Monday, December 12, 2011

Great Weekend for the Blue Fins

This past weekend, the Blue Fins competed in the 23rd Annual Roy Jacobson Invitational in Vaughn and at the 2011 Paul Bergen Invitational in Portland, OR. There were 8 club records set this weekend, overall:

Emma Fender: girls 11-12 50BR (38.99) and 50FLY (33.42)
Kyle Haas: boys 15 & O 50FR (23.98), 100FR (52.34), 50BK (25.84), 100BK (55.43), 200BK (2:03.04), 200IM (2:09.35)

The meet started with some very solid 400FR and 400IM swims on Saturday afternoon. A few provincial prerequisites were obtained and a lot of personal bests were obtained. Saturday and Sunday were no different; Blue Fins taking off time everywhere. Of note, I think special recognition is deserved from these swims:

- Bronte McMaster 200BK: took off almost 17 seconds for 2:40... and did it by sticking to the plan (which wasn't an easy one).
- Brooklyn Shelley 200BR: Brooklyn obtained the Central Region standard in this event, again, by sticking to the plan. 5 second PB.
- Jason Reid 200BR: first ever Central Region standard (17 second PB too). Jason was on fire this weekend and VERY focused on what he wanted to do. Good example for everyone! Congrats!
- Shannon Jickling 50FR: got her 13 year old regional time in this event. Well done!
- Heather Bradshaw 200BK: WOW!! Again, sticking to the race plan pays off... I'm sensing a real theme here.
- Loren O'Brien Egesborg 200FR, 400FR, 200BK, 400FR: Loren had a great weekend, mostly by sticking to race plans, but also her training this season has been exceptional.
- Keri-Lyn Copland 100FR: first PB in this event since last January. She was able to really get herself going.
- Aaron Brautigam 100BR: HUGE PB in this event. Way ahead of where we were last season in terms of speed.
- Mitchell Krafczek 100BR: No idea where this came from, but its a significant time and quite a pleasant surprise.
- Jenna Galea, EVERYTHING: What a great start to the season for this youngster! Fantastic racing this weekend!
- Darian Zuraw, Kate Erdely, Simone Fong, Daniel Stott, Michael Jickling: Great showing from all of our 10&U kids, especially in 50FR! Huge drops!
- Quinn Jagard, 400IM: Quinn got the prereq in this event after working so hard for it. Very proud of him!
- Carter DeForest 200FR, 100FR: Great weekend for Carter! Lots of PBs and a few extra regional qualifications.
- Paige Olmstead: broke 1:10 for 100FR and a 13 year old regional time!
- Alexander Plaskoski everything: great weekend for this youngster! Look for great things from him in the new year.
- Quinn West 100FLY: First time under 2:00.
- EVERYONE 100FR: this used to be a good measuring stick for where we were as a club and we used to get really excited when we had people under 1:20 (2-3 years ago). Now there are so many under 1:15, I can't even count...

I was very pleased to see lots of best times from Blue Fins: Sam Ceci, Trevor Burwell, AJ Tarczy, Simon Olsen, Everett White, Avery Jans, Justin Lochert, Krista Lochert, Jordan Horruzey, Mitchell Brearley, Victoria Plaskoska, Nicole Waddick, Emillie Knighton, Philipe Escobar, Zach Henderson, Shannon Kent, Quinn Koehler, Katherine Peel, Megan Brosseau, Loren Monhemius, Jordon Stott, Mackenzie Murphay, Dana Payne, Angie Wallace, Erika Charbonneau, Livy Olson, Britney Dortona, Tatyana Austrie, Isaac West, Eric Siegfriedt, Bjoern-Ole Schrader, Aysia Leckie, Chris Zanewycz, Anthony Hartsink, Emily Maldrum, Rachel Ironside, Ted Mosoi, Matt Fox, Ashton Sicard and many others. My apologies if I did not mention your name; there are just too many Blue Fins competing at this level for me to remember while I'm typing (which is a wonderful thing!).

One of the things that I noticed and realize that we need to work over the next 5-6 weeks (speaking of everyone, but my groups specifically) is toughness. A lot of swimmers were just allowing themselves to lose speed by allowing their arms to slow down, then not understanding why they lost speed... then looking at me like I was crazy when I suggested that they needed to keep their arm speed up ("..what are you, nuts..? Thats hard...!). An interesting reminder for some that these abilities are trained at practice... not in a race for the first time. This same aspect showed up during BR, FLY and BK races throughout the weekend. Walls were mistimed in all 3 of these strokes, especially backstroke (where there really is no excuse, given that the flags are there to help you). The reason for this is likely that people are not swimming fast in practice. They're not used to the number of strokes they take then they're travelling fast because they do not practice it enough. We can't continually try to figure these things out in races.

I move that (for the next 5-6 weeks, at least) we stop calling our practices "workouts". We are clearly getting the "work" done; what we're not doing is practicing the small skills well enough. These are the small skills that make the difference between doing pretty good and doing great. For the next 5-6 weeks, we'll be going to "practice" to practice these things, not "workout" to workout.

UPDATE: as of right now, we have 24 qualifiers for Central Regions (2 over qualified) and it's only December. Nice job, folks!


Meanwhile, in Portland, OR, HHBF's Kyle Haas had 2 4th place finishes (50BK and 100BK) where he broke the HHBF record in both and was the youngest person in the A final in both events. He was also 8th in 200BK (HHBF CR) and made the B final in 100FR, 50FR and 200IM. He also assisted Team Ontario to bronze medals in both the 4x100FR Relay and the 4x100 Medley Relay (he split a scorching fast 50.88 on the FR relay, going 3rd... you could argue that was the difference maker). This was a great experience for Kyle and he represented Ontario and HHBF very well. He will return to the pool tomorrow, please join me in congratulating him for a job well done!