Friday, November 20, 2015

Abroad Update: Florence!

Hello from Florence, Italy!

I am writing from my lovely Italian apartment that is minutes from the Duomo and the central market (where all the best produce is and the best fried veggies, they are technically from the ground Brad?). It’s starting to get chilly here but so far I have managed without a coat. I may have to give in and buy one at one of the million stores in Florence. Shopping is truly an art here.

I am studying at Studio Arts Centers International (SACI) which is study abroad school located in the center of Florence that is focused on studio arts, conservation, and art history. It has been great to devote all my energy to working on art and studying all of the amazing art and buildings throughout Florence. I am taking an art history course that has a required field trip section so I have been traveling to many cities all over Italy seeing the early renaissance masterpieces that my class is focused on.  

Yesterday my ceramics class took a field trip to the Italian countryside to spend the day glazing and firing some of our pieces in a cool process called raku firing. It was awesome to get out of the city and into the fresh air. Florence is such an incredible city with so many layers and twists and turns. I hope that by the end of the semester I have seen most of the city, and can navigate without google maps. I can say that I am getting close to not using maps!

Everyone always asks about the food! IT IS SO GOOD. I have had many memorable meals but one of my favorite is pear stuffed pasta with a gorgonzola and pecorino cheese sauce. It sounds kind of odd but it is life changing. I can’t wait to bring back some of the recipes to try out during those cold winter training nights!

I miss everyone so much and I can’t wait to be dancing on deck and in the locker rooms with all of you!

Lots of love,

PS: They have “BBQ chips” here but I have been abstaining until I can get my hands on those tasty lays kettle cooked mesquite BBQ chips back in the States.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Abroad Update - Jordan!

Hello from Amman, Jordan!

I am writing to you from the lovely neighborhood of Khalda, in western part of the city, where I live with my host family, on a “chilly” evening. It’s been pretty hot around here since I arrived in late August, so I’m grinning silly that the thermometer’s dropped to 75°F!

During my time here, I’ll be attending Princess Sumaya University of Technology and diving (teehee punny) into studying formal Arabic and Jordanian dialect for the first time, as well as learning about the politics of water in the region and U.S. Foreign Policy on the Middle East. I’m also writing for a local online newspaper, Al Bawaba, which has been a total blast so far! Missing giggling about the Orient’s security report a bit, but get to work with a new type of security report now?! On the weekends, I’ve been exploring the neighborhood and the region a bit. I’ve jumped over to Qatar, Bahrain, and Israel/Palestine so far! Hopefully I get to visit my cousin in Dubai in November, fingers crossed!


Amman is a happnin’ place - full of buzzing markets, lively cafes, and even student protests! Recently, I got the chance to run a half marathon through the city (with Lisa MacKenzie ’17!) and visit a mosque. These two vastly different experiences expose the vibrant culture here, with its strong ties to tradition and religion, and its modern flare. Jordan is packed with beautiful historic sites, like Petra—one of the “new” 7 Wonders of the World—and of course “the Dead and the Red” Seas as they’re nicknamed. I hope to check them out soon!

I wish you all could come see and experience this wonderful part of the world with me! I’ll bring home some yummy falafel and shwarma (the best snack!) for all you hungry swimmers and divers, too! Just like Sophie, I definitely miss Thorne and long meals with friends a bunch! So looking forward to silly 5-minutes-before-warm-up shenanigans (sorry, Brad!) and cheering my lungs out at meets with all yall! HAPPY ALMOST SEASON!!! T-1 WEEK(ish)!!!


Liza J

Still doing big things halfway around the world!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Abroad Update - Japan!

Hello from Nagoya, Japan!

For those of you who dont know where Nagoya is, its a wonderful city located on the east coast of Japan. Its very close to the water and just an easy Bullet Train ride from Tokyo!

For the next couple of months Ill be living in Nagoya and commuting by subway to Nanzan University, where Im studying intensive Japanese language, as well as topics in Japanese culture, history, and religion. On my days off Ill also be taking some field trips to Tokyo, Kyoto, and *maybe* even making a quick jaunt to Korea.

