By MICKEY BARÑES
This year, the University of Mary Washington men’s and women’s swimming programs traveled to Puerto Rico on Dec. 31 for the sixth straight year, the first time coming in 2010-11. The trip served as bonding time for the two programs, as team chemistry has proved vital to the most successful teams in UMW sports history. It wasalso a means of training for the long season the team has ahead.
While in Puerto Rico, all but three of the days the team had traveled, the team swam twice a day, once in the morning and the other in the evening. During their time in Puerto Rico the coaching staff worked their swimmers to their full potential. Junior Dallas Tarkenton described the experience as the coaching staff “sparing no mercy” but said they accepted the pain and pushed through the heat. Alec Villiva, an assistant coach for the UMW track and field program also joined the swimmers and the coaching staff as he led the team in dryland workouts, in which he worked the team hard and according to Tarkenton, “busted their butts, but it was worth getting those beach bods.”
During their workouts, coach Abby Brethauer and assistant Dalton Herendeen worked the men and women swimmers hard, putting them in the 50-meter pool compared to their usual 25-yard one located in Goolrick.
While in Puerto Rico, the swimmers were not all business all the time though. They were given their share of afternoon and evenings off, as they took the time to head to the beach, adventure to the boardwalk in Ponce, attempted another sport (volleyball), did their share of mini golf and napping. One of the most exciting experiences according to the swimmers was the amazing food offered by the locals of Puerto Rico.
Brethauer, Herendeen, Tarkenton and the rest of the program worked hard during the trip in which they returned on Jan. 7 as they hoped to reach their goals of yet another CAC championship for each of the teams. Things have worked out for the program as both teams are undefeated since their return.