COLUMBUS, Ohio, February 15. IN the final entry of his "A Day in the Life" series run on SwimmingWorldMagazine.com, Indiana University sophomore Matt Lenton writes about some of the down time that happens right before a big meet – the calm before the storm.
We would like to thank Matt for his great work this week, and wish him luck this weekend at the Big Ten Championships.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007, Day 8
This will be my last journal and I'd like to start by thanking Jason Marsteller at Swimming World Magazine for the opportunity to write and let everyone know how my team and I prepare leading up to a major meet.
This morning, I was rudely woken by an ecstatic Nick 'Superman' Walkotten as it was his 21st birthday. After trying to calm Nick down, who at times probably wouldn't look out of place in a sandpit with six year olds, we trundled downstairs to grab something small to eat before getting on the bus and traveling to a nearby high school pool for a wake up swim.
After splashing some water on my face and having a shower, I called it a morning and got back on the bus with everyone before we had our 'proper' breakfast. I say proper in quotes because unless there is bacon, eggs, hash browns and all the other goodies you'd expect to find at a five-star buffet breakfast, the boys aren't happy, where as I'm happy with a bowl of cereal and a yogurt.
I spent the rest of the morning relaxing in my room before the team headed down for all the sandwiches we could eat. After lunch, we had a team meeting where it was CLEARLY outlined that we have done the work and now all we have to do is come out and race like we know how to. It was also brought to our attention that some of the other teams had spent lengthy time in buses or air terminals that could play into our hands. Not that it matters – we're here Saigon style. Get in, get the job done and get out.
After lunch, we were finally allowed into the competition complex where we spent some time stretching and got into a lengthy warm up and loosen up. I started with 4 x 150 swim, kick, pull, swim. Then 6x 25 build followed by 100 easy kick then a 200 negative split. After that, I did some 25's really focusing on streamlines and breakout strokes. A couple of changeovers later with Ronnie 'Sledge Hammer' Hehn and Drew 'Lights Out' Sease, I was relaxing in the hot tub with the rest of the squad.
Coming back to the hotel, we were greeted by posters on each of our rooms dedicated to the occupants cheering us on and wishing us the best of luck – something that I have never had before and really appreciate.
Again we were back at the food tables – this time for dinner. Our trainers were nice enough to get Nick and Ben 'Galloping Gazelle' Hesen (who's birthday is tomorrow) a cake which the boys REALLY appreciated…blink and it was gone. The rest of the evening was spent relaxing in our rooms watching movies before lights out.
As this is my last journal, I'd just like to congratulate the IU women's team for their first Big Ten championship since 2003, wish the IU men's team all the success over the next few days and thank all the IU coaches, trainers and support staff for all their consistent work not only during these last couple of weeks but for the entire year.
If you are interested in following how IU does at its conference meet, please check IUhoosiers.com as well as SwimmingWorldMagazine.com for regular updates.