04 December 2009

Friday Night Lights

Friday evening at Finals of the Gator Holiday Classic. We have been up since 5am and everyone is excited for the Finals to get started.

Shannon swam two events and a 50 Breast leg of a medley relay this morning. In the first event, first heat, Shannon had a best time in her 200 Free of 2:09.19. Later in one of her best events the 100 Breast, she did not come close to her best, but the 1:16.something was good enough to finish better than her seed and get into tonight's Consolation Final (Final is top 8 and Consolation Final is finishers 9-16.) Her contribution to the relay in the 50 Breast was a strong split around 35 seconds.

A big portion of the team ate lunch at the cafeteria next to the O-Dome here on campus and we got some rest back at the hotel for a few hours.

Now, here we are. The teams are done with warm ups and they have done their screaming and drummed on the cowbells. It's all done but the swimming. Wait just one second. Before the meet can get started, Shannon takes a chance and winds up with a photo opportunity with Ryan Lochte (if you need to, Google it and be ashamed of yourself.) The photo gets taken about 25 yards from the sign posting about 6 of the University of Florida records that he still holds.

The finals were a blast and the swimming and cheering really go to another level. It is awesome to watch so many swimmers in so many age groups fight to be the best. The team atmosphere and effort was outstanding, too. My favorite part of the team was how when each swimmer was getting up from where the team was sitting to go get ready for their event everyone on the team got up on their feet and gave them high fives and sent them off right. In the end, Shannon had a new best time in her 100 Breast of 1:14.02 (34.58 at the 50 turn) and finished 3rd in the Consolation Final giving her at least 11th overall in the event.

Mickey did not swim today as his events are on Saturday and Sunday. We expect some big things to happen this weekend. We're going to get some dinner and maybe a drink before getting to bed. 5am will come just as early tomorrow.

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