Dryland Training

Captain Sammie Schurig, Madison Straight and Hannah Driscoll pulled themselves up the football stadium ramps at the football stadium with rollers under their legs during pre-dawn workouts.

Swimmers need to feel the water as lap-after-lap build. Divers need to maintain the sense of movement required for somersaulting and twisting moves. Without time on the water, rowers lose the balance between power and stability required for any boat from a single to an eight-rower shell.

Logically, everyone will want to jump in the water or settle into a boat’s sliding seat when these teams safely return to the KU campus. However, it will not be surprising to see both teams start with dryland training. Before dawn, far from Robinson Natatorium and the Kansas River, the conditioning will begin.

Swimmers crawling up the steep ramps of the stadium using only arm strength while their legs rest on rollers seems fiendish, but the move strengthens their upper bodies and arms in a compound movement hard to duplicate in a weight room. The endless jumps photographed on a foggy morning build explosive power for races as short as 50-meters. Divers will be tethered, practicing their rotation above a foam pit. Rowers will sprint up the stadium steps taxing aerobic levels while developing the endurance and strength needed for 2,000-meter races with power surges demanded by the coxswain.

Since the shutdown, the women of these teams might feel like ducks out of water, and before they can return to the pool or river, there will still be some dryland ahead of them.

KU swimmers leaped in the morning fog at Kansas’ football stadium as part of their dryland traiing in September 2016.
KU diver Peri Charapich practiced a twisting move while tethered by ropes above a foam pit in Feburary 2017.
Rowers Briana Pina and Mary Slattery climbed raced up the east stand inside the KU football stadium in November 2014.
Rower Olivia Loney climbed the KU football stadium stairs as part of the team’s dryland training in November 2014.
Bailey Brandon caught her breath after running up that stairs at KU’s football stadium in November 2014.


Jeff Jacobsen has photographed practically every big event the sports world has to offer during a professional career that spans over 53 years. Jacobsen has seen things up close that only a diehard sports fan could in their dreams. His work for the Topeka Capital-Journal, Arizona Republic, Kansas Athletics, Inc., many national publications and now Action Images Photography, Inc., cemented his reputation as one of the nation’s finest sports photographers.

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