Sunday, February 03, 2008

Regionals report

Well, the weather cooperated with us on Friday, and the swimmers took off on the bus right on schedule as soon as they checked in with their homeroom teachers. Fred and I drove over to Versailles later on, after stopping at Barnes and Nobles in E'town to pick up some Starbucks.

We arrived just in time to check in for our volunteer shift. They had the volunteers divided into 2 shifts, and it was important to me that we work first shift, which meant sacrificing being able to see (and tape) Mike's 200-yard medley relay but which would allow us to see (and tape) both kids' individual events later in the afternoon. A regular Sophie's choice for the modern mom, I tell you.

I did peek over to lane 8 from lane 3 and watched Mike's leg of the relay. He came running over later to tell us that with a time of 2:06.63 (seed time was 2:13.01), the relay had made it to the second day, which took a lot of the pressure off.

Annabelle's event for the afternoon was the 100-yard backstroke, an event she had done only once before in competition. Watching her swim just takes my breath away. There's my baby, rising like the phoenix from liquid ashes and flinging herself backwards into the race, and it's all I can do to hold the camera still:

She was a little nervous about pacing herself from the flags to the side of the pool, but she timed it perfectly and nailed her turns like a pro:

At 1:40.74, Annabelle had the second-slowest seed time in her heat, but she still finished on top at 1:29.49. You can watch her event here and you can go here to read about the meet in her own words.

Mike's individual event, the 100-yard breaststroke, happened a little later in the afternoon. Mike has worked so hard on his breaststroke this season, and it really shows:

He finished third in his heat and fourteenth overall, which made him the second alternate for the finals the next day. His final time was 1:16.86, which was a personal best for him and made him really happy:

You can watch his event here.

By the end of Friday, Fort Knox had 12 swimmers who had qualified to come back the next day--3 relay teams with 2 swimmers also qualifying outright in an individual event each and 2 more (including Mike) qualifying as alternates in their individual events. This is HUGE for us! I am particularly impressed with the success of our relay teams. As I explained to Mike, any school can get lucky enough to have one or 2 superstars, but the success of a group says a lot about the underlying hard work and dedication.

It was so exciting to be back at the pool the second day. I vowed to videotape everybody from Fort Knox that day.

Mike's relay team finished 12th with a time of 2:07.40 but wound up in 11th place when another team was DQ'ed. We were joking that their fiendish plan not to come in last had worked!

Watch the 200-yard medley relay finals here.

You can watch our contenders in the women's 100-yard breaststroke here (8th place); the women's 100-yard backstroke here (10th place); the women's 200-yard freestyle relay here (7th place); and the men's 400-yard freestyle relay here (12th place).

Before we headed back to Fort Knox, I gathered some of our swimmers together to take a picture with their beloved coach:

I couldn't resist modeling our emergency goggles:

These are the goggles that we learned the hard way always to keep at the ready, because you just don't know when somebody's goggles are going to give up the ghost!

So tell me now, 'cause I know you know: Who rocks the blocks?

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