Stumph Attends National Camp

Colleen O'Brien, Lifestyle Editor

While most students spent their spring break relaxing, senior varsity swimmer Steven Stumph spent his getting in the workout of his life with the US National team.

The team convened in Colorado Springs, CO from April 4 through 7, and included the fastest 18 and under swimmers in the country. The select group featured the top 6 kids from 3 nation-wide meets last summer: the Olympic Time Trials, the US Open, and the Junior Nationals.

Stumph described the workouts as “really, really hard,” including 2-4 hour practices twice a day, with high intensity and excessive yardage. But what stood out was how hard-working and determined his teammates were. “I know kids there that were splitting in practice, with altitude, after hard workouts, like .5 [seconds] away from Olympic Time Trials cuts. It’s crazy training with those kids. It makes it fun.”

In addition to grueling practices, the student-athletes spent the week being coached by National Team coach Jack Roach and receiving tips and advice from US Olympians Katie Hoff, Aaron Peirsol, and Brendan Hanson.

Stumph especially benefitted from Hanson’s mentoring, as the Olympian excels at the breaststroke, which is Strumph’s best event.

“Brandon gave me a sheet that has the top 10 breaststrokers in the world’s stroke count, stroke rate, intensity, drag resistance, where they’re getting the most efficiency in their stroke, splits, just pretty much data that’s almost impossible to achieve unless you’re on the Olympic or National team,” Stumph said.

The experience also included education about elite athletics outside the pool. The team attended multiple meetings a day on such subjects as leadership, nutrition, and doping.

“It was so much fun! I wish I could go back; I wish I was young enough to do it again,” Strumph said. “You know, you’re training with the fastest kids in pretty much the world, so having all those people there that are willing to work hard, train hard every single lap is just fun to be around because it makes you want to go faster.”