The annual Puerto Rico trip will be no vacation for the Bulldogs as they prepare for upcoming Ivy League competition.

One meet remains before the men’s and women’s swim teams escape to San Juan for intensive training leading up to the Ancient Eight schedule.

Before the Bulldogs hop on the plane, they will host Fairfield and Southern Connecticut State at Payne Whitney Gymnasium in the final competition against non-conference opponents.

The Fairfield Stags have already defeated Holy Cross and Providence in men’s and women’s competition this season. SCSU’s Dan Vitagliano was recently named the Eastern College Athletic Conference Men’s Swimmer of the Week. This season alone, Vitagliano has set a Northeast-10 record in the 100-yard butterfly and has won an individual championship in the 200-yard freestyle.

Because the main focus of the season is on Ivy matchups, the meet will serve as another training event, Katelyn Kane ’08 said.

The meet will also serve as the last chance for swimmers to qualify for the traveling team, Craig Steen ’10 said.

Although the pinnacle event of the upcoming month for the Elis is the annual trip to Puerto Rico, their busy training schedule usually leaves little time for typical Caribbean island enjoyment.

“We train twice a day, and it is very grueling to wake up at 5 a.m. and start swimming at 6 every morning,” Kane said. “We mostly end up napping at the hotel between practices, but we’d rather be training in Puerto Rico than New Haven.”