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Old 12-07-2020, 11:34 AM   #1301
JonInMiddleGA
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Still following, still rooting for good things.

Just kinda hard to come up with something to say sometimes, what with the low blows he's been up against.
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Old 12-07-2020, 11:59 AM   #1302
Breeze
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Originally Posted by JonInMiddleGA View Post
Still following, still rooting for good things.

Just kinda hard to come up with something to say sometimes, what with the low blows he's been up against.

Thanks Jon, there also hasn't been a ton going on...so not much fun stuff to report. Hopefully, the team gets through a half season in the spring semester. This is the longest I've gone without seeing the kids in a swim meet since they were around 5 years old.

Last edited by Breeze : 12-07-2020 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 12-10-2020, 08:59 AM   #1303
Breeze
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Berry College - Winter Training Part 1 Update

Looks like one of the swimmers at winter training tested positive for Covid yesterday. Apparently, he hadn't been feeling well for a few days, but all his prior Covid tests came back negative. The result is - the entire swim team has now been exposed. Bear isn't sure what this is going to mean for training/quarantining. He's going to go get an antibodies test, which should free him up to either keep training or come home depending on what the school/coach does.

Last edited by Breeze : 12-10-2020 at 09:00 AM.
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Old 12-11-2020, 07:47 AM   #1304
Breeze
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Berry College - Winter Training Part 1 Update

The swimmer that tested positive and 4 other swimmers, including Bear's roommate were sent home (along with about half of the women's team). Bear is currently in a semi-quarantine while he awaits results on his Covid and antibodies test.

This is a huge problem for the team, as these 2 weeks along with the 2 after Christmas were earmarked as the period the team would ramp up into meet shape. Now a significant portion of swimmers are out, and quite honestly, I'll be surprised if some of the remaining swimmers don't end up getting sick.
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Old 12-14-2020, 07:57 AM   #1305
Breeze
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Berry College - Winter Training Part 1 Update

Bear's Covid test came back clean, but his antibodies test came back negative as well. We talked to our friend who's a Captain at the CDC and she said it sometimes takes up to 3 weeks after having Covid for the antibodies to show up on the test. So despite the fact that Bear was most likely just sick with Covid just over a week ago, the team sent him home per NCAA guidelines. Bear of course, wanting to protect me has gone back to his aunt and uncles until we are sure he's clear to come home.
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Old 12-16-2020, 08:57 AM   #1306
Breeze
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Berry College - Winter Training Part 1 Update

Following the swimmer with the positive test, Berry sent 5 boys (Bear included) and about 8 women home. However, despite their best efforts another swimmer contracted the disease, and the AD's response was to send the entire team home. They will meet again in early January and try to ramp back up, but this will put a huge dent in their conditioning.
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Old 01-04-2021, 04:08 PM   #1307
Breeze
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Berry College - Winter Training Session 2 - Update

Bear returned to school today for the second phase of winter training. Only problem is, because he tested positive for Covid, there is a re-introductory period he must follow before he gets fully released. The idea, I believe it to protect the student from the covid heart related issues that have been reported. Therefore, Bear is supposed to ease back into workouts (funny given he played pickleball for 3 hours last night).

He will start with the following:

Stage 3 - 70% heart rate
Day 1 - stationary bike for 15 minutes
Day 2 - run outside for 15 minutes

Stage 4 - 80% heart rate
Day 3 - stationary bike for 15 min, light bodyweight exercises for 15 min.
Day 4 - outdoor jog 30 min

Stage 5 - 80% heart rate
Day 5 - 30 minutes swimming, 15 minute weight lifting (upper body)
Day 6 - 30 minutes swimming, 15 minute weight lifting (lower body)

Stage 6 - 80% heart rate
Day 7 - 30 minutes swimming, 30 minutes weight lifting (upper body)
Day 8 - 30 minutes swimming, 30 minutes weight lifting (lower body)

Stage 7
Day 9 - Return to full practice

This is way over conservative given the exercise he's been getting. It's not like he just recovered and they need to ease him back into things. Hopefully, he can convince them to adjust this to move him straight to Stage 6 to start, or something more aggressive. If not this will just further hinder his ability to get in shape.

