Beaches, the ocean, swimming. For many students, this is what a standard winter break consists of. But for the Albion College Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving teams, their trip to Florida was not just a vacation.
Instead of lounging around and enjoying the sun, the teams spent much of their day training to maintain their level of conditioning that was built up before winter break began.
“The first week of January, we went down to Fort Lauderdale as a team and swam at the Swimming Hall of Fame pool,” Shea Williams, Traverse City senior, who was named MIAA swimmer of the week January 16, said. “Our practices were from 10am to 12pm and 6pm to 8pm every day. We also did some core work as a team before some morning practices.”
Williams said a typical morning consisted of eating breakfast with the team, team workouts, and then team practice. The afternoon was full of relaxing before another practice in the evening. After evening practice, small groups would go out for dinner and then go back to the hotel and hang out.
Because of their hard work during their time in Florida and over the course of the five-week winter break, the rest of the season is looking bright for the Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving teams.
“As far as expectations go, people are looking very good in the water,” Coach Keith Havens, who will retire this year after his 27th season, said. “I fully expect that we’ll have a great number of lifetime personal bests during our conference meet.”
Not all team members were fortunate enough to remain healthy and compete in the upcoming MIAA championships, though. Laura Steavenson, Ann Arbor first-year, had surgery on her hip over the break and will be sidelined for the rest of the season.
“I’m ready for it to be fixed, and I’m ready for next year,” Steavenson said.
The rest of the swimming and diving teams will put their training and hard work to the test a number of times during the next month as their season wraps up in mid-February. Both teams will compete against Calvin College on January 28, and the women’s team will travel to St. Mary’s College in Indiana for their final MIAA meet of the season on February 4.
The teams will then travel to Holland, Michigan to put everything on the line at the MIAA championships on February 16, 17, and 18 to finish up their seasons respectively.
As for Havens, these MIAA championships will be bittersweet.
“I’ve enjoyed my 27 years here at Albion,” Havens said. “I’ve had the pleasure and opportunity to coach, work with, and teach some outstanding swimmers, divers, and students and I’ll certainly miss that but my wife and I are looking forward to this next stage in our lives.”
Photo courtesy of Albion College