Between two practices a day, Kodiak swimmers swim a combined 11,000 yards nearly every day — the equivalent of 110 football field-length sprints.
That is a lot of swimming, but swimming that needs to be done as the Bears head into their first meet of the season, which is still more than a week away.
“I try to make sure that we get a good base of training,” Kodiak coach John Lindquist said referring to the first four weeks of the season. “Trying to make sure that we are getting our conditioning in, so that is a lot of yards.”
Kodiak’s four weeks of practice before its first meet set the tone for the remainder of the season. Lindquist refers to them as the building blocks of the season.
“It is just that preparation, because once it starts it is pretty much a meet every weekend and we don’t have a lot of time to make a lot of different corrections.”
Lindquist also uses the lengthy preseason for team building, which includes Team Tuesdays, when the team does an activity together outside of the pool.
“Swimmers have the hardest time hanging out together with their faces in the water,” he said. “We try to create moments that they get outside of the pool so they can get to know other kids.”
Kodia hosts East Anchorage and Sitka in its first meet of the season Friday, Aug. 31.
The Bears also host Dimond, the 2011 boys state champions, on Sept. 14-15 and South Anchorage on Sept. 28-29.
“They boys side (South Anchorage) is supposed to be strong, but I heard some of their boys moved,” Lindquist said.
Kodiak’s girls captured the school’s first swimming state title last season and return a handful of contributors from that team, including Jori Lindquist, Tahna Lindquist, Ila Hughes and Sammye Jones. Diver Sophie Hogen is also back after placing second at state.
Tahna and Ila Hughes combined to win four state titles last season as freshmen.
Kodiak’s boys are coming off a sixth-place showing at last year’s state meet and return state finalists Michael Smith and Blake James.
Smith placed second in the 200-yard freestyle and third in the 500 free.
Contact Mirror writer Derek Clarkston at sports@kodiak