2013 MN SC Swim State


MN Swimming Age Group State Championships

Swimming as you may have guessed is as much a part on my life as triathlon.  Not only have I begun to compete in Masters Swimming, the rest on my family is actively involved in it as well.  Both of my daughters swim for the Sea Devils, a USA Swimming Club that my wife is an Assistant Coach on.  I have become an official as a way of keeping me from becoming that obnoxious father screaming (in encouragement, of course) in the stands at their kids who can’t even hear them while swimming.

A couple of weekends ago my oldest daughter competed in the Minnesota Swimming Age Group State Championships in Rochester, MN.  Qualifying for this meet has been a goal of her’s since the beginning of the season back in September.  She worked tirelessly throughout the season both in the pool and through her prescribed dryland workouts to qualify in the maximum of 8 events.

The team she swims for has a staff of incredible coaches that train all of their swimmers with a balanced athlete in mind.  The team really goes all out for both the Senior and Age Group State Qualifiers.  One of the most anticipated events that all the qualifiers and families look forward to prior to the state championship meets is the State Team Dinner.  Part of the tradition of the dinner is for the swimmers to get small gifts for each other to celebrate their accomplishments.  During the dinner it’s all the parents can do to get the kids to eat because they are so exited to see what they got each other.


10 & Under Girls sporting their Robes, Boas, & Masks

The meet itself went pretty well as my daughter had personal best times in the 50 Fly and 100 Fly and I myself got the opportunity to be the Lead Chief Judge for two of the sessions and be mentored by three very knowledgeable senior officials.  But what impressed me the most about the meet was the level of competition that the 14 & under swimmers displayed along with the overwhelming level of sportsmanship.  At the completion of almost every heat you see the swimmers in adjacent lanes shaking hands, hugging, or in some other way enthusiastically congratulating each other for a hard-fought race.  Isn’t this truly what sports are all about?  The life lessons we learn about being good sports, competing with integrity, and knowing that we gave it our all in that particular race are the reason I encourage my daughters to be in sports.

Now, I don’t know what team sports (such as basketball, football, etc.) are like because I have never been talented enough to do more than one thing at a time, but all the individual sports I’ve competed in have embodied this level of respect among the competitors.  As we approach the competition season I would hope that we all remember why we put in the hours we do in training to compete in the sports we love and the competitive respect we have for one another.  I personally can’t wait for the season to start and to have the opportunity to stand shoulder to shoulder with all the incredible athletes that participate in the sport of triathlon on the starting line.  Good luck to you all and see you in transition soon.


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