March 21, 2009

After an 18th finish in the 400 IM (second-alternate) and 17th place finish in the 100 Breast (first-alternate), we have an alternate to the alternate ending - how about the #3 seed going into finals of the 200 breaststroke?

Stephen swam in the first circle-seeded heat this morning and the results were good though he doesn't get style points for the swim. Admitting that he was, "freaking out" Stephen looked as awkward as a 6'4" 13-year old in ballet class in his first 50. He hit his stride though about 75 yards into the race and swam very impressively throughout the middle-half of the race. The final 50 wasn't easy - largely the effect of blowing out his first 50, but he got to the wall solidly this time - no soft finishes - in a new school and conference-record 2:00.90.

That puts him third going into tonight. He's got a faster swim in him and I think can make a run at a sub-2:00 swim. Of course, so too can about three other guys in there. Tonight he'll be sandwiched between the top seed, Alex Beyer and everyone's favorite guy to hate, defending champion Pavel Budanov. Steve's got it in him to go toe-to-toe with them so we'll see what happens.

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