February 21, 2009

It took awhile - but we finally got it - we finally got into the groove where we needed to be to perform at our best and the results were extraordinary - two more CCIW Championship relay records, a continued string of unbeaten relays, meet record in the 100 breast, and the craziest collection of 800 free relays you've ever seen.

Starting with our 200 Medley - this was going to be our toughest challenge, no doubt - Wheaton was good, AND we'd split our C-D-E's to try to beat the other exhibitions as well. Twenty of our twenty-six guys swam on that first relay and the results were fun:
  • First he exhibition relays - there was our 'C' Alfes, Coder, Stowe, Isaac - first three all lifetime bests including a - get this - 27.9 out of Coder. Those guys would hvae placed 5th overall. The 'E' relay (the 'E' stands for 'The Best' according to Bryan Pelka) was Ross, Adam VanHuis, Bryan and Dan Jones. Again - three best times (this time the final three) including a 21.29 anchor from DJ that left the Wheaton fans standing along lane one in a Dan Jonesoon. Then there was the 'D' or scrambled relay - we put different guys on each role with the exception of Ryan and again Ryan pulls us ahead of the Wheaton guys to retain an unblemished record.
  • The 'B' relay - they were outstanding - Bob Pellican slipping his way to a 25.54 before handing off to Mike Moravek - Wheaton's Placeway posted a crazy 26.34 to pull ahead. But Bryce stepped in to close the gap with a 23.51 - then it was up to Rip - the streak was on the line - we were down by over a second and Wheaton's anchor was not waiting for us to catch up. Rip hunted him down and posted the second-fastest relay split in school history 20.33, just 0.07 behind Edgar Vargas - to pull us EVEN with Wheaton - that's right we TIED the Thunder. Don't believe it? Check the video below.
  • The 'A' Relay was even better - how about with a school record in the 50 back for Chris Varner - 24.69. Then it was Stephen going a lifetime best 25.62 breast split. Wheaton's Nitz held tough though and we both had great flyers - ours was just a little quicker - Doug was 22.55 which gave us just a bit of an opening - an opening that Andy Bax took advantage of. He hit that bulkhead without much of a lead, but as has been the case all weekend long, he launched himself off in a beautiful breakout to put distance between himself and the field.
400 IM - Our pride and joy - this is an event we've won five of the past six years - the one year we didn't, Zach Jole exhibtioned a time that would have won the event. Make that six of the past seven now - and here's the best part - we've won it with five different swimmers. Add Derek Schneider's name alongside Nathaniel Chapman, Roberto Jorda-Cid, Stephen Schranck and Kyle Drake as conference champions. He put together a great race to lead another 1-2 finish in the IM's. He and Alex both went under the profisional cut - in fact, both went under the selection time from a year ago. We also had our first pair of brothers on the podium (since the 200 Medley Relay awards were right after the IM) - Adam VanHuis scraped a second off of his time to notch an all-time top ten time. The consols didn't treat us quite as well. Both Adam and Chris added a pair of seconds but Adam stormed home to capture the heat.

100 Butterfly - Showcase event - the best race of the night - four guys under the 'B' cut - Alas, it was Doug finishing second - behind one of the most impressive CCIW swims I've seen - Mike Kozak's 49.62. Doug was great though - just 0.01 off of our school record.

Dang - just realized I didn't bring the right power cord back - left it at the pool so this story will have to wait.

So before I sign off - let me just encourage you to check out YouTube - search for Chris Varner Birthday Party - and you'll see one of our little traditions that happens any time a guy has a birthday.



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