Husky Swimmers Visit U.S. Olympic Training Center

Sept. 24, 2007

The University of Washington men's and women's swimming teams recently took a trip to the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. and had the chance to use one of the world's best swimming facilities, as well as compete against the Highlands Ranch Aquatics swim team. The team left for Colorado on Thursday, Sept. 6 and returned on Friday, Sept. 14.

During their stay at the Olympic Training Center, the Huskies were able to use the same equipment that U.S. Olympic swimmer's use, including underwater cameras that film a swimmer's technique.

'It was an absolutely wonderful opportunity to expose our athletes to the Olympic Training Center,' Huskies head coach Whitney Hite said. 'It provided us with world class training at a world class facility.'

'I was amazed at what a bright, fun and welcoming environment it was,' continued UW assistant coach Helen Rychecky. 'Everywhere you go it's decorated with pictures and logos of the Olympic sports teams. It makes you want to work out and excel at what you do.'

The trip also gave the team a chance to bond, as it was the first weekend that the team was together for the 2007-08 year. The Huskies were able to spend an evening at a Colorado Rockies baseball game and also spent a day hiking the Barr Trail on Pikes Peak, which is part of the Rocky Mountains.

'It's not all about swimming,' commented Hite on the team's out-of-the-pool adventures. 'It gave us an opportunity to have a little fun, which is an important thing to do together outside of the pool.'

Pikes Peak, at an altitude of 14,110 feet above sea level, is the most visited mountain in North American and the second most visited mountain in the world behind Mount Fuji in Japan.

Barr trail offers the greatest base-to-base summit climb in Colorado, with an altitude gain of over 7,000 feet in 12-plus miles. Three of the Husky men's swimmers were able to complete the trek to Barr Camp, which rests at an elevation of 10,200 feet and it approximately halfway up the mountain. Freshman Andre Blythe, senior Taylor Brugh and sophomore Jonny Muir were the three Huskies that made the ascent to Barr Camp.

'It was pretty fun because we pushed each other along the way to get up there,' said Brugh of the roughly five-hour hike. 'We would run a little bit, then walk a little bit - just keep moving. It was neat to go with a freshman and a sophomore, and just push ourselves to the top like that.'

On Sunday, Sept. 9 the Huskies competed against Highlands Ranch Aquatics. No official results were kept, but Rychecky said the Huskies would have won the meet if scores were kept.

'The freshman were outstanding and we're glad to have them on board,' said Rychecky. 'All of our returners are at a much better spot at this point in the season then where they were last year at this time.'

The Huskies open up the 2007-08 season by hosting Seattle University on Friday, Oct. 5 at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way. Meet time is set for noon.

Members of the Husky Swimming team pose for apicture at a Colorado Rockies game.

The Huskies take a break during their hike on Barr Trail.

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