March 20, 2008

So day one is in the books. We wish it wasn't but we'll get no swims back tonight. The guys have been looking very good in the water the past few days - that always leaves me a bit worried. As any swimmer can tell you, you have days you feel like a million bucks only to have a swim not worth two bits. Then you have days like Bryan Pelka at last year's nationals. Bryan looked like crap in warm-ups last year and then set the conference record in the mile. Truth is, at this level, your mindset plays a bigger role and that's where I know we're money. These guys are ready to race.

In Bryce's case he had a good start, solid swimming with a suspect turn. Unfortunately, against a field like this one, its tough to make it back even with only 43% of the field bettering their incoming times. The meet has been crazy fast in the individual events. The relays? Don't get me started - our 200 free relay would have qualified 11th, and 400 medley would have qualified 15th. Of course, that's just complaining and that doesn't get you anywhere. We'll just have to swim faster in season next year.

More positively, we know that today was our weakest day and that we only get better as the meet goes on. That's been our standard over the years and the events tend to favor us. Also - the sun came out giving Oxford a much more springlike feel. The lodge is letting us connect with nature. Last night Steve saw a skunk and a four deer.

One last thing I noticed today - this meet is like a big reunion of sorts. It helps that we faced eight of the top-25 teams. Each of the guys seems to know at least a couple of guys on other teams. Staten Island isn't one of those teams, however, you seenobody on our team speaks Russian.



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