What a weekend!
This was a pretty high-level meet for a 12-yr old kid. Only the very fastest qualify, and swimmers come from several surrounding states to swim with the best. He qualified to swim in 7 individual events and two relays.
To recap in painful detail, here is how he did:
- 50 Free - while he swam amazingly and dropped time, it probably his biggest disappointment of the whole meet. It was the final event for him Sunday afternoon, and he'd already raced in 12 races over the 3 days and 2 nights by then. He dropped about 3/10ths of a second, but it was still 3/100ths from a qualifying time for the state championship meet ("TAGS" - in March). We've got one more meet to go to shave off those few hundredths. "We," like that? Ha!
- 200 Free - he hates this event. Hasn't yet quite got the knack of pacing a 200. His goal was to just swim it the same as usual, but he wound up taking off over four seconds, getting a "AA" time and being dangerously close to not only qualifying for the state championship meet (TAGS), but is also just a hair over a second away from a 13-yr old A time. Guess he's gonna have to add this to his arsenal!
- 100 Individual Medley - this is kind of a new event for him. His fly and breaststroke have always been kind of sucky, but "we've" been working on it (my participation is simply arranging for and driving him to private coaching sessions - Hi Taylor! You are an AWESOME technique coach!!!"). So, it wasn't so comical to watch as usual. The order the strokes go is butterfly, back, breast, free. It used to be "He's losing! Oh, wait, now he's winning! Uh-oh, he's losing again! Ohmygoodness, he's fighting his way back!" Now, he was steady-eddie through the whole race and not only did he qualify for TAGS, but he also swam well enough to make the finals, so he got to come back and swim it at evening finals which are a whole 'nother cup of tea. Fancy, even. They introduce all the kids before the event, the judges dress nicer, etc. It's not the usual chaos of a regular meet.
- 50 Back - this one was sort of a "gimme" for him. He already had his TAGS time and there is no 13yr A time. He dropped enough time to move into the "AAA" status and took 13th in the meet overall.
- 50 Fly - Again, sort of "new" as he usually hasn't swum this one well enough to qualify at the "A" level. Well, I'm here to tell ya, there is a new butterfly-er in town, and his name is Aidan! He actually qualified for evening finals in this one, surprise surprise! He's still 1/2 second away from qualifying for TAGS, but that'll happen at the next meet (she says hopefully).
- 100 Free - He was amazing. Amazing enough to swim it twice as he qualified for finals. So amazing, in fact, that over the 2 races, he took off almost two whole seconds. That is a LOT in 100 yards. He got both the TAGS time AND the 13-yr "A" time.
- 100 Back - Yet another amazing race, but with a slight bitter-sweet outcome. Swam very well, qualified for evening finals, placed 7th overall (HUGE!), achieved "AAA" status, yet he missed the 13yr "A" time by one one-hundredth of a second. Well, he's got regional champsionships and TAGS to get that one, so it'll happen.
- State qualifying times: 4 so far, would like at least 2 more
- 13yr "A" times: 1 so far, less than a second from 3 more. Needs 3 total by his birthday.
- Time standards: "AAA" in 3 events, "AA" in 6 more. Studly!
And now, for your viewing pleasure, a taste of swimming. Just a little bit of a couple of his events. He had fun and I hope you do too. Enjoy!
As I reflect on this MEet and the "ME" that seems to be so invested..... I am reminded of something that I learned over 20 years ago.... I was at a pro golf tournament, following my sister's then-boyfriend around the course. The young man he was paired with had his parents following him. I watched them a lot and spent a little time talking with them. "You live and die with every stroke, don't you?" I realized. "Yes," they said. "We know exactly what he can and can't do. What his weaknesses and strong points are. What he's worked on over the last month to prepare for this." As a twenty-something, I thought they were a bit obsessive. As a mother, I'm thinking not so much. Just supportive. In every way they can try to be.
So, yes. While Aidan is the one that puts in all those hours in the pool, there is a whole village of "we" behind him. His coach (hi Jason!) is the one that carefully planned the workouts to bring him to his peak for this meet (and again for TAGS in March). Ray is the one that works so hard to pay for the club dues (Lakeside is the best!) and that silly expensive bathing suit. And he and always backs me up when I am harping on him about nutrition, hydration & rest. I drive to a lot of practices and help the team out in whatever capacity I am able. His teammates and other parents push him, cheer him on, and we ALL "live and die" with every stroke these amazing kids make.
I guess THAT's why I'm so tired after this weekend.