While Nagoya is quieter than Tokyo, it still has its fair share of underground super-malls, art museums, beautiful parks, and even a castle! Nagoya was the home of three of Japans greatest historical figures (ever heard of Tokugawa?!), and also houses one of the most important shrines in the country. This weekend Ill be attending an akimatsuri (fall festival), and next week Im going to the Nagoya Studio Ghibli exhibition!

And while Im loving the hard-core touring, I also think my favorite place in Japan is the Mr. Donut across the street from my subway stop.

But I do miss Bowdoin, especially now that #bowdoinfall is hitting my insta! Ill be glad to come home to Bowdoin food and Bowdoin friends. Cant wait for team dinners, bonding over Frostys, and locker room dance parties!

Lots of love,


Talk about sushi...

yes please!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Blake Wheale '09 to Compete at Triathlon Worlds

Blake Wheale '09
       Not all swimmers are disasters on land... case in point, Blake Wheale.  A member of the class of 2009, Blake had originally been a tennis player but decided to try out for swimming his sophomore year at Bowdoin and the rest is history.  A natural athlete, Blake picked up swimming and quickly began to make his mark.  By his senior year, Blake was a point-scorer at the Conference meet and a formidable sprinter.

      Not letting graduation interrupt his success, Blake completed an Ironman shortly after Bowdoin and has never looked back.  I caught up with Blake recently after he competed at the USA Triathlon National Championships earlier this summer.  Blake's performance was good enough to secure the last qualifying spot for the World Championships later this year in Cozumel (we'll be happy to come along...).

      Blake wanted to make sure to give Brad a shout-out, "for taking a shot on me as a sophomore walk-on and basically teaching me proper swim technique etc, which I doubt any other coach would have done. Had he not given me a shot I would never have had a shot at making the USA world team!"

Go U Bears! and good luck, Blake!!

Monday, August 31, 2015


I'm a little late on the uptake but some good press regarding one of our first years.  Check it out!

Karl Sarier, Class of 2019

Thursday, July 30, 2015


It's almost August?!  Where has summer gone...  
University of Tennessee, Allan Jones Aquatic Center
      While one of the worst parts of summer is being away from the team (except for the lucky few who stay on campus), one of the best parts is having opportunities to travel and explore.  Collaboration and camaraderie are some of my favorite aspects of coaching, and swim camps are the perfect example.  Earlier this summer, I travelled down to Knoxville, Tennessee to work at the University of Tennessee Swim Camp and it proved to be one of the most interesting and engaging experiences I've had.  Head Coach Matt Kredich and the program, with its combination of technique focus and conditioning, is seeing incredible success with his athletes.  I gleamed much insight, hung out with some Olympians, met great people, and took back tons of ideas and information to bring back to our pool at home.  Is it November yet??

Yep, live in the flesh.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Lela, John, Lyle, and Olivia

     We are proud to announce the 2015-2016 Captains.  Please welcome Lela Garner, Olivia Pfeifer, Lyle Anderson, and John Lagasse!

     Olivia (Kenai, Alaska) has been the rock of a strong distance core.  Her tenacious spirit and persistent work ethic make her an ideal training partner and feared competitor.  Despite being abroad last fall, Olivia took training camp by the reigns in January and never looked back.  Milers, beware - she doesn't back down!  Lela (Philadelphia, PA) excels in her versatility, a potent force in the freestyle, IM, and backstroke events.  She brings a determined, yet merry, attitude to training and her teammates.  Lela saw an excellent junior campaign, highlighted by a trip to NCAAs for her performance in the school's fastest 400 Free Relay in history.  Both are poised to continue the incredible success the s'women saw this past season.

     Lyle (Cleveland, Ohio) is a force of the sprint group, making waves in the 50, 100, and 200 Free.  While Lyle is pretty laid back on land, make no mistake that he is a competitor in the pool (or if you're going for the last slice). A stand-out for his reliability and consistency, Lyle has been a huge team contributor both in the pool and when you need a smile.  Although one might consider John (Hopkinton, MA) a breaststroke/sprint free connoisseur, he proved that he can be a contender in any distance during a grueling 200s set over training trip.  He constantly raises the expectation for those around him, leading by example with a great attitude.  Whether you need a great training partner or Call of Duty partner, John is your man.  Both lead a strong senior class, ready to take on the 'Cac!