Race Report: High School Throwback Masters Swim Meet

High School Throwback Masters Swim Meet Report – 12/8/12

Official Times

200 Free:  2:06.17

500 Free:  5:46.41

1000 Free:  11:47.09

Pre Race

On December 8th, I swam in the Minnesota Masters “High School Throwback” Swim Meet in Burnsville, MN.  To be honest I can’t think of a more appropriate meet to swim in, to honor my return to competitive swimming.  The last official competitive meet I was in was the MN Boys High School Section 8A Championships in 1995, almost 18 years ago.

What I found somewhat stupid in the days leading up to the meet was not how competitive I would be but rather if my goggles would stay on during my first start off of the blocks.  Being a USA Swimming Official I see, almost weekly, a poor 8 year old boy dive off the blocks, have his goggles fall down to his mouth, come up clinging to the lane lines, and crying not knowing what to do next.  I didn’t want to be like that young kid. I wanted to go to this meet, perform at a level I thought was acceptable, and come away with my dignity.

During warm-ups, however, I was able to get in 3-4 starts off the blocks which went flawlessly.  I couldn’t believe the excitement that come over me to explode off the blocks and feel the rush of the water past me as I streamlined through it for the first time.  It had been almost two decades since I had donned the Speedo and found myself in a position to be swimming in a competitive swim meet.

It truly brought back a lot of good memories that I had of the past; swimming for my father who was my coach, the rush of being competitive in the pool, and to top it all off, have my best friend and former teammate be there to watch and count for me in the distance events.  It was certainly an experience that I haven’t had since returning to competition and happened in the most unexpected situation.

Swim Report

Enough with the mushy stuff, how did the swims go?  Frankly, all of my performances overwhelmingly exceeded my wildest expectations.  I entered the meet with seed times of 2:15 for the 200, 6:15 for the 500, and 12:40 for the 1000 which were all based roughly off of recent test sets that I had done.  So to blow these times out of the water was more than I could have anticipated.  And in fact after the 200 a couple of swimmers commented that they hoped I would have more accurate seed times at the next meet.  They were certainly commenting in a joking tone but I still apologized and indicated that I will try and do better next time.

With the exception of my veteran counter miscounting on the 1000 (he got it straightened out with the help of the Starter) all three races were fairly uneventful.  This was a great experience and has served to really energize me as I head into a swim focused period of training.  Unfortunately, due to my obligations to officiate at my daughter’s home swim meet in January I won’t be able to attend another meet until February.

I am anxiously awaiting my next opportunity to dive into the pool and to see what gains can be made through this period of training.


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