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Auburn Swimming Winter Training Blog

Updated Jan. 3, 2008

The defending national champion Auburn swimming and diving teams are spending part of their holiday break in Fort Peirce, Fla. for the annual Holiday Training Trip. Throughout the trip, seniors Scott Goodrich and Emily Kukors will keep a blog with updates on the teams' training and other events.

Day 1: Saturday, Dec. 29
From Scott Goodrich
Today we woke up at about 5 a.m. to leave Auburn at around 5:30. We traveled all morning and arrived in Ocala, Fla. at 1:30 p.m. We had pretty good weather when training and we did a pretty hard distance set, 15x500s. Once we ate we headed back onto the bus and countinued on our way and got to the hotel around 8:30 p.m. Nothing to exciting today just a long day of traveling and ready to get some rest. The real fun starts tomorrow.
From Emily Kukors
My last Christmas training trip has officially started! We loaded the buses bright and early this morning at 5:30 a.m. and were off to Florida! The trip was pretty uneventful. Most people were really tired, a lot of us still trying to catch up from a week back home so it was a pretty quiet bus ride. We stopped at Shoney's.. my last time ever having to stop there too! We enjoyed a "nutritious" breakfast buffet and loaded the buses again. Some people went back to sleep (I did) while other people watched Dragnet. We stopped again at Ocala, Fla. for our training for the day. It was a tough practice but I think that it helped people realize the goals for this training trip and what we need to accomplish while we are down here to prepare us for March. We got back onto the bus and watched Rush Hour 2 while others continued to sleep yet again (I did! :)) We got into Ft. Pierce pretty late and got our room assignments and then went off to bed! Thats it for now! Cant wait for a great week!

Day 2: Sunday, Dec. 30
From Scott Goodrich
Today was the first day down at Indian River Community College, which has a really nice outdoor pool and we had great weather, which made our two practices seem easy, even though they really weren't. Swimming outdoors in nice weather just seems to put everyone in a good mood. This afternoon was our harder of the two practices with the distance group doing a great job on their set and the the middle distance and sprint group were together where they also had a nice practice. Also we broke the team up into six different groups so that we can have different contests and who ever at the end of the trip has the most point wins. So, the first contest that we had today was a water-balloon throwing contest where a boy and a girl were pick from each team and they had to throw a water balloon to each other without it breaking and each time they had a successful catch they would take one step back till one team is left with their balloon.
From Emily Kukors
Day 2 started bright and early.. We loaded the buses at 6:20 a.m. and got to the pool for a team stretch. We were in the water by 7 and everyone was split up into a bunch of different groups, depending on their stroke specialties. Practice was done by about 9 or so because the University of Maryland is also here training and they got in right after us! It's fun to be able to interact with other teams while we are here and it is extra special because Demerae Christianson (Auburn Class of 2004) and Kevin Clements (Auburn Class of 2002) are coaches for that team so its always good to see them and catch up! The girls lifted weights right after practice and then we were back to the hotel for a quick nap before afternoon practice! It's tradition at Auburn to do a team huddle before each practice and have one senior talk about something they have learned, a funny memory, something they are thankful for, etc., during their four years at Auburn. I volunteered to go first because I tend to be the emotional one of the bunch so I knew that the earlier I went, the less emotional I was hoping to be. I talked about what I've learned while I have been here. My freshman year I learned that it isn't fun to get second but sometimes it makes you learn a lot more about yourself and your team to be more prepared the next time. My sophomore year I learned that it isn't over until its over. We were down by about 53 points going into the last day of NCAAs that year and that team fought back and we ended up winning by 3 points. I will never, ever forget that meet. My junior year I learned the power of a team. All year we had been the underdogs, so many fingers pointed against us but we believed in each other. We fought hard last year at NCAAs and won for my second time. I also talked about how thankful I am for my senior class. We have been through an entirely different coaching staff from our freshman year and also a lot of classmates but we have stuck together and we have made it. We are such a different group of people but I know that if I ever needed anything I would know I could always count on them. Practice was tough today. We split up into a few different groups and really challenged ourselves. Kyle Maese and I were awarded Trainers of the Day which was pretty exciting. After that, we had a water balloon toss challenge because the men and women's teams are split up into 7 groups and each day we have competitons for points. Abby MacGregor and John Long won the challenge for their group. When we got back to the hotel we ate dinner and the women went on a nice evening walk to the beach about 10 minutes away. It was a fun and relaxing way to end the day. War Eagle!

Day 3: Monday, Dec. 31
From Scott Goodrich
Today was another early morning, waking up at 6 a.m. and we were in the pool by 7. It was a nice morning practice with a great Sharks and Minnows to end the practice. Tyler McGill is the official Sharks and Minnows champion being the last one to be caught. When we got back to the hotel we ate breakfast and then I watched our coaches Brett Hawke, Richard Long and Brian Pursley swim across the inlet that our hotel looks out on. It was pretty funny to watch how many boats stopped and asked if they needed help, but they all made it across safely without to much difficulty. Then we headed back to the pool for our afternoon practice where we did a water circuit. After Group Four dominated Group Three we did a Jump, Dive and Twist contest where Will Dove emerged the champion for team "Prairie Dogs". Afterward we had a nice dinner at R.J. Gators and now we are back watching the Auburn game and relaxing. Happy new year!
From Emily Kukors
The last day of 2007! I can't believe today is already December 31st! Today started much like yesterday, we woke up, went to the pool and trained. Practice was tough again. We used our "altitude" snorkels and had a really challenging set that a lot of people stepped up and did a great job on. We got back to the hotel and had a little more time than yesterday to take a nap and relax. The girls went on a run/walk before practice and we are still soaking up the sun and loving the weather so far. Practice tonight was one of Coach Quick's specialties: the water circuit. We were split up into four groups (group 3 was the best :)) and we all rotated stations and were really worn out after it was all done!

