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Swimming Blog From Puerto Rico: Snooze You Lose?

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Another day has found its way to evening which means that the team gets a little bit of time before another early practice tomorrow. For this blogger that means that I have 10.5 hours to watch the playoff game before the most annoying alarm clock goes off at a crisp 6:05 AM. At this morning's recovery practice numerous other attacks occurred, teammates are getting hit like crazy, by now you are wondering what could possibly be wrong, the answer: BEES! the casualty count is up to 5 and the potential for more attacks is always present as it seems we are swimming in their homeland.  Aside from the near death experiences that happen each time we jump in the water the practice ended smoothly which means we got to go home to eat bagged cereal and nap by the pool.  Of course the sun went dormant right as we decided make our way towards the pool which meant there was more reason to watch the first half of the Ravens game before practice.

We started practice with a good abs set which as usual included doing everything we could not to do what Russ said but then we hit the pool and the pain began. The D-Crew did a non stop IM set that did not look like any fun and the Mid-D crew did a pace 200s set that everyone really got into. The team left the pool in pain but that was nothing a car ride of reggae tone and a trip to subway would not cure. Now I am off to find the best hot tub in this resort to spend a few of my remaining 10.5 hours of rest in.

Side Story: Today something happened that I for one have never seen since I have been a member of this team. Russ always threatens to leave members behind that are not in the vans on time for practice and today... IT HAPPENED. Pete Sacco was sooooo tired from our morning recovery practice that he passed out in a hammock for 5 HOURS! that is 1 hour less than most of the team is getting every night! He went to his room and wondered why everyone was gone and than noticed that the vans left 15 minutes earlier. A punishment is still pending votes have been made for A) Distance Lane for a day B) 100s fly C) Cleaning the bathrooms at the pool or D)Nothing... results to come later.

Random thoughts:

-DO NOT watch the wild card round of the playoffs with any patriot fan while their team has a bye...friends can't be turned on mute like the TV can.

-It is pointless to fill up your water bottle with ice before practice as it will be warm before practice even starts

-Why don't I ever see the Puerto Rico quarter in the United States?

-Tang is an equal or better substitute for Powerade.

A B&O Production

Be Great

By Kyle Jennings

Swimming Blog From Puerto Rico: Para(dice)

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As the seventh day of  our training trip draws to a close, we find ourselves rapidly approaching our return to Amherst. With the second cycle of of our three-cycle training program complete, the team has maintained the same consistency in our workout intensity. This morning, during our only practice of the day, we completed a long warm-up and played a game much like the the Three Kings Game. This particular game also revolved entirely upon chance so naturally we didn't allow Brian Schmidt within a 10 foot radius of the various factors that decided what our set would be. In addition to rolling dice to determine how much we swam, we also had to pick a number from a stopwatch and select a card from a deck of cards. Despite it being the end of another intense cycle, we once again grinded it out in anticipation of our afternoon off.

After practice the entire team packed up and drove out to the picturesque Luqillo Beach. I think it's safe to say that this place makes me never want to go back to Cape Cod or any beach for that matter ever again (even you, Jersey Shore). We have no sympathy for Tom Hanks in Castaway because yes, he was stuck on a similar type of island by himself but he atleast had a volleyball to play with. We were stuck throwing a coconut around like a football for a half hour. Actually, we threw it around for about 2 hours and it was probably the most fun we had all day. But I digress, besides playing catch we participated in normal, mature activity; throwing sand at eachother, a no-holds-barred battle royal in the water (complete with drop-kicks and powerbombs galore), and of course, splashing the girls team and running away giddily. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we are the future leaders of America. Embrace it.

After the obligatory taking (and inevitable ruining) of pictures we finally headed back to San Juan where most of us had a quick dinner and got back just in time to watch the NFL playoff games. Spending all that time in the sun today naturally takes a lot out of us so it looks like another quiet night of recovery to prepare for the next and final training cycle before we head back to Amherst.

That is all.

Random Observations:

-"We ice bro's, not shoulders." -Eric Zeimetz

-There is never an inappropriate time for Men at Work

-Seahawks? Really?

-It's much harder for swimmers to enjoy themselves at the beach than normal people (a lot of awkward and confused standing around is usually involved).


By Trevor Ziegler,258&outquality=90&squareoutput=255,255,255&ext=.jpg&iconifyVideo=true&wm=1


Hola muchachos y muchachas. This is the B of the B&O blogging from sunny (ish) San Juan. Thursday night was unusually quiet around the team hotel. From what I saw, the majority of the team made good use of the hotel's hot tubs, beds, and tv's in order to rest up for Thursday morning practice. After finishing this morning's practice, I'm sure none of us regret being lazy for one night. Today looks like the first actual beach day of the trip and we plan on taking full advantage of it (after a quick nap, of course). Two more practices left until our next single-practice day and the team is making plans to visit one of the nicer beaches around the island.

