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Hello Cyclone swimming family, friends, and fans.

On our third day of training, fourth day here, we headed out to practice a little earlier than we have the past two mornings. We loaded the vans at 9:30 a.m. in order to get there with a bit more time to stretch out. Our van rides to the pool are always a lot of fun, playing some quality tunes and convincing Kelly to tell us stories about previous years in her swimming and coaching career. We arrived at the pool and got a quick team stretch in before we got into the water.

Conditions were pretty brutal as we got into the short course yards pool at Pine Crest. It was windy, cold, and cloudy; the temperature was about 50-degrees, so much warmer than Ames but pretty chilly for swimming outside. Practice consisted of a warm up, followed by a test set of best average 50s. The team really pushed through the cold and windy conditions to complete the set in an outstanding fashion. After that, we moved to stations – two lanes each working on turns, sprint 50s with fins, 25s with chutes, and bungee cords. These stations took about an hour, and then we had to warm down and load the vans back up for Windjammer.

Since the weather was less than ideal, we made plans to go to the mall instead of the beach. Two vans went to The Galleria, an extremely nice, upscale mall in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. We spent about two hours there; shopping, walking around, and just relaxing after a tough practice. After we got back to the legendary Windjammer, we had a little bit of time to get ready before we had the traditional picture on the steps of the ‘jammer followed by team dinner at Zuckerello’s, a great little Italian restaurant in town.

When we got back from dinner, a lot of the girls, including me, went to get ice cream, because there’s always room for ice cream, and made it back in time to catch most of the basketball game vs. Baylor on ESPN2. Seeing our Cyclones get a great win like that was the best way to end the night!

While cheering on the basketball team from room 101, I was reflecting on something that made me get a little sentimental. My team is beyond amazing, and I am so lucky to have an opportunity to be a part of it here at Iowa State University. There is absolutely no place I’d rather be and no other people I’d want to share this fantastic experience with. So thank you, teammates. I have so much love for you all.

With that being said, and with the guarantee of a challenging distance practice in the morning, I’m saying good night to you, Cyclone Nation.

 

May the odds be ever in OUR favor,

Elizabeth Kleiner


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