For Lilly King and Indiana Pros, Quarantine Training Means Heading to Pond

Lilly King Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

With pools closed during the coronavirus pandemic, Lilly King and other pro swimmers who train at Indiana University have taken to open water to train.

King, along with Cody Miller, Zane Grothe and Annie Lazor, have been training in a pond in a subdivision in south Bloomington. Donning wetsuits, the group swims between buoys spread about 100 yards apart. While timing reps isn’t easy, it’s at least a chance to get back in the water when most pools and indoor facilities remain closed.

“Definitely never thought I would be swimming open water, coming out and training in the pond,” King told The Indianapolis Star. “But it’s kind of been a nice little change here.”

The group’s connection to the open water stems from Kandis Looze, the wife of Indiana coach Ray Looze. Kandis Looze coaches at Bloomington South High School and made the connection to the developer of the complex to get the swimmers in the water.

King has had precious few chances to swim in recent weeks. She trained at a pool in her native Evansville until it closed and also at a private pool in Indianapolis. Other than that, King and others have been marooned to do CrossFit and other dryland training.

Any aquatic training is better than nothing, even if that includes silt being kicked up and the occasional turtle.

“Not that I didn’t respect these people’s hard work or anything beforehand,” Lazor said. “But it gave me such a newfound respect for the people I’m around every day, truly. They’re willing to do whatever they can to get better and be in the water during this time.”

Lilly King is handling the Olympic postponement in stride. The reigning Olympic champ and two-time reigning World Champion in the 100 breaststroke, King has taken the time off as a reset.

“I’m going to be honest. It’s been kind of nice,” King said. “Haven’t exactly had a break since I’ve been 8 years old. So it’s kind of nice to just kind of step back for a little bit and just swim for the sake of swimming and not necessarily for the sake of performing in a meet.”

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1 comment

  1. Doug Schack

    I’m sure they will be fine. But let’s consider the risks here. Subdivision pond – collector of unknown runoff, yard fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and bird droppings, unclear water, unknown underwater obstacles. Or pool filled with clear treated, filtered and disinfected water that has a very small chance of having a virus that can live for at most minutes in the chlorinated environment. Can you guess where I would feel safer? The risk of the cure is higher than the risk of the disease.

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