college swimming poll, and No. 13 UCLA (8-0). The Jayhawks will also battle Hawaii on Friday, Jan. 18. Campbell will be measuring his team’s success a bit differently over the next few weeks. Instead of using dual victories, Campbell is focused on seeing whether or not his athletes can surpass the best times they set in the fall in preparation for the Big 12 Championships in March.

“We’ve got our hands full,” Campbell said of their racing competition. “Every meet we have second semester is against really good teams, but that is good, because I think that really helps get us ready for Big 12’s. We knew this would be a really good challenge, but that tends to bring the best out of us and that is what we need going into championship season.”

Although the team will be all-business as it trains and prepares for the rest of the season, the Jayhawks will also capitalize on the weather, scenery and historical aspects of Los Angeles and Hawaii.

“We are going to experience it,” Campbell said. “It will be a lot of fun. It will be a lot of different things and for a lot of our team, their first time to Hawaii and we want them to have a good experience.”

After returning to Lawrence, the team will have one weekend off before getting right back into the swing of things. They will shift their training to incorporate more of a race-pace focus, while becoming more event specific heading into championship season.

“Right now we have been training at a higher level across the board and once we get out to Hawaii, we switch gears and become a lot more event specific,” Campbell said. “Everything is kind of in a sequential pattern and this is just the next step that we take.”

For updates on the Jayhawks’ trip, follow the training trip blog on KUAthletics.com, where senior swimmer Madison Wagner will be checking in to share some of the team’s experiences.

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