PHOENIX, Arizona, November 21. CARYLE Blondell is a sprinter at the University of Lousiville that is primed to do big things at the end of the season, and he is today's guest on The Morning Swim Show.
Blondell, a sophomore at Louisville, is one of the top swimmers in the 50 and 100 freestyle collegiate ranks. He talks about the performances in those events in the past couple of weeks, and what it's like to train with the sprinters at Lousiville. A native of Trinidad and Tobago, he's anxious to join national celebrity George Bovell at next summer's world championships, and mentions the work Bovell did to get Blondell into Louisville for school. Be sure to visit SwimmingWorld.TV for more video interviews.
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Jeff Commings: This is the Morning Swim Show for Wednesday November 21st, 2012. I am your host Jeff Commings. Today in the FINIS Monitor we will meet Caryle Blondell, a sophomore at the University of Louisville who is currently one of the fastest collegiate sprint freestylers in the United States. Last weekend at the Purdue Invitational Caryle swam to a lifetime best in the 100 Freestyle and Caryle joins us now from Louisville Kentucky. Caryle good to see you, how are you today?
Caryle Blondell: Good to see you Jeff. I am going well today.
Jeff: Well good. So it looks like you are having a great fall season and good sophomore season. As we mentioned you had a lifetime best of 43.16 in the 100 free last weekend…
Jeff: 19.90 another lifetime best in the 50 free a couple of weeks ago. It must be good to be swimming this fast so early in this season.
Caryle: Yes, it feels very good for me especially how my freshman year was really an adjustment point during my freshman year. So my sophomore years basically ironing out all those pleats that I had in my freshman year and doing what I came here to do, swim fast.
Jeff: So will you talk about a transition in your freshman year. Was it like — you're from Trinidad, Tobago was it just adjusting to life in United States and to college in particular?
Caryle: Yes. It was a lot of different things until some of the school and the training and – environments so it is very different from then it took me awhile to understand and get accustomed to living here.
Jeff: At what point did everything kind of fall into place when you say okay I feel a lot more comfortable here.
Caryle: I think it is when I went home for the summer. I was able to get myself understand, my parents talk to them get to understand enough what I am here to do. How it must be done and just execute.
Jeff: Well that is interesting that you had to go back home to kind of adjust to living in Louisville. It is very interesting.
Jeff: So as we mentioned a couple of lifetime best this season, let's talk about first of all that 50 free, 19.90 in a dual meet against Notre Dame. Did you expect to go under 20 seconds?
Caryle: Well actually just go in there to do my best. It was on a relay. It was on first leg of the relay so I was just going out giving really the best opportunity possible to meddle or to qualify NCAA's and I just do it and just swim as fast as I could. I didn't really think about the times so how fast I was going. I just went.
Jeff: So – and it must have been a great feeling to see that 19 on the scoreboard.
Caryle: Yes, that is great.
Jeff: And then as you said last weekend 43.16 in 100 free and then you went 20.1 in your 50 free on the relay leadoff so at the Purdue Invitational what was your level of rest for the meet?
Caryle: In terms of that, my taper, I had a bit of a hiccup in my taper so that kind of affected my strength level in terms of going out as fast as I wanted to go in the 50 free. Coming on to the end of the meet there were lot of things that were better in terms of well I swam. I already swam the other 2 days so come now to the end I thought so a lot that is all. A lot more confident and was comfortable, a lot more comfortable to go outside and execute as I wanted to.
Jeff: So basically you are saying you were trying to go for a full taper last weekend?
Caryle: I had a bit of a hiccup in taper. I am still learning a lot of stuff about my body and how to understand sports and how to really apply everything going into a full taper for a meet, so I think I got it from this one so we were able to go a lot better in the next taper meet.
Jeff: Well I think I guess it is probably a good thing then that you had this attempt at a taper so early that you kind of understand what you need to do especially when it comes around to NCAA's.
Jeff: And then also we want to mention that the 200 free relay that you guys swam at Purdue is now the fastest in the country. I would imagine an NCAA title is the goal of you guys right now?
Caryle: Of course yes.
Jeff: Well that is a pretty tough task to achieve, but you kind of are on that path. Last spring you guys were in the final, so what is going on with Louisville now? I mean a great year last year at NCAA's. What is going on, what are you guys doing to keep that momentum from last season into this season?
