The swim team took the Oregon weather with them when they traveled to Phoenix, Ariz. Dec. 31 for a weeklong training trip full of improvisations.

Head Coach Alec Webster chose Phoenix as the destination for the team’s training trip because of the year- round weather and views but the team arrived at what local Phoenix residents called the worst week of the year.

After a change in swimming venue and two changes in hotel venue, the team ended up spending their rainy trip at the Phoenix Swim Club pool. Theirdayswerefilledwithfourhours of practice, ranging from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Junior Sierra Myers said the plan changes were a little stressful but everyone rolled with the punches well.

“Training trip was a fantastic break and a slap of reality all in one,” Myers said.

Assistant Coach Alex Bing traveled to Phoenix as her first year as a coach and not a swimmer.

“It’s been a big transition going from swimmer to coach and it’s definitely evident on this trip,” Bing said.

Bing said she was very impressed with how the team swam, specifically in their first few days dealing with the harsh hours and workouts.

When they weren’t swimming or sleeping the team hiked two of the city’s most scenic and challenging peaks, Squaw Peak and Camelback peak.

Myers and Bing said their favorite part of the trip were the hikes.

Bing said traveling trips such as this one are vital to training because the change of pace is beneficial to the swimmers.

“It gets so repetitive swimming in the same facility all the time,” Bing said. “Going somewhere else brings the fun aspect back into it and really helps lift the swimmers’ spirits.”

For junior Shalini Chedi, training trip was an unknown and nerve wracking trip that turned out to be a great experience.

“I was very nervous going into training trip just because I have never swam anything to this degree before,” Chedi said. “The team is just so wonderful and welcoming and it’s been so much fun.

The finale of the week of training was a dual relay meet against St. Louis University, a Division I swim team Jan. 4.

Bing said both she and Webster were surprised and impressed at how well the team held their own against St. Louis.

“We really did an awesome job against them,” Bing said. “I am just so eager to get back and start taper and getting ready for conference.”

Coming into the final stretch of the season, the team will be facing the Oregon universities through January as they prepare for conference championships in February.

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