After a third-place finish at the Georgia Invitational this past weekend, Michigan women”s swimming coach Jim Richardson said that his girls are ready for their journey to the Aloha State. Michigan will be departing for Honolulu, Hawaii on Dec. 22 for a training trip and will be returning to Ann Arbor on Jan. 6.

Paul Wong
Traci Valasco is headed to Hawaii for two weeks of training with her Michigan teammates.<br><br>DANNY MOLOSHOK/Daily

During the two-week stay in Hawaii, Richardson will have his team training at a very high level at the University of Hawaii. The goal is for the Wolverines to prepare to be a formidable force in the Big Ten. The girls will be training during 10 of the 14 days.

Richardson”s agenda will be rigorous in nature. Each morning the team will wake up, jog, surf, lift weights and do circuit training before diving into the pool. The Wolverines will be finished swimming by noon. They will have the afternoon off, but they will have to return to the pool for two more hours in the evening.

There is no doubt that the Wolverines will be exhausted at the end of the day. For this reason, Richardson finds Hawaii to be an excellent training site. He likes the location because of its warm weather, friendly environment and relaxed atmosphere. This is conducive to the revitalization of his swimmers” bodies.

“Training is as much about recovery as it is about the actual workout,” Richardson said.

When not training, the athletes will visit historical venues such as Pearl Harbor and will celebrate Christmas and New Year”s. But perhaps the most exhilarating experience of the visit to Hawaii will be the morning surf.

Richardson loves taking some of his swimmers out to Waikiki Beach to watch the sun rise over Diamond Head, a famous volcanic-rock landmark. He said that the combination of appreciating the sunrise and riding waves is “good for your soul.”

Sophomore Lori Eberwein says the trip “is a great opportunity to get away from the stress here at Michigan. We get in a good-quality workout without all of the distractions at school.”

Spending Christmas away from family and friends will be different for some of the first-year swimmers. But, the Michigan Alumni Club in Hawaii and the parents of several swimmers help to alleviate some of the anxiety the first-year students tend to experience.

They provide a cozy, family-oriented Christmas meal, gifts in stockings, and a team Christmas tree. Each swimmer is given her own ornament to hang on the tree.

Training is only part of the trip. Since several other schools most notably Wisconsin, Notre Dame and Purdue train in Hawaii during the same time, the coaches enjoy participating in a two-day invitational meet.

Since training is each team”s main objective, the meet is merely a friendly competition and a gauge to see where each squad stands in relation to the others.

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