Swim team cuts back training to prepare for championships

By Paige Fieldsted, Staff Writer

In most sports, the closer it gets to the end of the season, the more intensely teams train. However, the Utah swimming and diving teams have done just the opposite.

In the two weeks since their last dual meet, the Utes have cut their workouts and training nearly in half to prepare for the Mountain West Conference championships next week.

“A big part of what we do to get ready for conference is to rest and let our bodies recover fully,” senior Adam Oliver said. “We’re trying to save all our energy and do everything we can to prepare for the meet next week.”

The Utah team has stopped lifting weights and is swimming about half the distance they were in practices throughout the season in order to give their bodies a chance to rest.

Rest isn’t something the Utes are accustomed to. After a season of intense training and swimming meets back-to-back, the cutback in training is a welcome change for their tired bodies.

“Most of us are only doing one workout a day just to give our bodies rest,” freshman Whitney Lopus said. “We sleep a lot, eat a lot and rest a lot so we’ll be totally ready to go.”

After spending the season working on getting stronger and faster in practice, Utah has switched its focus from strength to fine-tuning the details.

The Utes have been filming their starts and turns in hopes of perfecting their events and shaving off seconds on race day.

“Throughout the course of the year, a lot of what we are focused on is building an aerobic base and trying to see how strong we can get,” said coach Greg Winslow. “We’ve backed off the weights and now we’re just trying to get their bodies to be as fast as they can in the water.”

The last time the Utes went into a meet rested was at the Princeton Invitational back in early December.

At Princeton, the women finished in second place and the men took third against top teams like Florida, Princeton, Harvard and Rutgers.

“Based on how we did when we had a little rest at Princeton early in the year, I think we are really in a great spot to really do good things and really impress everyone in our conference this year,” Oliver said.

If the performance at Princeton is any indication of what the Utah team can do when rested, the Utes are confident that they will be very successful at the conference championships this year.

“If we swim as well as we did at Princeton, we’ll be winning events left and right and have a very legitimate shot at winning,” Lopus said.

The Utes will continue their relaxed training regimen for another week before heading to Oklahoma City, Okla., to take part in the MWC championships beginning Feb. 25.

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Erik Daenitz

The Utah swimming and diving teams are preparing for the MWC tournament next week by cutting their training in half.