Members of Purdue’s aquatic teams have a tropical training camp to look forward to before returning to conference competition in the spring.

The squads will spend two weeks in Hawaii to prepare for Big Ten competition. The arduous camp will close with a meet against the local Rainbow Warriors of nearby University of Hawai’i.

Senior Carly Mercer said the challenging atmosphere of the camp will help build on the strides made in fall competition.

“I just want to focus on what I learned from these meets and start working on those little things that will hopefully help me drop time later on in the season,” Mercer said. “I think that’s really what our whole team has been focusing on, small details.”

The men finished their largest meet of the fall portion of their schedule at USA Swimming’s Minnesota Grand Prix held during the weekend of Nov. 14.

More recently, the women’s team finished their fall slate with a fourth-place finish at the Ohio State Invitational two weeks ago.

Mercer, who set a new program best time of 48.43 in the 100 freestyle at the meet, said that the three-day meet was both an excellent cap to her fall racing and a good note to enter the Hawaii training trip on.

“This whole first part of the season, our team has been working on going up to races with confidence, and I think that we did a really good job of that,” Mercer said. “I think that’s something that can really prepare our team going into Big Tens and NCAAs.”

Although the championship meet is nearly four months away, women’s head coach John Klinge said the rewards from the Hawaii won’t be seen until the national meets.

“Everything right now is secondary to preparing for the Big Ten Championships and NCAAs,” Klinge said. “Everything we’re doing, everything through Ohio State through our training camp in Hawaii, is geared towards that.”

For Klinge, 2013 is already in the past and needs only to be referenced as a stepping-stone for his squad’s 2014 campaign.

“We were very successful in the fall. I think the team really enjoyed the first half of the season,” Klinge said. “We’ve got a great group and really strong leadership. They’re a very close-knit team.”

Purdue’s aquatic teams will start off the new year with back-to-back double dual meets against Michigan and Michigan State on Jan. 10 and 11 at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center.

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