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Jan. 11, 2013
By Chelsea Howard, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - With the fall season behind them and the championship season still to come, the swimmers and divers traveled to unique locations to focus on quality training during the winter break.
The swimmers took an eight-day trip down to Naples, Fla. where they got the opportunity to train outdoors. The divers went to an invitational meet at the University of Tennessee where they spent four days competing against some of the top SEC schools.
The annual training trip and invitational meet has become a tradition for the men's and women's swimming and diving teams that helps the team bond, enjoy a different location, and gear up for the end of the season meets that are just a few weeks away.
"While we were in Florida, our goals and competing at Big Tens were always on our minds," said sophomore Allie Roberts. "Training trip is so hard that we use Big Tens as a way to push through the week and remember what we are working towards."
Sophomore Megan Siverling agrees with Roberts that Big Tens was a major focus of training trip, but Siverling adds that the training trip will help the confidence of everyone on the team when it comes time to compete.
"Training trip really prepares us for Big Tens because spending eight days doing nothing but hard training gives you the physical base and the confidence to do well at Big Tens," said Siverling. "There's been a huge difference from my freshman year to this year because I know what to expect. It helped me prepare better for what was coming."
The Nittany Lions finished off the tough training regime by competing against the University of North Carolina while still in Naples. The event format for this year was unusual but still provided the swimmers a great opportunity to compete against a top ACC school.
The events took relay styles, but only one of the events would actually be swum at Big Tens - the 200 medley relay. The other events were 3x100 relay of butterfly, backstroke, and breaststroke, a 500 freestyle relay, and a 3x500 freestyle relay.
Although the meet was not scored, the women won the 200-medley relay and the 3x100 breaststroke relay. The men won four out of the six events, including the 200 medley relay, 3x100 butterfly relay, 3x100 backstroke relay, and the 3x100 breaststroke relay.
While the swimmers were competing in Florida, the divers started their competition in Tennessee. Megan Springsteen and Emily Stotesbery both participated in the one-meter and three-meter competitions. Alex Marchinski led the men's side finishing 22nd while T.J. Schenkel followed close behind with a 30th place finish on the three-meter boards. Diver Joe Spinelli enjoyed the opportunity to gain confidence in a competitive environment while learning from some of the best divers in the country.
"I enjoyed meeting divers from other teams and seeing what I can learn from them," said Spinelli. "This helps for the end of the season because I get to compete in another meet setting and the extra practice during the break let me solely focus on diving."
With another meet coming up this weekend, Roberts looks forward to taking the work she put in over training trip and using it to help her race.
"Coming off of training trip, we will have a lot more confidence since we put in so much work," Roberts said. "We can take that training and put it towards the meet and competing against the other schools.
The swimmers and divers will be back in action on Jan. 12 as they travel down to Fayetteville, Ark. where they will compete against Arkansas and Missouri State. Competition is scheduled to start at 11 a.m.