12 October 2009

End of an age group era

This weekend was the end of an era...an age group era. After Chopstick got the 4 PRTs at the last meet, I think we both wanted to just get this one over with, move on and age up. She'd been dropping time so furiously lately that we really had no expectations going into this one (except the 50 breast which she hadn't swam in forever).

She exceeded those expectations by dropping almost 8 total seconds -- with 7.5 of those coming in the 50 breast. But, she also dropped time in the 25 free, 50 free, and 50 back. She matched her PB in the 25 breast. Overall, very successful.

So she ends her 8&U career with this ledger:

25 free: 16.01
50 free: 35.40
100 free: 1:20.06
25 back: 18.87
50 back: 40.09
25 fly: 17.19
50 fly: 38.31
25 breast: 22.56
50 breast: 49.34
100 IM: 1:27.56

But, now as a 9 year old, she's in a really good competitive position. She's in the A division for all of the events she's swam but well off the ribbon-getting pace. So, she has a wall of girls to get through to start collecting ribbons again. She swims for ribbons. So this is important.

She's close enough to a JO in the 50 back and she could conceivably drop .6 seconds in the next month that she has to get there. She and her coach both know where to find those .6 seconds, it's just a matter of practice time and gauging the flag to wall distance better.

But, though she wants a JO, she really wants ribbons. For the next two years she won't be an automatic last heat/middle lane that she has been lately and that's going to motivate her. If she can see (or sense) feet in front of her, she tends to swim faster. So, the new era begins in 3 weeks.

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