Tufts turned out to be, well, tough.
My guess is the Bowdoin/Colby back to back rivalry weekends, combined with our last week of hard work, and the fact that we were competing in a 6 lane pool with 5 1/2 foot wide lanes - well all of it led to a team that was not mentally "on."
That's OK... I would actually be a little puzzled if every weekend went our way, and was successful. It's tough writing that, but true. An off weekend for a program is OK - never enjoyable to be part of, or to look back at - but nonetheless, part of the process toward success.
The good news is that we had several impressive performances throughout the 8 hour extravaganza. Just enough to help me realize that all is OK, and we are still headed in the right direction.
Confirmation of the "anything is possible if you put your mind to it" philosophy came from the following.
1) Abigail Hanson's 1000 free come-from-behind season best and touch-out. We couldn't have asked for a better start to the meet!
2) Kara Leasure came off a tough 1000 free loss to take the 500 free (with a touchout!), and the 400 IM. Impressive as always.
3) Drake and Green seem to be unstoppable when it comes to their best events. I can't remember the last time I was worried about getting a win when they are up on the blocks. They hate to lose and always find a way.
4) Tara Dugan, after fretting all week about doing the 500 instead of the 100 fly, goes out and swims a great 500 free and then tells me she wants to swim the 100 fly too (the NEXT event). She jumps in an outside lane last minute and pops off her fastest 100 fly of the season and our top performance in the event. The girl is in amazing shape.
5) Leah Burke pops a great 400 IM in her first attempt this year... yeah new NESCAC event!
6) Our women's 200 medley and 200 free relay both leave with the victory. Impressive in that Wheaton had a relay top 12 in the country last year, and Tufts is ALWAYS deep.
7) Tom Boniface swims what may be his smartest 200 free of the year... not his fastest, but definitely the best put together... and he goes a very good time too (imagine that).
8) Nick Karlson completed a 1000, learned a lot about how to swim the race, then jumped in the next event and swam one of his best 200 free's of the year. That is impressive.
9) Pat Carroll has been on all year. He is training well. He is lifting well. He is racing well. And we saw it again Saturday - in less than ideal situations.
10) Buehler?.... Buehler?.... Buehler?.... Oh there he is, popping his best 400 IM of the year after 7 hours of sitting, eating, sitting, racing, sitting and racing again. Well done Buehler.
11) Last, but not least by any means, Annaliese Rudis pops her 2nd NCAA Cut!!! And Travis hits his best 3meter score of the year. Our divers are getting real good - right at the best time of the year. It has been very fun to watch.
That's it for now... got to figure out tapering, meet line ups, and all that other jazz.
This picture of Greenberg reminds me of how many on the team looked Saturday at Tufts!
(and the picture up top... well, many believe a cold dip can truly get you going on a rather dreary day)