March 16, 2007

What a morning ! Three swims in the morning lead to three more tonight.

400 IM - All season we've been getting him to push his limits further and not back away when things get tough. Before his race this morning I simply said, "You're going to have to make it hurt a little." About 4:02.05 later he told me, "That hurt a LOT." Here's what's amazing - that's what it took just to make top eight. A "Methodical" swim was how one coach described it.

100 Breast - Zach got out to an early lead in the first circle-seeded heat 11.1 from foot to had in his first 25. That was just a little too quick as it turned out as he labored hard in the final 15 yards. He won the heat, but as has been the norm at this meet, the next heat was blisteringly fast. Zach went a 56.98 to qualify 10th. Zach has stood atop the podium before (last year's Consolation 400 Medley Relay) and I think with a little more control he can again tonight. I just can't believe that a 56.9 didn't make top eight. I was suprised a second time when Stephen swam his 100 breast. He went a lifetime best - 57.45 but the way 56's were flying up on the board, I didn't think he made it back. Good thing I checked the official results - he made it back - 15th - outside smoke again. Here's what's crazy, if he would have gone that same time, he'd have qualified 7th at the Division II meet.

The day wasn't perfect, but I haven't seen a perfect session yet - Kenyon yesterday morning was as close as it comes and the DQed a relay - but this was a fantastic morning.

I do have a gripe though. It concerns the NCAA qualifiying procedures that deny some of the best relays in the country an opportunity to compete at the national championships. Three cases in point - our 200 Free Relay - would have qualified 14th, 400 Medley Relay 13th, and 200 Medley Relay 12th. I don't want to complain - we simply have to go faster in season, but it's infuriating to see a 3:31 medley relay make it back when you know you've got a team that's been 3:28. (Of course a couple of years ago a 3:39 made it back and our 'C' relay that year was 3:40.
OK - got to get back to the business at hand - March Madness. TV's tuned to Wisconsin's drubbing at the hands of Corpus Cristi while the laptop's got my hometown team - Creighton - can hold off Nevada. I just dropped to third on the Team Bracket. Alumnus Brad Wipfli's got the early reed with Justin Reeder a close second. Of course he'll go down now that Wintrhop just dumped the Irish. Hope these games finish before we leave for finals.



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