Congrats! Some notes from the Swamp

First, for Shelby

Second – congrats to everyone who competed today! Not only were we EXTREMELY competitive with (Division 1) Columbine Knolls, close to 90 percent of today’s swims were season bests with TONS of personal bests. It’s crazy what 9 months did to you kids…

Because there were SO many great swims (just about every heat of that glorious 6 1/2 hour meet) I can’t mention them all but there’s a lot worth talking about.

Here were some highlights for me today –

– Getting the priceless ‘you’ve gotta be kidding me’ look and head shake from both Denney girls on multiple occasions as they got up on the block next to swimmers twice their size. Katie crushed some old times and Shelby hung darn close with CKST state record holder (lots of state records, actually) Ashley Weers (who only had 2-3 heads on her.)

– Getting a call from the Foothills League officials saying the only way Dylan Jacob gets to swim at league is if we tie bricks to his feet. His 25 free today – 18.4 seconds. Last year’s league champ? 19.03. Anyone else excited for week 3?

– Watching Scotty Way “get it” today. He made me promise him that he swam the best of anyone on the team today, but seeing as how he averaged about a 15 second drop for every race he swam, it’s hard to argue..

– Cheering Derek Stein on to 2 league times and one solid B (practically league) at one of his strongest showings since league ’05.

– Watching Brady Cotten get his groove – and his mojo – back, debuting a new block dance and dropping some real time in his breaststroke, qualifying for league once more. Now if we could get the kid to grow a few (six) inches…

– Having Gator newbies Ellie Howell and Emma Sargent swim their first butterfly races ever, stay completely legal, then get out and tell me with big smiles how much ‘fun‘ that was. Uhh…yeah!

– Seeing Tim Palese compete (and compete hard!) in his first meet ever after a tough bout with illness and a rather scary block experience Friday. Gotta love that spirit!

– Seeing Ashley Hill back in the water after an adversity-filled year that has only made her a stronger person. She serves as an inspiration to her coaches and all of her teammates and we’re thrilled to have her back in the Gator family this summer.

– Being a firsthand witness to history and watching our esteemed (and oh-so-humble) 15-18 men fend off three CKST relays and set a team record (a record that isn’t safe as long as these guys are together) in the medley relay with the team of Cody Spencer, Brian Pak, Josh Fleming and Riley Zelus. That 2:04 at the beginning of the meet? It didn’t just break a record, it pumped up the team and put us on track for a great day. That’s what real champions do. Someone call Tim Campbell and tell him we’re on a mission to stamp his name out of that record book for good…

– Watching all the parents volunteer their time so readily this week and last! These meets don’t run without you and I’ve been very impressed with our efficiency. It makes a big difference to the coaches and the swimmers and we appreciate it (except Julie, who demands to be fed grapes and dusted with a soft mist next week.)

And again, there are so many more people I could have talked about, I was really proud of the effort we put in today!

Don’t forget –

Ken Caryl AND the ACC Pentathlon are in 2 WEEKS! You have 2 more meets to qualify for those events (intrasquad Weds. and meet vs. Stingrays Sat.) so you need to check your status and make sure you choose your events wisely! I’ll post more details on that soon. If you qualify, I’d STRONGLY recommend attending! Those are 2 of my favorite meets of the year!

ALSO – I haven’t received any photos from parents yet! If you have anything, please send it to me ASAP! Mr. Landers spent virtually the entire meet shooting Gators in action, a special thanks to him – can’t wait to see the shots! I’ll be posting a super condensed version of this post onto tomorrow for Thursday publication (hopefully) so I’d really like to publish some of your work!

Ok well it’s late now, I’m glad you all get to see how I spend my Saturday nights… Have a great weekend, we’ll see everyone Monday!

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