Swimming & Diving Training Blog

January 14, 2014

Today was our last day in Key Largo with the Holy Cross swimming and diving team. As it was our last full day we strived to be as close with each other as we could. We had one practice in the morning and one in the evening, filled with lots of competitive inter-team relays.

Prior to the evening practice, former Olympian and National Team member Jon Olsen spoke to the team about his experiences in the sport of swimming. He answered our team's questions with enthusiasm and encouraged us to continue to have fun through our sport. Following his short talk we hopped into the water for our second to last practice.

Walker Lahr said that today's practices were two of the hardest he has done in recent years. Following the evening practice the team broke up by class for our final dinner, with most classes going to a local favorite, Snook's Bayside Grille. Sophomore Claire O'Brien described the food as being "some of the best fish she'd ever had."

Tomorrow we head back home and reflect on our plane ride back to Worcester on what a fun and productive trip we have had. That's all folks.  

-Tyler Wright '16, Dave Mullany '16, Max Kearns '16, Brendan Collins '16, Matt Bates '16, Jack Finnerty '16, Joe Terranova '16


January 13, 2014

We were off to a great start today because we only had one fire alarm last night. Once again, as a team we walked over to the Jacobs Aquatic Center (see picture at right) for our eighth practice in six days, we battled the sun for a tough morning workout.

After practice, we continued to take advantage of the warm weather that Key Largo had to offer. A bunch of members of the men’s team organized a game of beach volleyball. Kevin MacNeil was the leading scorer for the winning team. We had to hurry back to the hotel to meet up with the rest of the team to go over to Café Largo for an excellent Italian meal.

The meal was paid for by the Jacobs Aquatic Center. We all had chicken parm, and Brendan Higgins said it was the best he had ever had. After dinner we gathered up our mental strength and got ready for a late night practice. To our pleasant surprise, Coach Parenteau greeted us with the news that practice had been cancelled. The men’s team rushed back to the volleyball and basketball courts. Chris “Gopher” Keating hit a three pointer to send his team to victory.

It will be an early night for us all tonight as we have a strict 10:00 p.m. curfew. We’ll be back at it tomorrow morning for another intense workout.

-Tim Liddy ’14, Jan Yburan ’14, Zach Cietek ’14 & Kevin O’Connor ‘14


January 11-12, 2014

Saturday we arose in the darkness for an early morning workout and jogged into the hotel parking lot where we met up with the rest of our team. We saw a lot of people in pajamas, heard shouting, and realized the piercing beeping noise was the fire alarm! This was not a drill.

Nor was it a drill the following six times it went off. Don't worry, there was no fire, just some water in the elevator, or some overheating in the elevator, the hotel receptionists weren't sure. We look forward to learning the definite reason for this fire alarm malfunction as well as waking up tonight every hour on the hour until maintenance crews deal with it.

Back to Saturday. We walked into Jacobs Aquatic Center for our morning workout feeling happy to see the sun. And, despite our midnight disruption, the team hung tough throughout a main set of 20x75s off the blocks. We know it's hard to believe, but after practice we spent a couple of hours by.....the pool. It was fun to relax and attempt to even out our tans. The boys tossed around the ol' pigskin.

Later that day, we had another practice that focused on stroke and sprinting, which was emotionally challenging.  With the Patriots game looming, we headed back to the Marina outside the hotel for a pizza dinner. We were thankful to co-captain Tim Liddy's mom, Eileen Liddy, for helping us raise money for this event. Coach Barry Parenteau's wife, Dale, cooked up some chicken balls and set out other delicious appetizers. We cheered the Patriots to victory and knew Coach Parenteau would be thrilled in the morning.

Speaking of the morning, we woke up tired because of the aforementioned fire alarm situation. However, we needed to rise and grind. We got to the pool and, knowing we were about to log in a tough distance practice, Coach Parenteau allowed us to listen to underwater 80s rock. Practice was going smoothly until we found ourselves racing 1500 meters (a mile) for time to the beat of the Macarena. The team did a great job keeping a positive attitude during this difficult set.

After Sunday's only practice, the team walked back to the hotel to eat lunch and get ready for another swimming adventure, because swimming is fun! We went on a snorkeling excursion (see picture below). The boat ride took us to two stops out in the Atlantic, and a great time was had by all. Things spotted: stingrays, sharks and the Statue of Christ.

As the boat pulled into the marina, we were once again greeted by the new soundtrack of our lives: the fire alarm. The girls then went on to eat a great dinner at the Pilot House. Picture this: some swimmers exiting a taxi limo circa 1950 and the rest rolling up in a Dodge Charger rental driven by none other than Coach Parenteau himself. He looks great in it and now wants to purchase one. We're watching the Golden Globes in bed because we are aging and tired. Sorry this is long, we had a lot of adventures to record from our training trip to Key Largo!