Last edited by Breeze : 01-08-2021 at 09:13 AM.
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Old 01-08-2021, 09:17 AM   #1308
Breeze
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Berry College vs. Birmingham Southern vs. University of Montevallo @ Birmingham Crossplex - 1/8

The first meet of the season is today, but Bear won't be competing. He's still in the Covid recovery protocol. Moreover, the team isn't going to do well, as they've only been the water for a couple of days compared to Birmingham Southern who actually had a meet in November (plus they are the best team in conference.

Last edited by Breeze : 01-11-2021 at 07:55 AM.
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Old 01-13-2021, 04:59 PM   #1309
Breeze
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General Update - Bear

Bear was just released for a full practice yesterday, and the practice consisted of 33 - 100s. 1 easy, 1 moderate, 1 hard, 1 easy, 1 moderate, 2 hard, 1 easy, 1 moderate, 3 hard, etc. Of course at the end of this Bear got out of the pool and puked. Not surprising given he wasn't even doing a full warm up prior to yesterday. It's going to be long road back for him.

Last edited by Breeze : 01-13-2021 at 05:00 PM.
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Old 01-13-2021, 05:03 PM   #1310
rjolley
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Glad to hear Bear's back in the pool. Hope the road to being back in form is smooth.
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Old 01-14-2021, 11:09 AM   #1311
Breeze
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2020-21 Berry Viking Men’s Swimming Roster

The Berry mens’ team roster is outlined below. It’s very difficult to pinpoint what class each swimmer is actually in because many come into school, like Bear, with college credits already in place. Moreover, with Covid, this season actually doesn’t count towards eligibility, so forecasting who will return next year is going to be extremely difficult. Moreover, because swimmers have gotten so little time in-pool training, I have no idea what to expect from them performance wise. It’s a little disappointing, I would have loved to see Bear swimming with some of the top seniors when they were all in peak condition. This could have been a pretty special team this year.


Alex Bartik (So.)
Alex is a nice swimmer who helps significantly with depth, especially in this conference where each team fields 2 relays. Alex has solid but not spectacular 100 times in all 4 strokes, so his primary races are the IMs. He finished 10th (200 IM) and 8th (400 IM) at conference championships last year. His 3rd event last year was the 200 breast and he managed to get 11th. Overall, last year he managed a very nice 24 points for the team during conference championships.

Cole Beddingfield (Sr.)
Cole is a combination swimmer/diver. He’s been a very good butterflier in the past, one that typically goes out extremely fast and dies coming home (especially in the 200 fly). This year could be a tough year for him as he’ll struggle to get in the shape needed to pull off that style of race. Moreover, given he’s a senior it might be a bit tough to motivate himself for the effort it takes to be great in the fly, especially when he’s been past on the depth chart so to speak (more on that later). However, should he get in shape he’s a threat to do well, as he finished 5th in both the 100 and 200 flys in conference last year and he was 7th in diving totaling 40 points.

Michael Bemis (Sr.)
This is one of the senior swimmers that I was excited to watch. Bemis is a sprint freestyler and multiple time conference champion. He has finished in the top 3 of every 50 and 100 conference freestyle race since his arrival in ‘17/’18. He’s also won the 50 twice (including last year) and the 100 once. He is positioned to challenge for the conference championships again this year, and his early returns show he’s not in peak shape, but he could still get there before late February. Michael was second on the team in points at conference with 47.5.

Noah Brand (So.)
Noah is a classic fly/free swimmer, but he’s already made a name for himself as a flyer in conference. He managed to finish 3rd in the 100 and 2nd in the 200 as a Freshman. His 3rd event was the 50 free and he placed 10th in that event. Noah’s free sprints give him a shot to be on the A free relays (though it’ll be a tight battle to see who ends up with those slots moving forward). With a few new sprint specialists added to the team, Noah’s versatility might move his 3rd event to something new. He managed to earn 40 points in conference last year.

Riley Coker (Jr.)
Riley is similar to Alex Bartik only not quite as good. He has no really weak stroke, but he doesn’t have any you would qualify as strong either. As is usual with swimmers like this, they help the team by working hard. Riley did yeoman’s work in conference championships, swimming the 3 longest races possible, the 500 & 1650 Free and the 400 IM. He turned in good enough performances to earn 17 points.

Bo Dyer (Sr.)
Bo is a very good swimmer who is strong in sprint free and back, but he ended up filling the breaststroke role for the team last year. His breaststroke is good (was definitely the best on the team last year), but it’s hardly his best event. He missed A finals in both the breast events finishing 11th in the 100 and 9th in the 200. In the 200 IM, which is definitely a strong event for him, he managed to finish 5th. It will be interesting to see if the coach leaves Bo in breast this season. It’s still a weak spot for the team so maybe. In all Bo earned 27 points at conference in 2020.

