Lane Lines With Kirsten Byers: The Blog Of UCLA Swimming & Diving

Nov. 3, 2009

Senior Kirsten Byers will begin blogging for the website about this year's team and all of the events going on in and out of the pool. Below is her first entry to Lane Lines.

Happy November! We are beginning our sixth week of school and ninth week of training here at UCLA. There have been so many extraordinary and memorable moments so far this year and I will do my best to document some of them for all of you here in the blog.

November, for some inexplicable reason, has always been my favorite month of the year, so I was excited to turn the calendar this morning. At home in Washington, this month is full of cold, rainy, blustery days and dark dynamic clouds. Something about that, combined with the coziness of a warm house and the anticipation of my favorite holiday at the end of the month always makes me happy. Here at my second home though, I love being able to wear shorts and a t-shirt and swim every day out in the sun!

This past week was an especially busy one for me, filled with tough challenges in school and in training. I have been in what feels like a steady stream of midterms and tests for the past few weeks and am using today to get in some much needed studying to get ahead in my classes. I am an Applied Math major so my schedule consists of two math classes along with a Latin class. All are fun in their own way, but I think I love Latin the most so far.

Training these past nine weeks has been amazing. I am so proud of the team, especially our new freshmen! Everyone has adjusted so well and stepped up enthusiastically to any challenge the coaches throw at us. Two things our coaches have really stressed with us so far this season are our attention to the little details and our ability to be great athletes out of the pool as well as in it. Even as a senior, I learn new ways to improve every day from the coaches and especially from watching my teammates. This week, I am going to focus on the underwater part of my training and racing so that I will own that in our upcoming meets. We have so many great competitions coming up, but more on that later!

Last Friday afternoon, our coaches Cyndi and Erika rewarded us for a great week of tough training with the opportunity for a get-out swim. I absolutely love get-out swims because just like in any dual meet, you get to race for your entire team instead of just for yourself. And also because of the chance to get out of a really hard set!! This time, it was one of our juniors, Alex Sullivan, who stepped up and raced a 200 free from a push faster than she swam in any dual meet last year! I am so proud of her. Swims like that always show me how much everyone has improved and get me so excited for the entire team!

Apologies for this extra long blog, but as it's the first one I had so much to say! I'll do my best to report consistently throughout the rest of the year. I hope everyone had as much fun as I did over the Halloween weekend and has a great first week of November...


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