March 22, 2008

It's been a mixed weekend, but we went out on a positive note tonight. We moved up eight spots to 32nd, even topped a couple of teams that had relays here. In the 200 back, Kyle - after going out like a bat out hell this morning, went out a little more conservatively tonight - that conservation ran into the second 100 though as he added time and dropped a spot.

In the breaststroke, Steve was a little gassed this morning and to be honest, I gave him a lot more rest than years past (especially after watching our outstanding swims at Conference where we really rested the guys). So going into tonight, we talked about a couple of ways to approach the race - either swim to our level of conditioning (i.e. take it out a little smoother) or just lay it all on the line and see what happens. Steve did both - he backed off a little more on the 1st hundred - so much so I wasn't sure he'd come back that fast. He controlled the race though and as he got a challenge from JHU's Keggelman he went to the gut check and brought it home the way he's used to.

Regarding Keggelman - he was one of three Hopkins' swimmers in tonight's breaststroke (two in top eight). Last summer their coach, George Kennedy, a legend and a guy I really look up to, made it a point to pepper me with questions about how we'd trained our breaststrokers last year. It was kind of odd, to have George Kennedy ask ME about training kids. Well, after watching two JHU guys knock Steve into consols, I'm thinking - no more advice.

All-in-all I was really proud of this group of guys. We had some unfulfilled goals, but the meet was unbelievably fast. I don't know how many records were set, but every single event (with the exception of the 200 back) was the deepest and most experienced field in NCAA history. In fact, on the first night just FOUR freshmen even made it back at night. While we'd hoped for top-20 and perhaps an individual title, we more than held our own. Others who didn't bring their 'A' game found themselves on the canvas. It's scary and exciting to see what we can (and what we have to) do in the year ahead. We've got some great things ahead, but in the words of Will Rogers, "Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."

On behalf of the guys thanks to everyone for their support this week.

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