By Jason Marsteller
HONOLULU, Hawaii, June 4. THE first non-travel day of the NCSA All-American trip started off in an interesting way – with me driving a van of five swimmers. I'm paid to know how to write, not how to navigate somewhere I have never been. So, the five lucky passengers (Hannah Davis, Martin Kata, Katy Hinkle, Tyler Smith and Kate Woolbright) who get to drive with my wife and I throughout the week received what I am calling a "Lost Tourist's Guide to Hawaii."
Thankfully, they were very patient throughout the entire time, and now that I have learned the ropes once – it should be a bit calmer the rest of the way. Thanks, guys! You've been great. I haven't heard one snicker from the back yet! (That might be because it was a 7 a.m. workout, and they were all fighting off sleep, but I'll take it!)
Here are some assorted thoughts from the day, as well as some great pictures my wife has been taking:
* There is something interesting about living at the University. I have never seen as many stray cats in my life. Just this morning, we saw five just hanging out looking at us as if we were in the way. We probably are in their territory!
* Once we did make our way to the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center, we were amazed at the beauty of both the park and the pool. The facility is less than two years old, and was created to host events such as the All-American meet and other statewide championship meets. Additionally, the Stanford synchronized swimming team has trained there, and they also hosted some Italian team members since the start of the meet.
* The first morning of training was beautiful, since the day was overcast. Just enough sun peaking out to make it bright, but not too much to feel the sweltering heat that is waiting just around the corner due to the humidity. The meet on Thursday and Friday should be great.
* As day one began, the East and West coaches along with the teams are starting to gel as teams. There should be some great competition by the time the meet comes along.
If I get the chance, I'll get another post up for everyone to have a bit of an insight on the rest of the day.
* Last bit for this post, I don't know what is funnier – my navigating skills today or watching the West team wash off at a very cold poolside shower before practice.