Freezing Temps Don’t Deter GCU Swim Teams at Morning Workout

January 16, 2013 / by / 0 Comment

By Bob Romantic
GCU News Bureau

Think it’s been a little chilly walking around campus these past few days?

Try going outside at 6 a.m. – wearing a Speedo!

That’s what the GCU men’s and women’s swim teams endured Tuesday morning during a workout at the Brophy Sports Complex pool.

With 26-degree temperatures, ice on the pool deck, icicles forming on the starter blocks and steam rising from the water, the Antelope swimmers dived in for a two-hour practice.

Icicles form on the starting blocks and steam rises from the pool at Brophy Sports Complex Tuesday morning, where the temperature was 26 degrees when GCU began a workout at 6. (Photo by Steve Schaffer)

“They got right in,” GCU Coach Steve Schaffer said of his athletes. “They could have whined and complained, but we had a good workout. When it’s that cold, you just keep your head down and keep going.”

Schaffer said they were able to chip off slush snowballs from the pool deck, and one swimmer actually slipped on the ice and fell on his backside.

“Everybody laughed and wanted to take pictures of the steam coming off the pool,” Schaffer said.

The Phoenix area is at the end of a rare four-day cold spell – the longest stretch of sub-freezing temperatures since 1988, according to the National Weather Service.

The water temperature in the heated pool Tuesday morning was 80 degrees, making it a much safer haven than the frigid conditions outside.

“At that point, getting out of the pool is the hardest part,” Schaffer said.

GCU’s swimmers went through the workout as part of their preparations for a home meet at the Brophy complex at 1 p.m. Saturday against Biola University, a private Christian school in La Mirada, Calif. It is one of only two home meets for the Antelopes all season and will serve as Senior Day for nine GCU swimmers competing in the last home meet of their career.

They are Eetu Karvonen, Richie Krzyzanowski, Kyle Shores, Buddy Turner and Jordan Wagner on the men’s team, and Jaclyn Branning, Amy Hammann, Victoria Heron and Mychala Lynch on the women’s side.

“We have a pretty good parent group that goes to a lot of our meets,” Schaffer said, “but it’s always nice to swim at home. It will be a good sendoff for our seniors.”

Contact Bob Romantic at 639.7611 or

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