CHS swimmers earn trip to U.S. Olympic Training Center
By: Mike Jones
From left, Conroe High School swimmers Sean LeNeave, Andrew Ghazi,
Danielle Sartini, Jay Yochim, Helen Husbands and Sara Ghazi take a
break from practicing at the Conroe Recreation Center pool. (Staff
Senior Sean LeNeave, juniors Helen Husbands, Danielle Sartini, Sara
Ghazi and Jay Yochim and freshman Andrew Ghazi will work out and learn
at the facility Thursday through Saturday. Junior Jessie Sartin and
freshman Nuffy Swanson also qualified to attend, which is by having
nationally ranked times, but are unable to make the trip.
"It's a real honor to get to go," said Conroe High School head swim
coach Steve Montgomery, who will also be making the trip. "These
swimmers have worked hard to achieve those times. It's a reward. "We're excited. The program is growing in Conroe. That's what we need - positive growth." Montgomery took a group of five Tiger swimmers to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in 2003.
"It's high-altitude training," said Montgomery. "You get to rub elbows
with Olympic athletes who are there. That's always good interaction.
The U.S. National Select Camp (the most elite swimmers from across the
U.S. under the age of 18) will be there, too. They'll get to watch them
practice." Montgomery said the swimmers will go through two hours
of training on Thursday night, followed by a pair of two-hour sessions
on Friday and another two-hour training on Saturday before returning
home. Husbands will be making her second trip to the facility.
"It was really exciting," she said of the 2003 trip, which also
included LeNeave and Sara Ghazi. "It was a good experience. Bonding
with the team is going to be fun." Montgomery said the training
includes swimmers getting the chance to be towed through the water at
their target speed for a particular race. "That allows the body to
feel what it's like to go as fast as you want to go," he said. "There
will also be underwater filming, as well as their regular training for
this time of year." LeNeave is looking forward to making the trip again.
"It was a new experience," he said about the previous trip. "I had a
lot of fun. It's a team-building experience. It's just a great place."