Every year during winter break, the Logger men’s and women’s swim teams embark on an annual training trip. Every four years, the trip takes them to paradise.
The weeklong excursion to Honolulu is an opportunity for the swim team to experience the spirit of aloha while they practice in training pools and in the open water. Far from a vacation, the trip is a great way for the team to stay in shape over the holiday. Team members practice twice daily, and strength training is added to the routine every other day.
“This year, we practiced in the mornings at the University of Hawai`i at Manoa, where I studied as an undergrad,” explains Logger swimming Head Coach Chris Myhre. “But we were also fortunate to have a connection at Punahou [a K-12 college preparatory school in Honolulu], where we practiced most often in the evenings.”
Dylan Reimers ’20—a double major in economics and environmental policy and decision making, and one of two men’s team captains—echoes the need to train over winter break. “If you stay out of the water too long,” he says, “you’ll start to get out of shape very fast.”
One of the women’s team captains, Kai Haven ’20, a psychology major with a minor in education studies, further explains: “It’s demanding. We have some down time between practices, but mostly we focus on rest, refueling, and recovery during that time.”
Hawai`i has a lot to offer when it comes to shaking up the team’s workout routine. One particularly fun departure from swimming laps was a 1.2-mile open-water swim at Ala Moana State Park’s golden-sand beach.
“It was fun to swim in the ocean and have the taste of salt instead of chlorine,” said Kai. “The water was a bit cloudy, so you couldn’t see the bottom, which made it a challenge to swim in a straight line!”
For one of the teams’ final activities, Kai and Dylan helped create a beach relay that included ocean swimming and reaction-time races, and Kai’s enthusiasm for the event is palpable.
“This was one of my favorite parts of the trip because we’re all pretty competitive ... so the energy was high,” she says. “It really gets the team cheering and working hard to race—but instead of racing with swimming, we were racing with cartwheels, crab walks, bear walks, and somersaults!”
In addition to pool practices and beach workouts, Loggers made it a priority to experience local attractions, such as snorkeling at Hanauma Bay. Already equipped with goggles and snorkels, the team could dive right in. “We saw so many different tropical fish and turtles, which was a blast,” says Dylan.
Coach Myhre also arranged for a special excursion just for the seniors. Jam-packed, the day included a trip to the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park, a stop in Waikane for lau laus at Waiahole Poi Factory, watching surfers at Kahana Bay Beach Park, swimming at Waimea Bay Beach, trips to Matsamoto for shaved ice and the Dole factory, a visit to the Pearl Harbor Memorial, and malasadas at Leonard’s Bakery, to cap things off.
Experiences like these strengthen team ties and help build friendships. For Kai, the trip was a great time to make sure new teammates felt welcome.
“It is fun to be around the team knowing that we’re each working really hard,” she says. “We can connect over being sore, but happy. And it’s a tradition to eat dinner together. It’s a perfect time to be with each other and randomly sit with new teammates each night.”
The opportunity only comes around every four years, so the Hawai`i experience is one the swim team’s most coveted training trips. For Dylan, a four-year swimmer who’s graduating this spring, it was definitely worth the wait.
“The trip was 100% fun,” he says. “Truly an unforgettable experience!”
by Briana Blythe
Photos courtesy of @logger_swimming on Instagram
Published Feb. 9, 2020