Today was significantly better than yesterday for a couple of reasons, the most important was that we were tougher.
100BK was a popular event this morning with 3/4 boys from our club swimming. Mitchell started the day a little off his best and finished 10th (second alternate for finals). Karl, too, was a little off his best, but his swim was good enough for 8th place and a finals swim. Kyle finished 3rd @ 1:02.87... a little off his best and feeling worse than yesterday. Aaron Brautigam was a little slower than his best 200BR and finished 22nd.
This afternoon was incredible. We started with Emma Fender's 50FR. She had never been below 33seconds before and finished 18th overall with a final time of 32.90. Matt Fox's 50FR was decent with an equal time of 29.71. He tied for 7th place.
Tessa Cieplucha was next with 400IM. Her best time going in was 5:57.81. Tessa was very tough and had a very gutsy race, taking off 4 seconds. She finished 6th with a PB of 5:53.39. Bjoern-Ole followed with a VERY tough race. Bjoern finished 11th with an 8 second best time of 5:48.76.
Matt Fox's Bronze medal in 200FR was a little bit controversial. Matt honestly should have finished second due to (what looked like) a blatant false start by the winner, but was ruled legal by the referee. Matt's time was 2:16.39 and had a very good attitude about his placing. "Oh well," he says, "I'm only 12, I have lots more races against him". I am VERY proud of Matt's sportsmanship and attitude about his placing. He is a great representative of HHBF! Bjoern-Ole finished 13th.
I had told Keri-Lyn Copeland to go out fast and win her heat since she was going in 31st. She won her heat, took off 6 seconds and finished 17th with a PB of 2:24.78. That was a brave swim!
Our girls 4x50FR relay finished 3 seconds faster than we expected and all girls had best times... Veronica Fong 32.79, Tessa Cieplucha 30.78, Emma Fender 32.40, Keri-Lyn Copeland 29.95. Great race!! Very proud of these girls.
Mitchell Krafczek showed up to finals as second alternate, ready to swim. Karl and Kyle were both in 100BK and both sick :(. Mitchell, despite being ready and looking better than this morning. Kyle was up first. He really wasn't feeling well, nor was he looking forward to the last 20meters of this race hurting so much. He was out in 2nd spot and held on for dear life. With 15m left in the race, Kyle held on and was able to maintain his stroke rate. He finished with a bronze medal in a time of 1:01.77. Not bad for only being in that age group for 6 days.
Karl was only .02seconds off of his LC PB time this morning of 1:04.82. Tonight he was better at 1:04.46 and finished in 8th place.
Karl and Kyle are both GREAT role models for all HHBF swimmers. Neither of them were feeling well at all, although both of them recognized the opportunity in front of them to swim fast and understood the need to perform despite what they would have preferred to do. It was a very gutsy evening of racing for HHBF and we should all be proud of Karl and Kyle. We can learn the lesson that performance isn't always pretty, but the opportunity for greatness is always there. Special thank you to Aaron and Mitchell for coming to support our athletes!