Between the lanes with Tyler O'Halloran: July 25
Rising senior Tyler O'Halloran (Boardman, Ohio) chimes in with the first edition of an online diary. O'Halloran and several members of the Men's Swimming team are preparing for the 2006 ConocoPhillips USA Swimming National Championships in Irvine, Calif. (August 1-5). An eight-time All-American, O'Halloran will be writing about his adventures with the team leading up to and throughout the championships.
With the summer season winding down, the UT swim team is in its final preparations for USA Swimming's summer nationals in Irvine, Calif. Over the next few weeks, I'll be taking you through the meet and explaining how this meet will affect what we'll be up to for the next year.
This summer's national meet is a very important one with regards to USA Swimming's national teams. From this meet, USA Swimming will select a national team for four international meets in the next year: the Pan Pacific Championships in Canada this August, the World Championships in Australia next April, the Pan American Games in Brazil next July, and the World University Games next August in Thailand.
USA Swimming will select an "A," "B" and "C" team to correspond to these meets. The "A" team will go to Pan Pac's and World Champs, while the "B" team will go to World U's and the "C" team will go to Pan Am's.
Each team will take two swimmers per event, so if any of our swimmers come in sixth place or better at nationals in a few weeks, they will qualify for one of the trips. The only exception to this is the 100 and 200 freestyles. In those events, USA Swimming needs to field relays, so the "A" team will take six swimmers and the "B" and "C" teams will take four, making the lowest place to qualify in those events 14th.
I'll get more into some of the qualifying specifics in the next week or so, but for now we are busy sitting on the couch and enjoying the last few weeks of the season. We're practicing just about an hour a day now, compared to upwards of five or six hours a day in the middle of the season, in hopes of recovering from the hard work and rebounding to swim fast at nationals.
The theory of this rebound or what we call "tapering," is that we spend most of the season, working extremely hard, which breaks our bodies down. At the end of the season we literally drop off all of the work and spend weeks on end resting to let our bodies bounce back. Pair that with some very unattractive hair shaving and all of a sudden, we'll swim faster than we ever have before.
The only bad thing about working out less when we're at the pool is having to endure even more of what (UT men's head coach) Eddie Reese may refer to as "humor." We've also seen our fair share of bad movies in an effort to kill time, and if anyone out there is about to rent the movie "16 Blocks," I would advise against it.
We've also been playing a fair amount of ping-pong, and I've taken way too many losses on the table thanks to my untalented but lucky roommates. I guess superior skill at a game like that doesn't always prosper.
Seriously though, we're all very close to being ready to perform in two weeks, and I'll be back here to give an update before we fly out next weekend.
Hook 'em, Horns!