The trainers of the day were Pascal Wollach and Julianne McLane. After practice we had a jump, dive, or twist challenge for our teams and Will Dove was the champ for his group! Although Michael Silva definetly gets sympathy

points for his attempt and very red back! We went out to dinner tonight to R.J. Gators. It was fun to sit around with everyone and catch up and talk about anything and everything. We also had a very funny bus ride back to the hotel from the restaurant. Jon Hiett and Adam Klein can make anyone laugh! Now we are all back at the hotel watching the big football game! No New Years festivities for us tonight! we will all probably be in bed way before midnight because we have practice in the morning! Happy New Year and War Eagle!!

Day 4: Tuesday, Jan. 1
From Scott Goodrich
Happy New Year! Today was the first practice of 2008 and and it started off well. We had a nice recovery practice today, which was much needed because we have been putting in some hard work. Morning practice was the only practice that we had today, so the team was able to hang out at the beach all afternoon. The six teams participated in a sand castle building contest and a tug of war contest. The sand castles had to have something to do with Auburn and they had to involve their team name. Team Rocket ended up taking the prize in that and my team, the Belugas, ended up winning the tug of war. Also we had a doughnut hole catching contest where Brian Barnes threw the doughnut holes up in the air and we had to catch it in our mouths. It was going well until the seagulls came along and started catching the donut holes in the air before we could catch them. Jordan Anderson walked away that champion in that contest. It was a nice break to a tough training trip but we will be back on it tomorrow.
From Emily Kukors
January 1st! Happy New Year! Today we only had morning practice and then the rest of the afternoon off. We went back to the hotel and most of us napped for a bit. Then we walked down to the beach and played beach games with our teams. We had a sandcastle competition, donut hole catching contest, and tug of war. It was a lot of fun even though the weather wasn't really cooperating. We went to dinner at Cobb's Landing and it was entertaining listening to everyone asking questions around the table and getting to know our teammates even better. It was a pretty low-key day and I think a lot of us needed it. We are ready for a great 2008!!

Day 5: Tuesday, Jan. 2
From Scott Goodrich
Today was a cold, cold cold day in Florida. For some reason the temperature decided to drop 20 degrees overnight. We made it through morning practice though and the team did a great job on the kick set we did. When practice was over we headed back to the hotel for some rest before afternoon practice. Before afternoon practice started, we had a kick board throwing contest to see who could get their board closest to the end of the pool without going out. Luke Weniger ended up winning, making it to about the 40m mark. Tomorrow is supposed to be even colder so we have to prepare for another cold morning.
From Emily Kukors
Today we were back to the grind! Morning practice was another challenging workout with a few different groups but overall everyone keeps pressing hard and continues improving every workout. The weather has definetly changed down here! It was pretty windy and about 20 degrees cooler than it has been the last few days. Thats never fun but the team is doing a good job of responding to it and getting tougher because of it. We went back to the hotel and napped and then the womens team went on another walk before we went to afternoon practice. Practice tonight was another tough one. We had a great IM set going while the other group did more stroke specialty racing. The trainers of the day were Maggie Bird (my awesome roomie here, along with Rachel Goh!) and Will Dove. They have done a great job of stepping up everyday so far. Tonight, when we got back, we had another Italian dinner and then had our annual team meeting. Its tradition every year to gather together as a team and talk about things and people we are thankful for. I can't believe it was my last time! It's such a great opportunity for people to express how thankful they are for different people that they normally dont get to tell as often. Overall it was another great day here together, one more full day left and then we are back to AU on Friday to get ready for classes and our upcoming dual meets! Until tomorrow, War Eagle!

Day 6: Wednesday, Jan. 3
From Scott Goodrich
Well today was our last day training in Florida. The weather was pretty cold and windy and rainy again. The team broke up into stroke groups today and everyone had a good training session, despite the cold weather and pool. Tonight we had a mini meet with Indian River Community College, where we did 8x100's all out from the blocks. It was nice training with some other people and racing against them. Afterward the seniors went out to eat with Head Coach Richard Quick, which was nice to sit and talk with him and the rest of my fellow class. We are heading back to Auburn pretty early tomorrow morning. It is going to be nice to get back home and get some rest.
From Emily Kukors
It's arrived! My last day of my last Christmas training trip! I honestly can't believe how fast the time has gone. Morning practice was tough this morning, especially because the weather conditions have continued to challenge us. It was very windy and very cold, which made for an interesting stroke specialty workout. We got through it though and a lot of people had a great set. After practice we did the usual, came back to the hotel, napped and ate. Afternoon practice we trained with Indian River and did a quality set. It was great to be able to train with different people and really step up and see the work we have put in the past few days. Tonight the Seniors had their annual special Senior dinner with Coach Quick. I couldn't believe we were actually having our senior dinner though because it feels like yesterday we were all little freshman. It was a great chance for us to talk about the past and talk about future plans and spend some time with Richard outside of the pool. Overall its been a great week. As a team, I think we have accomplished a lot and are focused and ready to go for what lies ahead of us these next few weeks. We head back to Auburn tomorrow and I think a lot of us are ready to get back in the swing of things there. Thanks for letting me share my week with you, hope you enjoyed it. Cant wait for what's to come... War Eagle!




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