Training Trip Reflections from Monmouth College Swimmers


By Taylor Brien, Swimming World College Intern

As the Midwest Conference Championships approach, Monmouth College swimmers took some time to reflect on their winter training trip to West Palm Beach, Florida.

Training trips are a great opportunity for teams to switch up their training regimen. For teams from the Midwest this frequently means easier access to a 50-meter length pool, rather than the 25-yard pools they are accustomed to.

Erin Willhite, a senior at Monmouth College, noted that although some of their athletes had never swam in an olympic-sized pool before they all enjoyed the experience and appreciated the change in their practice.


Photo Courtesy: Monmouth swim team

Winter training is meant to challenge the athletes while also pushing them to achieve times and yard limits they never thought possible and head coach for the Monmouth Scots, Tom Burek, made sure to provide just that.

“I have never done so many yards within a week of swimming,” recalled freshman Riley Hess. “This trip was easily the hardest week in comparison to any week during the regular season.”

Senior Clarissa Henby added “We were incredibly torn down and we continued to be torn down for the next several weeks. We are hoping it will make for an incredible taper.”

For swimmers this feeling of being torn down can be crucial for a successful taper.


Photo Courtesy: Monmouth swim team

“The number of yards we were doing was at the highest it has been all season and we were also doing some pretty tough dryland workouts on top of swimming,” junior Breanna Hopefner commented. “The training trip prepared us for the rest of the season and for conference both mentally and physically. We were broken down and had to keep going. I think we are now ready for anything.”

Despite the difficult training, the team was able to have some fun between practices. Going to the beach was a highlight for most everybody.

“Everyone, including the coaches, had a smile on their faces especially when we were riding the waves and frantically trying to avoid the jellyfish floating all around us,” Hess said.

Besides going to the beach the Scots also went to City Place, an outdoor strip mall, for dinners and shopping and traveled to Lake Worth for a swim meet.

“Even though the training trip was physically draining on some days, I believe it has prepared me for the end of season meet because we were pushed every day to do our best,” reflects sophomore Claire Woodrow. “If you put in the work that the coaches gave you, you should feel confident going into the last meet of the season knowing you’ll swim your personal best.”