Harvard's Aquatic Teams Get Exotic Over Winter Break

Published by Peter G. Cornick on January 13, 2012 at 3:12AM

As many students realize their time in their own beds and with golden-nugget-free meals will soon come to an end, athletes from Harvard’s more aquatic teams have been enjoying training in different places all over the world.

Travelling for winter training is nothing new for Harvard Athletics. While both men’s and women’s basketball and hockey must return to Cambridge shortly after Christmas, other teams with winter seasons use their extended breaks as an opportunity to train and improve outside the confines of the College.

With Sunday’s high in Cambridge forecasted to be 21 degrees, the men’s and women’s swimming teams will be trying to soak up the sun as much as possible as they end their time in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The men’s team arrived in the Puerto Rican capital last Saturday and will train for 10 days before returning for its home meet against Brown on Jan. 19. Co-captain Matthew McLean has been blogging his time in the Caribbean, documenting his team’s rigorous training, poolside relaxation, and general shenanigans.  

But the Crimson has been able to find some collegiate competition during its trip. Harvard took on Notre Dame in a four-event exhibition on Thursday. The Crimson and Fighting Irish split the four relays, with Harvard narrowly edging the Big East team in the 200-meter freestyle and backstroke relays, while dropping the 200-meter breaststroke and butterfly relays.

The women’s team arrived in the unincorporated American territory a few days before its male counterpart and will be back in Cambridge on Saturday to face off against Brown at Blodgett Pool.

What the women’s water polo team is losing in sunshine, it is gaining in Frequent Flyer Miles. The Crimson travelled to Eger, Hungary, where it has scrimmaged numerous local club teams and travelled throughout the city, learning about its political and historical significance. You can follow Harvard as the squad goes into Budapest for the remainder of its trip on its blog.

A little closer to home, all four Crimson crew teams have all gone to Florida for their annual J-Term training. And while a trip to the Sunshine State may normally inspire jealousy among most students, the adventures of the swimming and women’s water polo teams might just have them beat this year.