As the trip progresses it seems as though the sanity level of our team is rapidly decreasing. Though it may cause concern to outsiders, this is a normal trend around this time of year. It's the most identifiable on the pool deck where we could easily be mistaken for a team of four year olds jacked up on endless cans of Mountain Dew. I, for one, have come to terms with my temporary immaturity and have recently learned to embrace my gift (curse?).

Throughout the trip, Russ has been giving cryptic hints and ambiguous answers when we ask him about what the next practice will be and today was no different. Therefore, I am off to take a nap in order to maintain at least some level of sanity before tonight's inevitable grind.

Random Observations:

-The George Foreman Grill is the greatest thing to happen to the Earth since oxygen.

-Bagged cereal tastes better.

-The maximum number of laptops in one room during a training trip should be 1 (not four, freshmen).

-All reggaeton sounds exactly the same (seriously).

Live long and prosper, UMass Aquatics.


By Trevor Ziegler

Swimming Blog From Puerto Rico: No Pain No Gain

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We woke up today to hopes of terrific weather for the first time since we have been here and it seemed as though our dreams were going to come true. During the first practice of the day the sun was out and spirits were high and with good reason it was a semi recovery practice. The water was still colder than anyone wanted but that will happen when the sun hides for an entire week. Once we got back to the hotel and were ready to catch the rays and relax for the day the sun disappeared behind cloudy skies which just meant more reruns of sportscenter for most of the team.

The second practice was a grind for all the practice groups, we did some IM work in the Mid-D and D groups. Everyone in the Distance lane left the pool in the most pain since we arrived and that will happen when the number in front of the IM is 400.

On the ride back the question was asked to Russ, "What is practice going to be like tomorrow?" and his response was "Get a good nights sleep and find out." With that being said, I'm Out.

Be Great

A B&O Production

By Kyle Jennings

Swimming Blog From Puerto Rico: Three Kings Day

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Today was our annual Three Kings workout where we all get in teams and risk it all to swim a 50 meter sprint and usually end up losing and get the pleasure of swimming a 200 meter race instead. Brian Schmidt's trip continued to be unlucky as he and his group had to do the most 200s today at 5 which brought him to a total of 20 over his 4 year career (UMass Swimming Record). The other Senior Captain, Dan Backler, had the luckiest practice ever recorded as he and his group got all 50s. The angriest sprinter award goes to Beau Garufi this year as he was none to pleased with his team's continual gambling and losing thus giving him more 200s then a sprinter ever wants to do.

After the workout we had the rest of the afternoon off, some of the guys went to the rain forest as others decided to stay around the poolside and lounge around taking fairly regular trips to the hot tub because the sun is rarely out and the wind is always blowing.

The swim team would like to give a shout out to Richard Huntley and his family, he is an alumni of the program and while we are here we are using the Huntley gym to lift.

When I was given access to this blog Russ had to give me a password, anyone care to guess at what he made it?

A B&O Production

By Kyle Jennings

Swimming Blog From Puerto Rico: Fun In The Rain

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The UMass swimming teams are in Puerto Rico for their annual training trip. Periodically throughout the trip, members of the team will be posting blog entries to update fans on how the trip is going. Below is Kyle Jennings' first entry from Tuesday night. You can find more blog entries at


It all started with a hectic trip to the airport with our Captain, Brian Schmidt, losing his wallet minutes before we were supposed to be on the 4 AM bus to Logan. He apparently wrecked his apartment in minutes searching for it and then came on the bus late with his passport only to find his wallet in his book bag...the bus was quick to show their appreciation. Logan was a mess as usual but we got out eventually and landed in Puerto Rico safe and sound (sadly Russ made it with us as well so we will actually be doing some work while we are here).

The Trip has opened with 2 days of successful practices. The sprinters did a pretty intense workout this afternoon from what I could see, it involved quite a bit of dry land along with wearing clothes in the pool. As a Distance/Mid-D swimmer I assumed it was just a game of dress up but from the looks on their faces after practice it must have been pretty tough. The D-Lane did a 2000 meter pull for time this morning which could not have been comfortable. The Mid-D group as has had a few very solid practices.  Eric "zippy" Zeimetz has put up a strong performance in the 100s sprint we have done Dan Backler has been no slouch in the Breaststroke department.

It has never been harder to get in the water in the morning as the water is colder than Boyden, which I did not think was possible and the sun has yet to be seen while we are at practice. It has rained a decent amount since we arrived and the wind is blowing a strong cold breeze. Some of us have even worn sweatshirts by the pool during our off time.

Everyone seems to be having a good time, the freshman have been running around with their heads cut off as its their first training trip but all is good with the rest of us. Tomorrow we have our annual Three Kings workout so look forward to an update tomorrow.

That is all for now, I am off to go see Arkansas beat Ohio State.


A B&O Production

By Kyle Jennings