Saturday, November 7, 2009

First Travel Meet!

Our first away meet of the season is always a great adventure. I have to say, I was excited to see there was so much positive energy and chatter on the charter bus that no one even wanted to put a movie on for the trip.

The first night saw us take on the rest of the Northwest Conference in the annual 8th Sprint Pentathlon. Swimmers compete in a 100 IM followed by 50s of each stroke, for a total combined time. Certainly a format that lends itself well to the prototypical sprinter, but I’ve long held the belief that every single athlete can benefit from focusing on the fine points of each swim, supporting his or her teammates, and reveling in the racing environment. And this is what I saw last weekend!
Times are kept by event and by cumulative overall time. Freshman Rachael Cazden, from Boulder, won the 50 Freestyle in a field of about 120 women. She finished the meet our highest placing swimmer at 5th overall. Way to go! Rachael also moonlights as a hair stylist to her teammates and other notable celebrities as seen below.

Freshman breaststroke/sprinter Shuichi Matsumoto (pictured below as a breaststroker and also farther down as The Fly) lapped up the sprint opportunities and found himself our highest placing male at 12th over the whole slate of events.

We saw motivating swims from so many kids and great enthusiasm across the board. It’s impossible not to feel like we are headed in a great direction.

As it was, the direction we headed after the Pentathlon at PLU was across town to UPS for the Relay meet. Another “non-standard” format—this one with unusual relays and a lot of excitement.

Among many awesome swims, our most spectacular race came in the Mixed 200 Free Relay. Rachael, Gail, Shuichi, and Noah blazed through the sprint co-ed relay to a 2nd place overall finish.

Let’s be honest, these meets sometimes stretch on and it’s good to have time for a laugh...

And so ends another week in Pioneer Swimming.

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