Monday, August 2, 2010

A Somewhat Disjointed and Very Tardy Report on "Sarasota" Senior Champs (July 22-25, 2010)

Saturday, July 24
Here I sit in the hotel room with Colin this morning waiting for the 400 Freestyle event to come up on the heat sheet/event listing for today's swims.  His coach advised him to leave the pool after this morning's warm up session so that he could stay out of the heat and sun and off his legs until necessary.  So, here we are in the air conditioned (thank the good Lord for a/c) room doing next to nothing.

First, I apologize for there not being many pictures.  I have my camera but I have not really had an opportunity to take any pictures as the parents are kept separate from the kids, and when I do have the chance Colin acts like Calvin without his Hobbes and it all goes South...

We arrived in Sarasota Thursday afternoon about 2:30 following a completely non-eventful drive.  Pretty easy to get here and it has been remarkably easy to navigate this part of Sarasota so far.  The pool is a 3 mile straight shot up the road. and the hotel runs a shuttle for just the swimmers if we, the parents, just don't feel like taking them to warm ups.  Colin and his distance swimming team mates were in the pool for warm up on time Thursday evening and then began the WAIT for Colin's heat of the 800 Freestyle.  Keep in mind that this particular event can "run" as quickly as 8 minutes per heat or as long as 10+ minutes per heat.  Turns out that there were enough masochistic distance swimmers from around the state to fill 19 heats of 8 swimmers for this event and Colin was seeded in Heat 14.  Blech!  We were going to be there alllllllllll night!  All of the other ATAC 800 Free swimmers were in heats prior to Colin's so we got to see everyone swim and we saw some great finishes.  Scott Fortier swam a blazing fast time - achieving a Junior National qualifying time (VERY FAST!); Sergey Rogachev dropped 10 seconds to get under the 9 minute mark; Joey Leonard turned in a best time by 9 seconds; Hannah Capers dropped about 16 seconds for a best time; Madison Osterlund dropped 20+ seconds for a new best time.  Colin and his team mate John Gideon Mottice were in the same heat (2 lanes apart) and the race was on from the first 50 meters.  Colin went out strong, got in front and stayed in front.  It was an amazing swim for him.  He pulled away from all the others bit by bit and was nearly 25-30 meters ahead of the next swimmer by the time he stretched into the wall for the finish.  He dropped a scorching 25 seconds for a 9:25:73 finish.  A fabulous, fantastic, outstanding start for what has continued to be a great weekend of swimming for him and his team.

Yesterday began overcast, not quite as hot, and a bit breezy.  The breeze was very welcome until we all realized that might mean breaking down all of the pop-up sun shade tents we bring to meets.  The rain managed to stay away until the break between the preliminary and finals sessions.  And we all waited with some anxiety about the potential trouble Bonnie was swirling towards us.  ATAC swam exceptionally well in the preliminary session and sent swimmers to nearly every event in at finals.  We had winners in the 400 IM, the 100 Fly and our Boys A 800 Free Relay team took second place and the B Team finished in 10th place.  Yippee!  Colin swam the 200 Free in the preliminary session as a bonus event, dropping 4+ seconds to achieve the qualifying time for this event, thus he will now be eligible to swim it in February.  Later in the afternoon his 400 Free would be nearly as spectacular as his 800 performance on Thursday.  He left more than 10 seconds in the water to swim a 4:32:33 and have another Senior (17-18 age group) time to his credit.  He continues to have a great meet.

Our "new college swimmer" Hunter Hinson is also swimming very strong next to his future 'Bama team mate Joe Ziegler (who is also training to swim at the National meet in Irvine, California, in two weeks).  Hunter continues to turn in strong, steady, scorching fast swims and impresses all those in the stands wishing their boys had half of what he does.  It is going to be awesome to watch him swim for the NCAA next year.  Roll Tide!
This was a welcome sight to the swimmers:  rarely seen and highly sought.

Sunday, July 25
Today held in store the 200 Backstroke and the 1500 Freestyle for Colin.  After early morning warm up, we returned to the hotel for air conditioned relief from the continual onslaught of humidity and heat of Sarasota.  Our return to the pool was timed so Colin would have plenty of time to completely warm up again for the 200 Back, and then wait for his heat assignment in the 1500 Free.  The 200 Back had been chosen as his second bonus event with his only goal to better his time.  Better it he would, and by enough time (-5.5 seconds) to bank a qualifying time for February's Senior Champs.  For the next 2 hours, we patiently melted and thus periodically reconstituted ourselves while waiting for Colin's heat of the 1500 Free.  After swimming 4 best times and putting up 2 more qualifying times, I fully expected Colin to be tired and ready to get on the road.  He amazed all of us yet again by swimming the 1500 in 18:05:84, dropping 16 seconds from his seed time.  He placed 11th out of nearly 30 (15-16 boys) swimmers, and earned his fair share of points for the team.

ATAC went on to finish 3rd overall; Boys 2nd and Girls 4th.  Colin was ecstatic with his swimming and left Sarasota looking forward to the Area I-IV Championships on July 31-August 1 and another Senior Champs in February.

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