For fire alarm fact checks, please reference social media.

Thanks for keeping up with our fabulous lives via the World Wide Web.

-Kelsey Poremba ('14), Cassandra Perry ('14), Eileen McGowan ('14), Kristie Coleman ('15)

January 10, 2014

Meanwhile in Key Largo, today we were graced with the first full day of sunshine. We woke up and had a fueling breakfast near the marina with our fellow pelican friends nearby. We were ready for our first two-a-day of the trip! By 9:30, we all left and walked to the Jacobs Aquatic Center for our first two-hour practice. After pouring on the sunscreen and stretching as a team, we were ready for the swim sets from Coach Barry.

A sense of camaraderie filled the pool as we all finished our first sets of the day.  We met the challenging workout with mental toughness and the hopes that our hard work will soon pay off at the upcoming Worcester City Championships. Finishing off practice with a race off the blocks, the team left the pool feeling accomplished and ready to enjoy the beautiful day!

For lunch we, along with others, indulged in some delicious drinks and sandwiches from Starbucks and met our fellow swimmers at the hotel pool for some much needed sunbathing. After all, what’s better than returning to bitter cold weather in New England with a fresh tan?! The team basked in the sunshine for hours- whether listening to music, chatting, or tossing around a football, the relaxation time was much appreciated. It has truly been a wonderful day at the Marina Del Mar!

Now the majority of the team has retreated to our hotel rooms to take a break from the beating sun to grab some dinner and relax before the practice ahead of us. At 7:30 p.m. we will head back over to the competition pool to put in another workout. Hmmm, wonder what Coach Barry will have us do tonight?! Whatever the workout is ahead of us, you can be sure our team will motivate each other to push through and succeed!

As freshmen, we are so thankful to be in such a beautiful place with our wonderful team!

- Alicia Perry ’17, Colleen Harrison ’17, Gina DeFloria ’17, Jessica Cashman ’17, Jennifer Nash ‘17


January 9, 2014

Live from Key Largo: Today was our first full day in Key Largo, and we are just settling down from a long day of traveling.  It was nice to be able to sleep in after getting up early yesterday for our first practice of the day.  Coach Parenteau led us through invigorating stretching exercises before we had the chance to take our talents to land for a run (we felt like fish out of water!).  

We then grabbed lunch and rested until our second practice of the day, where we found ourselves in a pool again-- there's no place like home!  At last we were able to figure out why Florida is called the sunshine state; though it has been cloudy, the sun peered out for an hour or two while we swam.  While we were working on our swimming, we were also able to work on our tans.  

After a challenging practice everyone was ready to grab some grub at our favorite team hangout, Sharkey’s (see picture below).  We enjoyed some good music, good food and good company!  What more could a swimmer want?  Life is good!!!! We have two challenging swim practices coming up tomorrow, so we are going to catch some sleep now.  Until next time Saders; stay classy Worcester!   

-Sloane Burns ’15, Shannon Quinn ’16, Marykate Schulte ’15, Anna Villani ‘15


January 8, 2014

Greetings from Key Largo, Fla.! The team trekked up to the Hart Center this morning at 6:00 a.m. through the frigid Massachusetts air, excited to begin our journey south. After a flawless check-in at the airport and a smooth three hour flight, 37 swimmers and two coaches safely landed at Miami Airport! While we were greeted by a rainy afternoon in Florida, it is needless to say that the climate was greatly welcomed in stark contrast to the New England weather that had kids across the region wondering if Santa would brave leaving the North Pole to shimmy down their chimneys.

After an hour and a half drive, we finally arrived in sunny (rainy) Key Largo. We checked into our hotel, the Marina del Mar (see picture at right), and had a short break before our first practice at 6:00 p.m. The four of us, along with a group of teammates, headed to Sharkey's Restaurant, a team favorite from last year, for a quick bite to eat. We then made the two minute walk over to the Jacobs Aquatic Center, our home pool for the next week. Thankfully the weather cleared up, and it was a very pleasant change to not feel the curglaff we are normally greeted by when we dive into the pool. It was great to get in the water after a long day of travel, and while the next week will be filled with grueling two-a-day workouts, the team is determined to work hard and prepare ourselves for our last few regular season meets and ultimately the Patriot League Championships in February.

Stay tuned for more updates on workouts and team activities throughout the week. We'll be sure to have some local key lime pie for all of you and be sending warm thoughts up north!

Anthony Russo '14, Jack Swain '15, Ben Chelmow '14, and Pat Gibbons '14