This weekend Chopstick got her first JO time. As she finished the 50 back, I watched nervously at the board waiting to see what it would show for lane 6, not caring one bit about the place just the precious number. And the number was under 39.49....in fact it was 39.08! I contained my excitement and did what I usually do when a new milestone is reached (done previously for her 4 8&under PRTs), I wrote JO in sharpie on my palm.
She got out of the water looking pretty content with her swim and reacted well to my smile but I had a surprise for her. I said very clearly, "you couldn't have gone faster than that?" Judging by the look she gave me, my act is getting old and she knew I was up to something so I opened my hand for her to read the magical letters. Jay Oh.
The funny part is that what I remember about the smile is her braces. I noticed the colors that she'd chosen (blue and a lighter blue) I guess because I had a lot of time to look at them. She finally asked, "I did it?" And, yes she did. She was a Junior Olympian.
I say "was" because it turns out she DQ'd on her turn. She was a bit away from the wall and gave an extra kick that I guess she wasn't supposed to. She doesn't remember it but I do now that her coach explained what it was. She's had enough DQs to know that they're not a bad thing, just a reminder to be diligent with your stroke. But this one was different, she wanted this one bad after missing out on the Fall JOs by .01 seconds. All I could tell her was that she swam a JO time and will do it again. DQ or not, she can swim with the JOers and will.
Next meet, the 50 back is her first event on Sunday, an excellent time to get her JOiness back. Unfortunately, the meet after that it's right after the 100 fly (though she may do the 100 breast instead). For the "last chance" meet, it's after either the 200 free with a break or 100 breast. So she has three chances but two of them she's going to most likely be tired from a big event first.
No matter what she's swam a JO and will again but it was an unfortunate time to turn wrong.