September 1, 2014

Jack Kilpatrick Liz Titterton

Staff Writer

Swim trip 2012

Published on January 23, 2012 in Sports
by Jack Kilpatrick Liz Titterton (Staff Writer)

After a seemingly all too short holiday break, the Loomis Chaffee swim team reunited at the Bradley International Airport at six in the morning and shared in the exchanging of exhausted hugs and greetings from their teammates. After two flights and too many banana nut muffins, the team arrived in Vero Beach, Florida. The Pelicans were greeted with a 6,500-yard work out before they could take a moment to enjoy the weather and scenery. Classic Loomis Chaffee swim trip.

Later that night, the team gathered outside their rooms at the ever-welcoming Islander Inn for pizza and the annual goals meeting. Coach DeConinck and Coach Seebeck congratulated the swimmers on completing their first practice of the eleven to come that week. They talked about their expectations and the goals they hoped each swimmer would strive toward, the ultimate one being to finish every lap. Kudos to Hadley Merrill ’13 for completing all 2,860 laps.

Although the swimmers were plagued by fatigue and sleep-deprivation, they rallied to play boisterous games of Apples to Apples and Kemps in the hotel courtyard. The competitive spirit and shrieking laughter that first night set the tone of fun and incredible team-bonding to come for the remainder of the long week.

Each morning, after a quick breakfast at the local favorite, Cravings, the groggy swimmers would trudge on board the bus, ironically named the “Magic Carpet,” to head over to St. Edward’s School’s outdoor pool. The practices were a mixture of old favorites such as Coach D’s Super 600s and Seebs’s infamous “Butterfly Set.” The swimmers credulously breathed a sigh of relief when Ms. Chambers and Ms. Shimamoto announced that they would have an opportunity to create a practice. The Loomis Chaffee Pelicans got to experience, first-hand, the torturous “non-breathing” laps of Williams College and Cali-style sets of Pomona. Both provoked a few of the boys to begin an Acapella group to avoid swimming the practice.

As the week wore on, the Loomis swimmers put all their effort into each lap, constantly asking for advice and growing stronger with each 50. The lanes maintained a high morale, despite the hundreds of laps, and the athletes maintained a willingness to improve and work hard through each practice. Coach Seebeck said, “The overall lively spirit of the team made coaching each practice a pleasure, and I thank the team for that.” Despite sporadic injuries and exhaustion, the team continued to flip turn and drive through every lap, even if it meant icing and vertical kicking to return to the pool the next day, ready to go.

On our fourth day of training, the team was given a challenge: the practice would be cut short if a selected group of swimmers could fulfill a task. They had to race an 8 X 100 yard freestyle relay in under seven minutes and forty-seven seconds.  The reward was an early dismissal from practice. After 35,000 yards already that week, there was nothing that any swimmer wanted more than a little extra rest. The coaches had collaborated the night before and chosen swimmers that spanned across all skill levels in order to showcase a true team effort.  The selected swimmers, armed with their “zoomers,” all lined up in the pool and the relay began. After many spectacular performances and a fair share of flailing, the race was over. The team cheered with excitement and relief when Mr. Seebeck announced the time of seven minutes twenty-seven seconds.  The stand-out swimmer who shocked the team the most was sophomore Geneth Chin ’14, who swam a 50.7.

Outside of the pool, both the girls’ and boys’ teams participated in numerous team-bonding activities that made them become very close with each other. Whether it was BFL, Beach Football League, with football star John Furlong ’14 and champion quarterback Jamil Hashmi ‘12, or hours at the beach tanning in a massive group of 40 students, the team did everything together and always had fun. For New Year’s Eve the entire team went to Universal Studios to celebrate the beginning of 2012 and more importantly explore “Harry Potter World.” During the nights, when most athletes would have slept after completing countless miles in the water, the Loomis swim team battled it out in intense games of Uno and Indian Chief, waking every resident in the hotel. And of course, many hours of the trip were dedicated to eating. Michael Phelps is not the only swimmer who can consume twelve pancakes, ten slices of bacon, Belgian waffles, a loaf of bread, and scrambled eggs in one sitting.

This year’s swim team training trip was filled with hours of hard work, over 42 miles of endurance, stomach-aching laughter, and an incredible sense of team unity that will forever be remembered by the athletes, coaches, and 200 photos Seebs was able to capture. What sets this trip apart from ones in the past? Coach DeConinck says, “the incredible senior leadership, having them set the tone and work ethic for the underclassmen to emulate.” While the team is back, pounding out laps in the indoor Connecticut pool, the swimmers are much closer with one another and the overall attitude during practices and meets has grown increasingly more positive and joyful. The Loomis Chaffee swim team looks forward to having a fun and successful season!