Penn State Swim Team Florida Training Trip Journal
Friday, December 15, 2000
The Bus. We left State College at 12:15pm, fifteen minutes late because some body, who will remain nameless, was late for the bus. The first movie we watched was The Rock, a good flick but I have seen it already about twenty times. After we watched The Rock, the sound on the VCR stopped working. This was a big problem because we were only two hours into a twenty-two hour trip to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Hess, Haupt, and coach Brown played with the VCR and the sound worked on and off the rest of the night.
This year the freshman got lucky because there were enough seats on the bus for everyone to get two seats (team tradition is that freshman have to ¡°double up¡±). Around 12:30am most guys were asleep, but some of us got together for a long discussion on religion. Clark, Hostetler, Martin, Hodgins, and myself talked about faith, god, the bible, and spirituality until McKenna and Peresan started to complain about what time it was.
Saturday, December 16, 2000
We got to our hotel in Fort Lauderdale around 8:30am. When we arrived, only three rooms were ready, so some guys went to the beach (or at least tried to). Our hotel is only a block from the beach, but they are private beaches. The closest public beach is two miles up A1A Boulevard. Luckily we have a bus that can take us to the public beaches, and at noon that is was it did. Most guys went to the beach and played football, went body surfing, and took in the sites. While most guys were at the beach a few of us stayed back at the hotel and got some ZZZ¡¯s.
Practice. Today practice was not bad, just a loosen up from our long day of travel. We did not break up into groups. The whole team did the same work out. This was good news for the distance swimmers and bad news for the sprinters (because we did less yardage than the distance guys are used too, but more than the sprinters are used too). After practice we went for a twenty-minute team run on the beach. The weird thing about practice was that one of our Big Ten rivals, Ohio State, practiced right next to us. This is very unusual because teams in the same conference do not usually do not go to the same winter training site. In swimming, unlike football or basketball, teams cannot steal the other teams plays. However, coaches do not like other coaches knowing what type of training their team does. So needless to say this will be an interesting week!
Sunday, December 17, 2000
Today we had two practices, 8 -10am and 4-6pm. Both practices were broken up into groups (distance, mid-distance, sprint). Afternoon practice was pretty tough, but most people got through it well. While most guys went to the beach between practices, I used the time to catch up on some sleep. I almost slept too much, if not for a 3:28pm (we had to be on the bus at 3:30) wake-up call from the coaches I would have missed the bus for practice. The best part of the day was the team bar-b-que after afternoon practice. Coach (chef) Davidson, cooked up some tasty burgers and hotdogs. The meal also consisted of potato and macaroni salads, and coleslaw. Keyes was rumored to have eaten the most food (five burgers and two dogs). After the bar-b-que some guys played cards, others read, most watched TV, but Hodgins went to bed at 9pm.
Monday, December 18, 2000
Practice this morning was not bad at all, though it was a little cold out. We just went through our regular Monday routine. Practice this afternoon was hard, but everyone seemed to handle it well. It was announced that there will be no morning practice tomorrow, so the guys will be going out tonight to check out the local social scene. Tomorrow we are going to South Beach. Miami here come the Lions!
Tuesday, December 19, 2000
Nightlife in Fort Lauderdale on a Monday night is not too happening. A bunch of us went to boxing night at a local club. Not much music, even less women, just boxing. The only thing cool was seeing macho tough guys getting knocked out cold.
No practice this morning!!! We went to South Beach, which should have only taken 45 minutes but it took us an hour an a half. When we got to the beach it was a little over- cast, but by 1:30pm the sun came out. With the sun came the people. There were people of all colors, shapes, and sizes. The best part was the skimpy suits ! The guys on the team also took advantage of the stores on South Beach and did a little Christmas shopping. McDonald and Scanlan shopped the entire time there, with McDonald running up his credit card bill sky high.
Practice tonight was cold as could be; the temperature was in the 50¡¯s. Having to swim out doors, in the dark, in the cold, is the worst thing a swimmer has to do, it stunk!
Wednesday, December 20, 2000
Today we had a meet against the United States Merchant Marine Academy. It was not your typical collegiate meet because the meet was in 30degree weather. It was so cold out that both teams stayed in the water between events to stay warm.
Friday, December 22, 2000
Today was our last full day here. Most guys took advantage of a light morning practice and went to the beach between practices. Weaver, Keyes, Gordon, Clark, Martin and Retrum were approached on the beach by a photographer to take some pictures. Supposedly, the photographer really wanted Scanlan and Molletierre to take some pictures so he could send them in to a modeling agency, but they were shopping when he came by.
We had a tough night practice, it seemed like the coaches just had to get one more ¡°good one¡± in. We have practice tomorrow morning at 6am, it is not supposed to be hard, but we will see. After practice tonight we had our last team meal at a sports restaurant. The food was great, but it took forever for us to get it. The restaurant had a DJ and Minnier requested Ice Ice Baby, by Vanilla Ice, for Scanlan because they look alike. The team got a good laugh out of it.
The trip has been lots of fun and very productive, but most guys are ready to go home. With Christmas only a few days away most guys are missing their families. Most of us have only been home once since August, for Thanksgiving, and are ready to spend some time at home with friends and families. The bus leaves for State College tomorrow at 10am with only ten of us on it; most guys are flying home. Another 20 hour bus ride with no movies, should be fun!