Sunday, July 14, 2013

B Champs


I spent yesterday outside in the gorgeous summer sun volunteering at the Midlakes B Champs swim meet.

For those of you who aren't competitive swimmers, let me explain.  Our neighborhood has a team that swims in a summer league, the Midlakes Swim League.  We divided into 5 divisions depending on how competitive your team is.  There are 6 teams in each division, so you will have 5 weeks of swim meets. As we have somewhat short summers up here in the Pacific Northwest, this works out well.

Every week you meet a different team for two swim meets, the A meet and the B Meet.   The fastest swimmers can only swim in the A meets (this is determined by your times, if you swim faster than a certain time for each stroke at your age (an A Time), you are "disqualified" for B meets in that stroke).  This lets the newer, slower swimmers have a chance for real competition.  The pools only have 4 lanes, so each team can only swim 2 boys/girls each age group in each race or the meets would be endless.  We have over 120 kids on our team, and about 50 of them are in the 8 and under age group.  Think about it.

At the end of the season, there are two Champion Meets, again, A Champs and B Champs.  At A Champs, the top swimmers in the ENTIRE league meet.  Every division has its own B Champs where all six teams in the division spend a Saturday competing.  It is crazy fun.

One team hosts the event.  Families start arriving as early as 6 am to get good spots for the day.
Each team supplies tons of volunteers, and the hosting team runs the whole meet.  My job was to be a "stager."  We checked the kids off for each event.  Lined them up by their heat and lane they were scheduled to swim in.

The kids move forward, row by row until they line up at the starting blocks.
That was my job for over 2 hours.  I checked to make sure the heat was lined up correctly and sat them down in chairs behind the blocks. When the next race started, I moved that row forward into new chairs, took the next heat and checked off their names.  You wouldn't think they could get out of order walking 10 feet from the staging area to the chairs behind the blocks, but these kids are often very young and very excited and it can be chaotic.  I moved the front row of kids to the blocks and had them ready for the starter's orders.

The meet went like clockwork.  There is no time between races for anything.  They crank the kids through heat after heat, event after event.  Freestyle is the craziest.  Because this is the easiest stroke, there were over 79 heats in just this event.  Yes, 79 heats of just kids swimming freestyle.  The harder strokes have way less heats.  There might only be two heats of 8 and Under Boys Butterfly.

Anyway, my kids all swam until they started going away for the summers to ballet programs.  Pookie, since he was the youngest, was my last swimmer.  He was never super serious about it, but was pretty competitive, especially in the backstroke and the breaststroke.  Since he graduated from high school, this was his last chance to swim with our neighborhood team.  He is performing in a play with the Village Theater in Issaquah, and life guarding at the pool, so didn't really have much time.  But he wanted to swim if he could.  He made only one meet and  B Champs.  He didn't make any practices.  Ha!  he died in the pool, he was so tired.  But I think he had fun. And I sure had fun watching him swim one last time.

After he was finished with his races (I got to stage him for the Back, then I sat in the stands and watched him swim the Breast), he ran back home to get his stuff together for his opening night in Kiss Me, Kate

I sat a bit longer chatting with other Pool Moms, and tinking my Stage 4 Tour de Sock socks.  I am one repeat away from the toes, but I did something funky and why have a weird thing when these socks are beyond the deadline anyway?  I really love these socks and can't wait to finish them.  However, I want them to not have a weird hole from a weird cable twist.

shaping the world, poolside

No comments:

Post a Comment