Swim Away! San Diego Swim Tour!

A surprised Matthew Lee smiles awkwardly for the camera.

St. George’s Senior Swim team went on a trip to San Diego, CA, on the Thanksgiving weekend. The team members built strong friendships and tasted different cultures. “The San Diego tour was a trip I will never forget for the rest of my life,” Tyler Chiu, grade 11 said. “The friendships I’ve made with WPGA and Coronado High School will persist forever, and the weather was at its peak.”

The tour consisted of 16 boys and 2 teachers, Jeremy Sayers and Dustin Hersee. Missing a day of school, the swimmers took an early 7 am flight to San Diego on October 10th. For our four days, we enjoyed a fabulous stay at Loews Coronado Bay Resort. “At the five-star resort, the quality of life was astounding and relaxing, something essential during the tiring grind of school,” stated Tyler.

While the trip was a mixture of a vacation and a learning opportunity, the main purpose was to bond as a team and explore different places. “During our trip, we learned much about Mexican American culture and participated in several events with the other swimmers,” said Kyryll Keydanskyy, one of our grade 10 teammates.

The following are key events of the trip.

After a good night’s sleep, we traveled to Coronado High School’s pool at 8 am on Friday, October 11th, for our first daily training. To spice the morning up, Coach Hersee decided to challenge us with a difficult Individual Medley (IM) set. After a gruelling two hours, the team returned to the hotel, rested, and prepared for a Dual Swim Meet with Coronado Navy Swimming.

Later in the afternoon at 4 pm, the boys traveled back to the pool and competed for three hours in a relaxed meet. Though our team was competing internationally, the competition wasn’t very onerous. “One of the highlights of the trip was the swim meet, at which we preformed very well,” Kyryll commented. Following the competition, St. George’s, West Point Grey Academy, and Coronado Navy Swimming progressed to the beach for a bonfire. At the beach, the three teams consumed, seemingly, endless amounts pizza and s’mores.

The swim team was very lucky on the morning of Saturday, October 12th. The training schedule changed to 10 am and we all seized our chance to squeeze in a few extra hours of sleep. Swimming during high noon, the boys fell victim to the notorious goggle tan. After practice, the team sped to Belmont Amusement Park and spent the rest of the afternoon there.

With wonderful weather, members of the team enjoyed their afternoon by relaxing and shopping. Perhaps the highlight of the trip, Mr. Hersee seized his chance to try the Wave Loch. Spending the entire afternoon on the Simulator, it was a fantastic experience for our coach. After all the fun, we shopped further at Las Americas Premium Outlets. After two hours, many of us found what we wanted and we all went to bed satisfied.

A taxing morning for everyone was had on Sunday, October 13th, as the usual practice was once again shifted to 8 am. The practice was very long, but we endured through our last “Hersee” practice. Upon finishing at 10 am, Tyler expressed his thoughts about the past three days. “The tour made me a better person, gave me the most relaxing time of my life, and most importantly, boosted my confidence in my stroke and endurance.”

Though tired and hungry, the boys went on a tour of the University of San Diego. For both Vancouver schools, the tour was badly timed as we were caught in the hot sun. Since we drank most of our water during practice, everyone had an uncomfortable three hours without food nor water. Our salvation was the university’s buffet. Being very well priced, $13.75 all you can eat, we were all very content upon departure.

Early in the morning on Monday, October 14th, our senior swimmers left the hotel in silence; we were all so stunned that the Thanksgiving Weekend passed by in a blink of an eye. As participants of the trip, it’s difficult to truly describe the amazing escapade. “I would recommend this trip to anyone who is interested in swimming,” Kyryll concluded. On behalf of the team, I want to give a huge thank you to Mr. Hersee and Mr. Sayers for chaperoning us and being excellent coaches. Their good management made our trip so much more enjoyable.

Next year, our swim team will likely have another tour. For the swimmers who did not go this year, I strongly suggest that all of you partake in the future, as St. George’s school trips are guaranteed to be lots of fun.