Sunday, November 7, 2010

Milton Da$h for Ca$h

Yesterday (and today) was the first real competition that our team has had since last season. The first meet of the season is always really interesting because we get to see how well kids handle the stress of competiton, their decision making skills and get a general look at how everyone is swimming right now; RIGHT NOW being the key words. Especially for the younger kids (for some of them it may be their first meet) its the way we get some of the bugs out and they learn what they are allowed to do and not allowed to do by coming face to face with the officials at the meets.

Swims of note in my mind from day 1:
- Kyle Haas nearly broke the 15 year old club record for Men 15 & Over 100BR set back in 1996 by a 20-something year old Jon Newcombe (yes, that guy)... Kyle has only been in the age category for 4 months; he was .26 seconds away. Aaron Brautigham also pealed 2 seconds from his time from last season nearing the provincial standard.
- Sam Ceci lowered her time in 100FLY by almost 2 seconds.
- Karl Massey had a pretty good 400FR (best time by over a second) and went 29 for the first time SC in 50BK.
- Keri-Lyn Copeland went 29.95 for 50FR. First time under 30 and provincial standard.
- Bjoern-Ole Schrader had 2 great races (2 personal bests) and qualified for provincials for 100FLY and 800FR.
- Matt Fox took over 20 seconds off his 800FR (final time of 9:42) for his first 13 year old provincial time. He has been 13 for just over a month.
- Trevor Burwell took 3 seconds off his 800FR to obtain that provincial qualifying time.
- Emma Fender had a rough start to her best event and finished slower than we wanted but was able to turn around the rest of the day and PB in 50FR and 200IM.
- Brittney Dortona took almost a minute off of her 400FR time as well as having an outstanding 100FLY.
- Carter Deforest's fist 400FR was outstanding. He was able to post a time faster than most of our 11 year olds from last season.
- Brooklyn Shelley had an outstanding day! Central Region qualified swims in both 100BR and 200IM.
- Justin Lockhart had an outstanding day as well. Great 50FR and 200IM swims (200IM really blew me away).
- Livy Olson had a bit of a rough day in her first meet but her effort and attitude are outstanding. I have never had an athlete hand me a bloody tooth and ask me to hold it while they swim a race.
- Alex Mancusso and Jordon Stott are 2 very strong younger swimmers to watch! Both had outstanding RACES (race being the key point).
- Clancy "Dream Crusher" Harris had outstanding races all day long. 800FR was about 30 seconds faster than she had ever done and kicked it in in the last 14m to beat the girl next to her.
- Nolan Haas's times have really dropped and he looks a lot bigger than he actually is in the water. 100BR time came down significantly as did 100FLY and 200IM. This could be a very good season for Nolan.
- Ali Taran had a good day and went pain free for the first time in a while.
- Avery Jans climbed to a whole new level, trashing her old times by a huge margin.
- Isaac West posted 2 best times since returning to swimming from surgery and limited practice ability.
- Bronte McMaster looks like a whole new person swimming with real purpose in all of her events yesterday. PBs? Oh Ya!

I was very excited and happy about the performances of HHBF especially in comparison to our main competition, the Milton Marlins. Milton has had a proud history of consistantly pushing out strong, new athletes. But this season, it looks like that title is going to belong to the Blue Fins. Heat after heat and race after race, events were being taken by Blue Fins swimmers. I swell up with pride just thinking about it. Our coaching staff is doing a great job, but more importantly, our athletes are doing a great job for them. I think that collectively, we represented ourselves well and showed both teams and individuals that HHBF is not a flash in the pan.

A quick note to new parents: especially in the first meet swimming longer, more complicated races, it is very normal for an athlete to be disqualified at least once. The stress of racing is new and athletes make paniced decisions which are sometimes illegal ones, and THATS OKAY. The point of a meet like this is to teach these athletes how to deal with the environment and to learn from their mistakes. Coaches can tell them something, but learning from experience is invaluable.

I am not able to be in Milton today, as the elite group has a training commitment elsewhere. I hope that today went as well (or better if possible) than yesterday. Congratulations to all BLUE FINS for an outstanding weekend!

Mike Thompson
Head Coach