SwimSwam wants to give you an inside look at what a normal day-in-the-life looks like for any given swimmer, and how that differs from team to team or city to city. We send our head of production, Coleman Hodges, to be a fly on the wall at practice, then relay what he discovered back to you over pancakes. Or at least breakfast.
The Cal Aquatics Gala is a bi-annual event and fundraiser for all of Cal aquatics, bringing in alumni from all across the globe for a night of celebration and appreciation for swimming, diving, and water polo. However, the best part of the weekend? The Cal men host an alumni practice for all the swammers who come in for the event. That meant that retired Olympians, NCAA champions, and national teamers from around the world got back in the pool to swim with the current Bear swimmers.
During this weekend, someone mentioned to me that while Dave Durden is a great coach, he was born to do this *motions to Durden shmoozing merrily with alumni*. And Durden confirmed this, mentioning in the video that the most important thing for him as a coach at Cal is building community, and that the alumni are most certainly a part of the bear community. Durden welcomed the former swimmers back into the pool with a generous warm up, one that included throwback drills to the Nort Thornton days of Cal as well as lots of social kicking, so the undergrads could get in some talk time with the alumni in their lanes.
Make no mistake. Even though it was an alumni practice, the Cal bears still threw down some serious speed. Durden had quite the workout planned for undergrads and alumni alike. Remember, this was long course:
4×50 choice @ 1:15
50 [Alumni: A little bit faster, Undergrads: Fast]