To round out our short course season Sarah swam some of her off events at the spring finale meet. My kids always do well at the meets right after the championship meets, they have nothing to lose. Pressure is off.
Sarah had never been able to break a minute in 100 free. She does better at distance free events and she has struggled to wrap her arms around 100 free. She went into the meet with this as her main goal. She also decided to swim some big events – including 400 IM and 500 free – as well as events she had never swam, specifically 200 fly.
Her goal on 200 fly was fairly simple. She just wanted to be faster than Sophie. My kids really don’t compete too much against each other but with a two and a half year age difference Sarah was hoping to at least swim close to Sophie’s time.
Sarah started the race in what can best be described as a calm and slow pace. She was 4th in the heat and I’ll be honest, I didn’t know where she was going with the race. Her coaches defiantly had the WTF look on their face. Her first 100 was a 114 and I knew that for her to hit her goal she would need to do a 125 on the second 100. Totally doable but her first 100 looked pretty uninspiring. She did go into the second 100 in 3rd. As the race continued Sarah’s pace never subsided. As others were starting to slow she just kept going. By the 150 she was in 2nd and shortly thereafter she moved into 1st.
In the end she split two 114 mids and went from a NT to a JO qualifier in one race. It was certainly an odd race to watch and her coaches were equally mystified by her strategy. It’s not often that you see a second 100 just as fast as the first.
Sarah still talks to me at meets and she came running upstairs grinning ear to ear. She joked that she could have swam it faster and also recognize that she had spent all this time trying to figure out 200 breast (which she finally did two weeks before) and that 200 fly was way more fun.
Sarah often goes into races with a unique strategy. She is hyper focused on the outcome but I worry some times that she doesn’t focus enough on the working parts. She wants to win. Period. Her strategy, while unconventional, works.
She also crushed that 100 free. I saw that one coming though. That kid always has a strategy.