March 19, 2009

I'm reporting a day late considering the big meet started yesterday.
Today was Steve's first swim though so that's where we begin.
The meet has been beyond fast. Seemingly every national record has
fallen and the times needed to make it back at night would have
contended for top three just a couple of years ago. With that as a
backdrop today was a mix of agony and elation. Steve was in the first
heat of the 400 IM this morning and we had aims of shocking some
people. Steve did his job going a 4:02.50 which was a real good swim.
Actually it was an outstanding time that got him into the big heat at
night in Houston. Instead, we were the ones left shocked as heat
after heat went by and he slipped to 17th.
That's the type of thing that males this sport so bedeviling sometimes
and certainly was the case at conference. You swim well-In Steve's
case he had a breakthrough in the first half of his race-his weakest
area-then all that pride and that anticipation of doing even better at
night slowly sinks.
It can't take away everything that was good. Steve swam against the
fastest field in the fastest meet of NCAA history. The other thing
and this is something that I'm really excited about - is how Steve
didn't let it get to him and his focus On the next two days. This
wasn't always the case with him. I can remember times when he dreaded
his next race and doubted himself. That's not the case-he knows what
he's capable of, knows how well prepared he is and perfectly situated
for the next two days.
Of course there's also a big standard to live up to - our women. The
Lady Reds are on a tear. Amanda Croix became the second-highest
finisher in school history with her 3rd place 23.10 in the 50 free
(Jud Koenitzer was 2nd in the 50 on 1978) and Michelle Pelka finished
4th tonight I'm the 400 IM. If they continue on track they should
easily be top ten.
But hey, the relays are starting so it's time to get back. Steve is
already at dinner which will come as no suprise to anyone.
From sunny and WARM Minnesota,



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