Kevin Fuentes-Bonilla (So.)
Kevin is a diver only, and he wasn’t on the team in 2020 so I have no idea what sort of impact he’ll have on the team.

Hunter Kenny (Fr.)
Hunter is the first of a strong freshman class. Hunter actually lives only a few miles from us, and should have gone to school with Bear, but he was home schooled. Hunter is a strong sprint freestyler, good enough to potentially make A finals in conference as a freshman in the very tough 50 and 100 Frees. The remainder of his strokes are average at best. In fact, he might have difficulty scoring in his 3rd event this year. It will be interesting to see what coach does with him through the years to develop another race.

Ryan MacKinnon (Fr.)
Ryan is the second member of the strong freshman class. He comes in as a multi-stroke swimmer, who is battling for top breaststroker on the team. He’ll almost certainly fill a breast/IM role, I’m just not sure if he’ll do 2 Breast events and 1 IM or the other way around.

Harrison McNeil (Fr.)
Here is the 3rd strong member of the freshman class. McNeil’s personal bests are very similar to Hunter Kenny’s, so again capable of making an A final as a Freshman in the sprint frees. Interestingly, in the inter-squad meet Harrison focused on Backstroke. That was odd, as his back personal bests aren’t exceptionally strong. Will be one to watch moving forward.

Laramie Sellers (Sr.)
Laramie was the team’s top breaststroker in ‘18/’19 but didn’t swim last year (hence the need for Bo Dyer to fill the role of breaststroke). This year Laramie returns, but it appears from practice he’s no longer swimming breast, which is interesting because based on his personal bests breast is by far his strongest stroke. Not really sure where he fits if he doesn’t do breast. His free sprints are pretty good, but with the influx of sprinters based on best times he’s not even in the team’s top 5.

Paxton Smathers (So.)
Paxton is one of the weaker swimmers on the team, capable of sneaking in some back end points illustrated by his 6 points at conference championships last year. Because he lacks a strong stroke he swims longer races where stamina and effort can impact results. At conference last year he swam in the 500 Free, 200 Free, and 200 Back he finished 16, 13, and 14.

Tyler Stephenson (Jr.)
Tyler is another swimmer that was on the team in ‘18/’19, and in fact was competing with Laramie for top breaststroker, but didn’t swim for the school in ‘19/’20. He’s back this season, and if he can get back into shape after missing a year and dealing with the Covid impacts to training, he’ll most likely be challenging for the top breast position again. It’s by far his best stroke.

Diego Torres (Fr.)
Diego is basically a “walk-on”. He is very small for a swimmer, built more like a gymnast, who was a high school swimmer only, not a year-round trainer. Currently it appears he’s limited to just freestyle and sprints, and given he’s stuck competing in the toughest events on the schedule and his times are below average he’ll struggle to score at conference. However, Diego is a very hard worker and a very positive person and is quite popular on the team. Always good to have good teammates.

Ross Valdez (Fr.)
The crown jewel of the big Freshman signing class, Ross is an extremely good swimmer who was ranked the 12th best swimmer in Georgia in 2020. Swimmers ranked around him (both above and below) signed with teams like Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, and Iowa, so Ross ending up at Berry was a huge coup. Another illustration of how good he is…in the meet last weekend (1/9), despite only being in the water for practice for 3 days, he broke the team record in the 1000 swim, AND HE WAS 24 SECONDS OFF HIS PERSONAL BEST. Ross is an excellent swimmer in all strokes, but he really thrives in distance and fly. Not sure where he’ll ultimately shake out. My guess for this year is he’ll do the 200 fly, 500 Free and 1000 free, but will also be on every A relay he can be on.

Mason Weaver (So.)
Mason appears to be just a breaststroker, as that is the only thing he swam at conference championships last year. He was good enough to steal a couple of back end points by getting 15th in the 200. Given the return of Stephenson and Sellers plus the addition of freshman McKinnon on his own team, I don’t see any way he can duplicate his 2 point return from last year.

