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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sectionals blogging!

Sometimes I wonder why I feel so world-weary, and then I remember: it’s because of stuff like the past few days.

Saturday afternoon, after revisiting my old school, I headed to Penn Station to catch my train back to Harrisburg.  I had about 45 minutes to make a half-hour trip by subway, but decided to take a cab so as to give myself a little extra time, maybe buy a sandwich for dinner on the train, etc.  That was a bad idea.  The cab ride was like one of my anxiety dreams in which ... well, in which I’m stuck in a cab in bizarre, inexplicable traffic that forces us onto narrower and narrower streets.  In these dreams, I inevitably have to get out of the cab and run through a series of houses with narrower and narrower hallways until I reach the back stairs and the closet that goes into ... never mind, the point is that the cab snaked and lurched toward Penn Station in such a way as to lead me to believe, even at 5:12, that I just might make my 5:17 train.  Then we hit the last and fatal snag on 8th Avenue, and I knew it was hopeless.

So I got back at 12:30 am instead of 10:30 pm, which mattered, because on Sunday I had to get up at 6:30 for ...

Special Olympics Sectionals!

Yes, that’s right, it’s that time of year again.  Surely you remember last year’s post, in which this humble blog ventured into the world of posting-videos-of-Jamie-swimming for the very first time.  Here we are a year later: Jamie is a year older, and I am a year tireder.  And so I admit that it made me a bit weary when I realized that we’d gotten up at 6:30 Sunday morning to drive down to St. Francis University in time for the opening ceremonies at 9 ... and then we sat in a hallway until Jamie’s first heat, at ten minutes to noon.  Sigh.

Last year, he won gold in the 25m freestyle with a time of 34 seconds, after posting a qualifying time of 38 seconds; this year, his qualifying time was 30.6, putting him in a more competitive heat. In which he proceeded to be more competitive:

Before the race, I told him to be careful not to start before the horn, and I asked him if he thought he could break the 30-second mark.  Well, his new personal best is a smokin’ 28.17, as you’ve just witnessed.  But if you did indeed witness it, you saw that he actually started a bit tentatively.  Perhaps if I hadn’t cautioned him about a false start, he’d have broken the 28-second barrier.  Because he’s really extending his arms nicely in places.

And here’s the post-race interview:

That, folks, is the Voice of Enthusiasm.

And this is the 50m freestyle.  Last year’s qualifying time, 1:32; last year’s gold-medal-winning time, 1:16.  How did Jamie do this year?  Here’s how:

The race was even closer than I thought.  Jamie finished two seconds behind the winner, who somehow caught the young woman who’d led for the first 49.9m:

The lesson here was obvious: though Jamie did not win, he was brave in the attempt.  More specifically, I told him it didn’t matter whether he got gold or bronze; what matters is that he swam fifty meters in 1:16 last year, and he swam fifty meters in 1:06 this year.  Totally awesome.

And now for the backstroke, and a truly crazy finish for second:

The young man in the lane closest to me won by two seconds, but the people in lanes 2-4 were separated by less than .7 of a second.  Jamie kept looking over to see if he was gaining on them, and although that surely motivated him to keep churning, I think it distracted him a little too.  No worries, though—he swam three great races, turning in personal bests in the first two.  And getting tuned up for the statewide Olympics in June! 

I’m a little extra-extra weary today.  The 6:30 am - 4 pm drill on Sunday left me unable to play more than one hockey game on Sunday night (I did a lot of standing around and passing in a B game, skipped my A game), and then yesterday, Jamie’s session of Special Olympics golf, 5:30-7 pm, left me bone-chilled and sleepy from standing in the wind in 45-degree temps for 90 minutes, huddling and shivering even though I was wearing my dang Penn State fleece.  So I decided not to play pickup last night, either.  That leaves me with only one remaining A game, tomorrow night, before the rink shuts down for six weeks.  Tonight, Jamie and I will be going to this show.  His idea.  Well, why not?  I just taught my last class of the semester, and I’m ... uh ... ready for a nap.

But congratulations to Jamie!  Citius, altius, fortius, year after year!

_________

In other sports news, the guard did not change.  If you wanna get through the years, then, I guess it’s not high time you played your card after all. 

Posted by Michael on 04/28 at 01:02 PM
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