Caryle: Well, I think we have a lot of excitement on the team right now seeing that we had so many fast swims. The coach itself is very motivational like help us. They help us. A lot of positive stuff to help us get in game and focus to these meets psych us up and stuff and everything for the meets and I think that really helps a lot and I think the faster guys really help because you see someone swimming fast you want to get so fast so I think naturally help drive the team and everyone just want to get in on the action and perform and help the team so I think that is very important.
Jeff: Your teammate Joao De Lucca is now the fastest guy in the country in the 50 and 100 freestyles. Tell me what it is like to train with him and the other sprinters there at Louisville?
Caryle: It is very competitive. He is a very competitive guy. I am very competitive too, so it is really a head to head thing during training. We really go all out. We push one another lot. To say the least we kind of motivate one another by – we kind of motivate one another during training so that we couldn't format our best. If you are not performing well and one will get on your case when you aren't performing at level that it is expected.
Jeff: So no one let you take an easy day when it is supposed to be a hard day?
Jeff: Well that is the key to being a good swimmer Caryle, that is a great, great kind of idea to have when you are training so I mentioned earlier you are from Trinidad and Tobago. When did you start thinking about wanting to come to the United States to go to college?
Caryle: Well my first thoughts was when I swam, well I didn't know anything about yards, so I know about long course and short course and the first time I started thinking about this was when I did a 51.8 in my 100 freestyle, long course, and George Bovell, he is also a swimmer Trinidad. He recommended me to come to well to start with universities but come abroad to swim because he swam at Auburn University for quite awhile and that is how I came up with this. That is how I decided to come and swim for university here.
Jeff: And then why Louisville?
Caryle: At first Auburn had some financial issues so he spoke to the coaches here at Louisville and I think he swam with one of the coaches here. Coach Ryan Wochomurka and that is how he is able to get here. He spoke to them and told him I was a really fast swimmer and they took me up.
Jeff: Well it definitely helps to have that connection. Now I would imagine growing up you watched George swim very fast at the Olympics in 2004, 2008 and just recently in 2012. How has his success internationally helped swimming in Trinidad?
Caryle: Well swimming in Trinidad has definitely gotten a lot faster. I personally look up to George because I knew him from when he was a big you know swimmer in the world so he helped me a lot in my swimming career. There is a lot of fast guys in Trinidad right now. A lot of guys going 52s and 51s, so it really has helped bring swimming into say a spotlight. It has been recognized more in Trinidad.
Jeff: Yeah, it must be hard spotlight to get into especially knowing that track and field is so popular there.
Caryle: Oh yeah, it is.
Jeff: Did you ever consider being a runner? Were you always a swimmer growing up?
Caryle: I wanted to but my parents didn't really put me into track and field. It was kind of like swimming. I still — it was like on and off thing with swimming and then come and I just stuck with swimming.
Jeff: Well it is serving you very well you are getting an education here in the United States and you are swimming very fast. I would imagine you want to be able to go with George to World Championships next summer, maybe the both of you stepping up on the blocks in the 50 free?
Caryle: Oh yes. Right currently I am planning on going back home to take part in our Invitational Meet, the Marlins Invitational meet that they will have back home to qualify in Barcelona so hopefully I will make it there and I think it will be a really fun experience to swim with George Bovell at that meet. I swam with him on a relay and it was a lot of fun at a few championships so I think it will be fun to swim with him again.
Jeff: Well we are looking forward to see how you do not just at that invitational but in the rest of the season you have already set the bar high for yourselves so we are anxious to see how you do and anxious to see what it will be like to see you swim fast when your taper goes well.
Caryle: Yeah. Me too, I am sorry. I have high expectation for myself when I think once I get everything down with my taper, I will be number one.
Jeff: Well that is an old statement to make Caryle, but that is what 50 freestylers have to do. They have to have that confidence so we are glad to hear it.
Caryle: Thank you.
Jeff: All right Caryle. Thanks very much for joining us. Enjoy the rest of your day.
Caryle: Thank you.
Jeff: All right, that's Caryle Blondell joining us from Louisville, Kentucky and that is going to do it for today's Morning Swim Show. As always we invite you to join us on swimmingworld.com on Facebook or on Twitter to catch up with the latest news. I am Jeff Commings. Thanks for watching.
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