January 13, 2006

Crusader Swimmers Return From St. Croix Training Trip

Jan. 13, 2006

St. Croix, Virgin Islands - Before getting the second half of their season off to a start, the Holy Cross swimming and diving team traveled to St. Croix in the Virgin Islands as part of their winter session training with head coach Barry Parenteau.

Parenteau sees the annual trip as one that is very important to his team, who took part in double session practices every day. The Crusaders practiced for about four hours each day and averaged about eight miles of swimming.

"I am very proud of the team and the way they worked hard every day," said Parenteau. "The trip was a great bonding experience and not everyday do we get a chance to do something like this together."

To round out the nine day visit, team members competed in a one-mile sea swim on Jan. 8. Holy Cross was one of three schools that took part in the race. The others were Hamlin College and Colgate University. Also many local and masters swimmers competed to round out a field of 155 people.

The Dolphin Sea Swim was held annually for about 15 years before stopping. This year was the second year in a row it has taken place since starting up again. The race begins with a 15-foot dive off the peer into the ocean waters.

"The water was very choppy and we were swimming mostly into a strong head wind so I was very happy that all of our kids finished the race completely," said Parenteau. "It was a great swim and it was very competitive."

Freshman Maddie Alanis (La Jolla, Calif.) led all Crusader swimmers by placing ninth overall and second in the female 18-25 age division in a time of 23.20.28. Fellow freshman Dana Jorgensen (New City, N.Y.) finished seventh in the age division and 17th overall.

Also, Brian Hendrickson (West Hartford, Conn.) took 12th place in the men's 18-25 age division while finishing 30th overall.

Coach Parenteau won the title in his age division for the second year in a row while swimming to a 74th place finish.

Former Olympic gold medalist Misty Hyman also was a competitor in the race. She finished first in the 26-49 division and took 50th overall.

The Crusaders return to action this weekend at the Hart Center. The men's team will host Boston University on Saturday, Jan. 14 at 1:00 p.m. Central Connecticut State and Vermont will travel to Worcester, Mass. for a women's meet on Sunday, Jan. 15 at 1:00 p.m.