Meet madness!

Here’s a big ol’ heaping hunk of post. Don’t read it too early – it might spoil your dinner.

First – 3 practice reminders!

1 – Monday night practice is canceled because of a league meeting. There will be no coaches around! (btw, upper division – that’s the hardest you’ve ever worked for me today.. So, uh, thanks.)

2 – Friday morning practice is canceled for upper division because of Ken Caryl! The other 2 age groups WILL swim that morning!

3 – Monday practice will be canceled for ALL age groups following that fabulous 3 day weekend of Ken Caryl and Pentathlon. We’ll get more info on C/D tonight, but it’s very doubtful for Sunday.

Second – Let’s talk about the Stingray meet!

Everyone swam extremely well and I was especially pleased with the fantastic team atmosphere we had. There truly was a ‘home-field advantage’ and it had hardly anything to do with the Bucket ‘O Swamp Sludge (TM) I dumped in the pool right before the meet.

Here were a few lessons learned this week.

Quality over quantity. Our medley relays, outnumbered nearly 2-to-1, won seven out of eight races. There were big time performances from nearly every swimmer involved and it really got the team off on the right foot. The team, outnumbered by nearly 30 swimmers, showed enormous depth and ran away with a 50 point victory.

Big things come in small packages. Sophie Aiken completed a week-long sweep, continuing her incredible improvement streak by hitting best times in every event she swam in the week’s two meets. Kevin “Krusher” Kruse turned his peashooters into potent weapons, blowing away his old best time and grabbing a league qualifying time in his breaststroke – a goal dating all the way back to the beginning of last year.

Hard work pays dividends. Ethan Schick, one of the hardest working swimmers I’ve ever seen, dropped six seconds in a gutsy 200 free that earned him a league-qualifying time and showed off his sky-high potential. Talk about leaving it all in the pool!

New blood keeps the heart pumping. Gator 17-18 “rookies” Cara Cogswell, Dan Cope and Sam Garin demonstrated their true value to the team. Aside from being potent relay weapons and versatile individual competitors, they bring a strong work ethic, dedication and great spirit to the team. Welcome to the Gator family!

Aim high. Miss and you’ll land amongst the stars. When Ianna Debrunner told me at winter clinics that she’d like to attend the Pentathlon this year, I had some doubts. But this week when she hit three of the four times she needed, all doubt was erased. She didn’t miss her goal, but she has the chance to be a real “star” there.

Perseverance pays off. Longtime Gator Rebecca Garner was beginning to hit her stride at the end of last season, a result of hard work and an uncanny ability to actually listen to her coaches. This year she’s taken off, hitting three more solid B times this week and threatening to qualify for league in nearly every event. Watch for a breakthrough soon!

Lots more great swims too, y’all are making my job easy…

Final note – Looking ahead to the JULY 7 quad meet between GMST, WR, state-powerhouse AAC and defending state champions GOLDEN! This will be a truly incredible opportunity to swim the absolute best competition in the league, and some of best in the entire state. The problem? The sheer mass of this meet will make it extremely long. Unless events are severely limited, the sun will be well on its way West before we pack up (read 3 p.m.) That said, I think this will be a great chance for us to come out as a team and show what we can do against the very best, I’d like as much of the team there for as long as possible, so plan ahead now!

I’ll post intrasquad photos either later this afternoon or tomorrow afternoon, there’s just so many it’s taking my computer eons to pull itself together…

Fact (this hardly seems fair while he’s out of town…) – Rich dressed as Cupid for Halloween last year, wearing nothing but a diaper and fairy wings for three days.

And there is a picture. But…he’d have to something horrible like run over my cat for me to publish it, I think…

We’ll see everyone tomorrow!!

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