This past weekend Montgomery County was home to the Washington Metropolitan Interscholastic Swimming and Diving Championships aka Metros. It’s an amazing meet and one we have attended as spectators many times. This year was extra special, in addition to cheering for friends and Olympic athletes, we got to go cheer for our favorite high school swimmer! Grace.
Grace knew that making finals was a bit of a long shot but she was hopeful. She swam two relays and two individual events (the max allowed) and did really well, improving her seed on both but not quite enough to make finals.
Sophie and all of her friends had made plans to go back for finals, this was something they have done several years in a row. Each year Sophie makes a poster to hold up when Katie swims – much like the posters you would expect to see for summer swim. Friday evening during the 500 free preliminaries after Katie bettered her own US record the girls held the sign up and yelled “we love you Katie”. She smiled and waved at them – this is more exciting to them than back stage passes to One Direction would be.
Grace also wanted to go back for finals, as a swimmer she was allowed on deck. Metros is such a fun meet for the kids, all of their swim friends are there. It is so neat to see the worlds of summer swim, club swim and high school all collide in one pool. Her disappointment over not making finals quickly subsided when she realized she could go to a swim meet with her hair done and not have to worry about warm ups, warm downs and those pesky races! We walked through the door and didn’t see her again for many hours.
We got there quite early, knowing it would be complete madness. It’s a huge meet, crazy fast swimmers and of course, was Katie’s last high school swim meet. It was an absolutely amazing night, record after record fell – US records, meet records, PVS records – one right after the other. Sophie and her friends were in heaven.
Not everyone was quite so lucky; they had to quit admitting people into the facility. The pool has a large window that offers an unobstructed view of the pool. It was lined with people watching – looking in from the outside. It’s sort of ironic, that is how I have always felt about metros . As a spectator I have always felt as though I was on the outside looking in.
At the end of the evening kids were being traded off for sleepovers, I bartered one for two at one point and ended up with a carful of kids spending the night. Grace’s friend swam in the last event which left us amongst the last to leave. Katie, who was being interviewed by several media outlets, ducked out for a few minutes and signed a few autographs. She signed Sophie’s poster and posed for a few photos. Sophie then got a few seconds of fame as she was interviewed by a local news team !
It was truly a remarkable weekend. I loved being a part of the meet. I timed during the preliminary session and got the best view in the house to see my daughter swim. Seeing Katie swim is indescribable. It’s exciting to see the talent that comes out of DC metro in the pool. And nothing will top the smile on Sophie’s face when I tucked her into bed that night. All in all – pretty spectacular! And for the next seven years, I’ll be on this inside looking in watching my girls compete at this extraordinary meet.