October 7, 2009

So it's a typical Wednesday afternoon practice.  A little dryland followed by a little stand-up set.  Really it was our first stand-up set of the year so we weren't doing anything too ambitious some 75's.

Somewhere - heat 4 or 5 maybe, freshman Steven Mathe steps onto the block.  I met Steven a year ago.  It was like a lot of conversations I've had with guys who, on paper at least, would not come close to making the team.  I'd explain that yes we were a Division III program, but we were a very competitive team.  We tried to keep our roster right around 24 guys, had time standards for incoming freshmen, and yes, would sometimes direct guys to the local club team.

That didn't deter Steve.  He made sure he had all of the information necessary for "tryouts" and more than that, was the only freshman to arrive with every pre-season form filled out, showed up with all the right equipment, and hasn't missed a practice.

So back to today, I look over as Steven touches the wall on his second 25.  It's around a 38-mid.  I have our assistant, Heather Croix ask him what his best 100 free time is - 53.8 is the answer.  I start doing the math - 53.8-38.5 - means just needs to go a 15.3 to get a best time.

Well heck, my dog Splash can cover 25 yards in that (his best is 15.27, though its mostly in the start).  So next time through we switch from 75's to 100's.  If Steve goes a best time, I explain, workout's over and we'll do our team meeting, so he steps up to the block, with 25 teammates behind him and the splits begin to register:
11.1 . . .23.8 . . . 37.5 . . . 50.9.

How about that - three weeks into the season and nearly three seconds off of, UNDER a lifetime best?   If you're swimming at Carthage - you come to expect that type of success.



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