July 9, 2014
University of Notre Dame head women's swimming and diving coach Brian Barnes and national champion and rising senior Emma Reaney spent a couple of weeks in June coaching and competing, respectively, at the highly-competitive international Mare Nostrum swimming series. The two visited France and Spain as part of the USA contingent. Barnes offers his final wrapup of the trip below after providing feedback during the trip on the team's Facebook page (www.facebook.com/NDwSwimmingDiving).
My time in Europe the summer was very educational. Looking back on my experience I have to say that I am very grateful to be a part of it. What was interesting about the meet was that at the top end we saw some amazing swims. Several times swimmers performed the number one or two ranked swims in the world. However, the meets felt very much like a long age group invitational as we were on deck for a good 8-10 hours a day.
I enjoyed observing the stroke techniques and preparation strategies of some of the best swimmers in Europe. However, my largest education came from the swimmers I was appointed to work with while on this trip - Cullen Jones, Tim Phillips, Emma Reaney and Cammile Adams. They all immediately welcomed me and were all a pleasure to work with.
Emma finished up in Barcelona with a top-eight performance in the 100 breast. I thought this was a great way for her to finish in Europe because top eight was something we both felt she could achieve. I am excited to see how she competes in August at the Phillips 66 National Championships.
I have been back in the states now for a month and I must say that the biggest thing I am missing is the coffee! While visiting there for 10 days I drank so much delicious coffee. If I lived there I would definitely have a problem.
--Brian Barnes, Head Coach - Notre Dame Women's Swimming & Diving