Monday, February 20, 2006

Point 5-aaaaagggghhhhhh!!!!!!!!

The day of the state swimming tournament had arrived. The culmination of 5 months of training and meets boiling down to one race-50 yards. We arrived at the U of MN aquatic center at 8:30 am for body marking and warm ups. 10:00 anthem and let the games begin.

Trihubby and I traded shifts at the pool and at home so as to leave the rest of the Tribe at home. $3.50 for a coke at the concession stand, $2.50 for a bag of candy and not much space to manuever = wise decision.

Originally Hyphen Girl was set to swim the 50 free and the 4X200 free but when we arrived we learned she would only swim the relay. For the most part she had a good attitude about the whole day-hangin with friends and cheering for her teammates. After about 9 hours, she did begin to question her whole point in being there. I explained that when you are on a team, every member counts. In this state meet there is a point value assigned to each finish, with first receiving 40 some points, second 30 some points etc. Each swimmer counts whether they place or not. At the mid point of the meet they announced the team standings and her team was in first place out of 23 teams. Wow!

Finally her race was called and she went to queue up with her relay team. At the start of the relays they announced the team standings again. Her team held a 60 point lead for first place; kids you'd better make your relays count. As they had all day, the kids swam their hearts out, and the points continued to drop in the Tidal Wave bucket. Then her race was up. There were 4 heats of girls 12 and under swimming and she was heat 3-the second fastest grouping. They swam well but hit the wall 7th of 8 teams. Oh, dissappointment.

Mom, we didn't win. We didn't even place. I can't believe I just wasted an entire day for nothing.

Well, it's not "nothing" for two reasons.

One, experience. You now know what the pressure of a big meet feels like, and what you need to do to qaulify in more events next year.

Two, points. As I said, every race counts. Every point counts. You won't know until the end of the meet how your points affect the outcome.

On to Fuddruckers. We left before the final team standings were announced because it was now an 11 hour day and the whole crew was waiting for the celebration dinner at Fuddrucker's. Half way through our meal, much to our surprise, the coaching crew came through the door.

Did we win?

1791 to 1791.5

We lost our title bid by 0.5

0.5 is agony to a coaching staff.

One kid sick, 2 very suspect dq's, one hand just a little slower than the next kid, one entire age group of relays missing (recruiting has begun), one place.

One place we win, one place we lose.

But they didn't lose. They took 2nd place among 23 teams-6 of which are very impressive clubs. 2nd place among outstate clubs that have the luxury of being the only swim club in town. We have the choice of at least a dozen clubs to participate with alone- Dozens of kids qualified for the Regional meet. Dozens of kids shaved their times down over the season. Much character and sportsmanship was imparted.

And at least 3 kids I know had alot of fun.


Spandex King said...

My 12 year old daughter is the same. There is no such thing as 2nd place. There is winning and nothing else. anything less is a waste of time.

Good luck with the weather. My friend from California called and wants to come visit this summer. I asked him if he wanted to come the first or second week of summer. I think he believed me. So funny.

Hollyfish said...

Way to go Hyphen Girl!! That's great. Thanks for the run-down...

Nancy Toby said...

You're a great mom and teaching them well!! It's about the journey, right?? :-)

Bridget said...

Second place is so awesome. Hopefully she will see that soon. Sounds like you are doing an awesome job encouraging her and I bet she will be in more events next year.

Fe-lady said...

Congrats to your girl and to you for sticking out a day of being a swim team mom...reminds me of why I didn't push too hard for my daughter to be on a swim team....
ballet mom wasn't that fun either!
(but we do it for them, right?)

Keryn said...

Way to go! And what a great way to approach the whole situation. What fun are sports if the only thing that matters is winning? Then only one person/team has any fun and no one would enjoy boring.

TriDaddy said...

I love reading these little pieces of Americana. You guys are great parents! I'd love to be posting about my own kids swim meets one day!