| The Kansas swimming and diving team spent eight days in Puerto Rico for this year’s winter training trip.
LAWRENCE, Kan. – After nine days of focused training, the Kansas swimming and diving team returned to Lawrence Sunday with a renewed level of fitness.
The trip started with the Jayhawks sweeping a double-dual meet against Rollins and Tampa. The team headed straight to Puerto Rico following the meet to take their talents into winter training camp.
“The team really embraced the work,” head coach Clark Campbell said. “They were challenged in a number of different ways while we were there and they were pushed to their limits. There were triumphs and failures, but that’s the way it is with any camp. No one failed at everything, but no one triumphed at everything, either. They’re at a fitness level and at a good spot in regards to team chemistry, as well.”
The team was challenged on Friday with a training set called “goal 50’s” that included 30 50-meter repeats that are completed at race pace. The set is a tradition for Kansas as it is completed during every winter training trip.
“It’s tough, but I thought they did a nice job at it,” Campbell said. “We divided the team into three squads of seven at the beginning of the trip. During the evenings we had intersquad competitions, which culminated on Friday night. It’s a lot like the Big 12 Championships because they have a tough preliminary session in the morning and then have to be right back at it in the evening. Friday was much harder than any day of a swim meet and we had some performances that I was really impressed with.”
During the trip, the long distance swimmers completed a 10k (6.2 mile) swim in which Campbell was impressed with the performance of freshman Lindsay Manning. Lea Wissocq was another swimmer who shined during camp. She has an expressed love for long-course training and Campbell said she improved a lot during the nine days. He was also pleased with senior Alison Lusk and the breastrokers throughout the camp.
“The breaststrokers struggled at the beginning but Alison came out and kept pushing through barriers that arose,” Campbell said. “She surpassed where she has been at throughout the season. Malia Johnson, Sofiia Filatova, Leah Pfitzer, and the rest of the butterfliers all had a good week, too. They started well in Florida and kept it going through the rest of camp. Lea Wissocq also had a good camp. She enjoys long-course training. She had a good meet in Florida and was able to get a lot of work done in Puerto Rico.”
Outside of the training pool, the team had some down time that allowed for recreational activities in the ocean and an opportunity to bond as a team. The resort offered a variety of activities for the girls to participate in when they weren’t training.
“Where we stayed, there were a lot of outdoor activities,” Campbell said. “They got to do different things everyday. On Saturday some went banana boating and others went parasailing. They got to do a lot of beach activities and one night we treated them to a nice dinner at a local restaurant with traditional food.”
The Jayhawks will host their final home meet of the season Saturday, Jan. 25, at 10 a.m., in Robinson Natatorium against Arkansas Little Rock.