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.