Chanhassen swimmers are working hard both in and out of the pool.
As Kristin Nicholson put it, swimming is a “training sport.”
“And there’s no question that there’s a daily grind to get to where you want to be,” Nicholson said. “You train so hard and so long for maybe 30 seconds in the water at one time. It’s a hard sport.”
The Chanhassen girls’ team, which Nicholson coaches, just makes it look easy.
The Storm came into this fall as one of the elite programs in the state, despite only actually being an official, independent team for less than five years. The team returns two of the state’s best swimmers in juniors Zoe Avestruz and Kaia Grobe, and those two have a slew of teammates poised for breakout seasons.
In just a handful of meets so far this fall, Chanhassen already is making waves, dominating the competition with a number of girls hitting times that are faster than their “peak” cuts at state and sections a year ago. The Storm is 2-0 in dual meets and finished fourth in the gold division of the Minneapolis South Invitational.
It’s easy to see why the Storm entered the season as the No. 6-ranked team in Class 2A. It’s a little more complicated to see how it has gotten here.
The simple answer: “Just a lot of hard work playing off,” Avestruz said. “Everyone’s working a lot harder. … It’s stroke technique, underwater turns — all those little things that make that big difference.”
The more complicated answer revolves around a successful mix of talent and unique training, a practice regimen that Nicholson’s swimmers utilizes to keep themselves fresh mentally and physically while tapering their times for the end of the season.
“We know how to have fun with it,” Grobe said.
“We work really hard, but you can’t be serious the whole time,” Avestruz added. “If you’re too serious, then you start to stress and worry, and it’ll get to you. You have to relax and work on what you need to work on.”
That’s why this season Nicholson has added a new dry-land program. They have out-of-pool workouts multiple times each week, where they work on core training through plyometric or abdominal circuits, each targeting swim-specific muscles.
“It’s our job as coaches to balance them between working really hard to peak at the right time and not getting burned out,” Nicholson said. “We try to change it up.”
The results, though, should be roughly the same, the coach said.
A year ago, Chanhassen finished fourth in the Class 2A state meet. Avestruz won individual titles in the 100-yard backstroke and 100-yard butterfly. Grobe’s pair of championships came in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle races, two events she also won as a freshman.
This fall, both girls are hoping to break state records in those events. Nicholson said at the rate the girls are progressing, the records should fall at some point this season.
Both Avestruz and Grobe are quick to point out that two swimmers don’t make a successful team; it’s the Storm’s impressive top-end depth that makes them a threat at any meet they attend.
Senior Bridgette Grobe, Kaia’s older sister, is another swimmer who could pull off a high finish at state. Another is Kylie Dahlgren, who recently set a new pool record (the Storm share a facility with nearby Chaska) in the 200 IM. Shelby Holmes, Nicole Bogenreif, Maria Currie and Megan Davidson are also swimmers who Nicholson expects big things from this fall.
|Philadelphia||12/20/14 3:30 PM|
|San Diego||12/20/14 7:25 PM|
|Minnesota||12/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Baltimore||12/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Detroit||12/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Cleveland||12/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Atlanta||12/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Green Bay||12/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Kansas City||12/21/14 12:00 PM|
|New England||12/21/14 12:00 PM|
|NY Giants||12/21/14 3:05 PM|
|Buffalo||12/21/14 3:25 PM|
|Indianapolis||12/21/14 3:25 PM|
|Seattle||12/21/14 7:30 PM|
|Denver||12/22/14 7:30 PM|
|Utah||100||4th Qtr 0:40|
|Charlotte||104||4th Qtr 1:53|
|Brooklyn||69||3rd Qtr 2:06|
|Washington||74||3rd Qtr 1:02|
|Minnesota||83||4th Qtr 8:53|
|LA Clippers||8||1st Qtr 7:11|
|Oklahoma City||9:30 PM|
|Tampa Bay||1||3rd Prd 8:43|
|NY Islanders||2||3rd Prd|
|Boston||1||2nd Prd 9:46|
|Dallas||0||1st Prd 13:59|
|Case Western Reserve||65||FINAL|
|UC Santa Barbara||69|
|Central Penn College||65||FINAL|
|William & Mary||86|
|Bethune-Cookman||44||2nd Half 2:20|
|Furman||54||2nd Half 5:31|
|Fla Gulf Coast||67|
|South Dakota St||53||FINAL|
|Milligan||31||2nd Half 15:49|
|LSU-Alexandria||44||2nd Half 11:26|
|Southern Utah||34||2nd Half 14:16|
|Chattanooga||31||2nd Half 14:05|
|Seattle||21||2nd Half 20:00|
|Lipscomb||42||2nd Half 13:20|
|Winthrop||41||2nd Half 14:20|
|Dickinson State||25||2nd Half 13:54|
|New Orleans||27||2nd Half 15:06|
|TX-Pan American||5||1st Half 13:30|
|Colorado State||14||1st Half 12:50|
|Alabama A&M||7||1st Half 11:56|
|Ark-Pine Bluff||6||1st Half 15:12|
|Eastern Wash||9:00 PM|
|Idaho State||9:05 PM|
|Nevada||12/20/14 10:00 AM|
|Utah State||12/20/14 1:20 PM|
|(23) Utah||12/20/14 2:30 PM|
|Western Mich||12/20/14 4:45 PM|
|South Alabama||12/20/14 8:15 PM|
|BYU||12/22/14 1:00 PM|
|Marshall||12/23/14 5:00 PM|
|Navy||12/23/14 8:30 PM|
|San Diego St|
|Central Mich||12/24/14 11:00 AM|
|Fresno State||12/24/14 7:00 PM|
|Illinois||12/26/14 12:00 PM|
|Rutgers||12/26/14 3:30 PM|
|NC State||12/26/14 7:00 PM|
|East Tenn St||48||FINAL|
|Fla Gulf Coast||69|
|(6) North Carolina||65||FINAL|
|Davidson||66||2nd Half 0:18|
|Saint Louis||71||2nd Half 5:08|
|(25) DePaul||64||2nd Half 1:52|
|Ohio U||70||2nd Half 2:29|
|Florida Atlantic||44||2nd Half 12:30|
|Long Beach St||53|
|Miss Valley St||27||2nd Half 10:45|
|Ark-Pine Bluff||41||2nd Half 8:50|
|Bowling Green||41||2nd Half 10:59|
|Arkansas State||42||2nd Half 12:54|
|ULM||25||2nd Half 14:33|
|(16) Oregon State||10||1st Half 10:56|
|Utah Valley U||8:30 PM|
|New Mexico St|
|No Dakota State||9:00 PM|
|Cal State Fullerton|
|Utah State||9:00 PM|
|Bethesda (CA)||9:00 PM|
|UC Santa Barbara|
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