Dylan White (Sr.)
This is last year’s team MVP, earning 49 points at conference championships. Dylan is the other senior I wanted Bear to swim with, as he’s pretty amazing. In ‘18/’19 he won the 100 back and finished second in the 200 back in conference. Last year he interestingly started swimming some mid-distance events and even managed to post some team records. At conference he swam the 500 and finished 3rd, the 100 back he was 4th, and the 400 IM he finished 2nd. Dylan is super versatile and it will be interesting to see what he swims this year. Interestingly, backstroke is the one area that appears to be weak with the recent additions. Maybe that’s enough of a reason to have Dylan go back to focusing on that stroke.

Bear Breeze (Fr.)
The final piece of the strong freshman class. If you’ve been reading along you know what kind of swimmer Bear is. His strength is in the grinding events, distance free, 200 free & fly and the 2 IMs. His sprint free is good enough to potentially be on the B relay at conference, his 200 free is borderline A relay ability. His fly is 5th fastest on the team with 2 seniors and Ross in front of him, and his 200 fly is 4th. Ultimately, I’m not sure what Bear will compete in long term. However, this year it looks like he’ll be in the grinder role swimming the 3 longest events on the docket – 500 and 1650 free, and 400 IM.

Last edited by Breeze : 01-14-2021 at 11:29 AM.
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Old 01-14-2021, 03:32 PM   #1312
Breeze
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Berry - Covid Update

So yesterday Bear's roommate Ross tested positive. Unfortunately, over the weekend the swim team had a party and contact tracing sent all but 4 guys home (Bear was one that got to stay). Today the team re-tested everyone and there were no new positive tests. However, the AD reported the entire team is being quarantined for 2 weeks and all competitions are cancelled. This screams of punishment for having a party not for potential Covid outbreak, especially when they want Bear to quarantine even though he - A. wasn't at the party and B. has antibodies and can't spread the virus right now. In addition, the AD just had the entire team come together on Tuesday for a dinner following the first swim meet, so not sure what the difference is in getting together for dinner and for getting together for a "party".

Last edited by Breeze : 01-14-2021 at 03:35 PM.
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Old 01-15-2021, 05:45 AM   #1313
JonInMiddleGA
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{facepalm}

I won't say much else because all I'd probably do is add to the frustration.
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Old 01-20-2021, 03:35 PM   #1314
Breeze
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Berry - Covid Update

The two week punishment ended up being more like 6 days...as the team was back in the water today. They also have a meet this weekend.

Good luck with that... Poor Bear will probably swim the 1000 with about 5 days of full practice in the last 3 weeks.
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Old 01-21-2021, 08:28 AM   #1315
Breeze
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Birmingham Southern Quad Meet @ Birmingham Crossplex - 1/23

Berry heads to this quad meet with 3 days of practice in the last 10. Berry will swim against Birmingham Southern, Milsaps, and West Florida (D1). This is actually a 2 day meet but Berry will only participate on Saturday. I don't know at this point which events will be contested on Saturday, so hard to say what Bear might be swimming. I expect this will be ugly for the Vikings.
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Old 01-22-2021, 02:03 PM   #1316
Breeze
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Birmingham Southern Quad Meet @ Birmingham Crossplex - 1/23

Berry heads to this quad meet with 3 days of practice in the last 10. Berry will swim against Birmingham Southern, Milsaps, and West Florida (D1). This is actually a 2 day meet but Berry will only participate on Saturday. I don't know at this point which events will be contested on Saturday, so hard to say what Bear might be swimming. I expect this will be ugly for the Vikings.

I've confirmed with Bear, he will be swimming the 1000 and the 400 IM. Welcome Back!!!

No idea about relays, but given the relays appear to be immediately before the 1000 and immediately after the 400 IM, I'm guessing he won't be on any.
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Old Yesterday, 09:09 AM   #1317
Breeze
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Birmingham Southern Quad Meet - RESULTS

As expected the results were ugly. No one on the team swam well and the longer the event, the worse the results. It's a bit sad, because the times that were winning events are dead in line with what the Berry swimmers would be doing if they were getting to practice regularly.

The one thing this meet illustrated clearly - Birmingham Southern either isn't having Covid issues (which I find hard to believe knowing the party culture of that team), or their protocols are much less stringent than the ones Berry is following. Given the results of this meet, I expect BSC to dominate the conference championship.

As for Bear, he swam 2 long events, and as I said results got worse the longer the race. It was so bad the distance coach even apologized to him after the meet. There is no point in posting his times, as I'm sure he has no desire to remember them long term.

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