The first short course meets of the season are usually great. The kids haven’t swam short course since March. Huge time drops, especially for the younger children are almost guaranteed. The kids are always excited to see their friends from other sites. The parents are usually on their best behavior. Because the kids are happy! Seriously, happy kids always means happy parents. I have tried the reverse, being happy mom and it doesn’t always produce happy kids. But I digress..
Sarah and Sophie both swam last weekend. They were no exception to the rule. They both swam really well. I had promised this season that I was going to focus less on times and more on quality swimming. If I am being completely honest – it’s easier said than done. The first weekend in November, RMSC hosts a National Age Group meet. The three fastest swimmers for several area (MD, DC and DE) clubs compete against one another. The October meet is the only time they can qualify. It’s a challenge – you have to pick events wisely and swim them well. Swimming well in this case means fast – not pretty. They only do 100’s at this meet so it really is a crap shoot.
Sophie made this meet last year. She was a shoe in for 100 fly this year. She didn’t disappoint. She had six great swims and easily qualified for that, a relay or two and perhaps one other event. Sarah was a wild card, she was seeded well on 100 breast but has never made the meet. She swam 50 breast the first day and won it. The top 6 were all seeded with in .2 of each other and Sarah was seeded 6th. That isn’t important. She took off quite a bit of time and came so close to the quad A cut. That also doesn’t matter. It was a remarkable swim- almost perfect. The second day of the meet she swam really well. Her 100 breast was really nice and again she dropped a nice bit of time. She came in 4th for her age at the NAG’s meet. She missed it by .1
It’s really hard to focus on quality swimming when these kids are trying to qualify with times or places. Sarah was disappointed which made me sad. She swam 6 events this meet and it was truly the best I have ever seen her swim. In her heart she knew she did well but it was still a disappointment for her.
The good news is she will swim the A 200 medley relay. Rumor has it that there may be a scratch in 100 breast but even if there isn’t she get the shirt, she gets the bag tag. And she gets to say “I swam well!”.
The highlight of the meet was absolutely seeing her 50 breast. She ages up in late November and that event will go away for her. She may give that quad A cut another shot in early November. She may not. Either way, she is ready to take her swimming to the next level. The next best thing? Watching Sophie swim 200 IM. She proved to me that she has worked hard thus far. Breast and back have always been tricky for her and she looked great in both.
I can take two big exhales, Sarah and Sophie delivered on their promises. Well executed races. I’m proud.
Grace swims this weekend. I took a great big inhale this year with her. And I have been holding my breath ever since. I’m ready for that final exhale.