November 3, 2006

Competition finally arrived today! With almost eight weeks of work under our belt our guys were ready to race and today they had their chance against a team that was ready to race too! We traded the lead back and forth four times over the course of the meet and in the end it was the visitors on top.

Now Wabash has been on the rise for the past couple of years, and their coach is a good friend, but it didn't make it any easier to see our four-year dual-meet win strak snapped. Now to be honest, we’re not too concerned about a dual-meet record. Like my guys though, I’m competitive as can be and hate to lose, no matter what the contest. I hate it when someone else beats me to the parking lot for morning practice. I always wanted to be the first guy to finish the test and get the highest store. Once, when I was an assistant at Indiana University, I even had a bet with another assistant to see who could spend the least amount of money in a month (I won.) So yes, I'm a little competitive (To add to my frustration, beloved Nebraska Cornhuskers gave up three 4th quarter touchdowns and a 16-point .

In reality there was a big difference between us and Nebraska (aside from us having better grades and a higher national ranking.) Our guys didn’t fumble the lead away. The meet was a classic college dual meet that brought out the best in our guys. Sure, we missed some opportunities, but we also took advantage of others. We had guys make mistakes and address them in later events. We even had a few lifetime bests and had one guy post the second-fastest 1000 in all of Division III.

Last spring we graduated five guys who won some dozen or so conference titles and All-American honors, so I really wasn’t sure what we’d see today and the truth was we saw a small, committed group in the throes of competition. That comes from having a young team, one that’s incredibly hard working, enthusiastic fun to work with (How fun - Imagine a wide-eyed freshman walking into my office the first day of practice asking, “Is the pool open? I’ve got to get in shape for swim team tryouts” going sub-22 in his first college meet – that kind of fun). But we’re also largely untested – well, until today that is..



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