At the beginning of the swim season in September, Kachemak Swim Coaches Rebecca Hardy and Jaime Wells asked their 14-and-under swimmers to keep journals of their swim season.
The team recently returned from Fairbanks, where they competed in the 2014 Age Group State Championships — and brought home a little hardware.
Wells asked her swimmers to write about their favorite race and their experiences at the Age Group event.
Today I finaled in the 200 backstroke and earned a silver medal. There were only four swimmers in the heat. Me and the two other 12 year olds battled it out, and I came in second. I beat my friend from Seward, but lost to my other opponent from Kodiak.
During the ceremony, an Olympian named Kara Lynn Joyce hung a silver medal around my neck, She swam in the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympics. After that, I was fully satisfied.
My favorite event is the 50-yard backstroke, because I got first place in my heat and did my best time of all. I took off six seconds, and I learned that I need to tilt my head back.
This was the one I worked on the hardest. I felt like it didn’t matter if I lost, I just had to get a good time. I achieved my goal!
I was thinking about what my mommy said; that the only way I will win is by getting excited. I started shaking out my legs and my arms, and when I got on the blocks, I could hear my daddy yelling,”Story!”
I dived in the water and felt cold. When I came up for a breath, I could hear everyone cheering. After I touched the wall, I immediately looked up at the scoreboard and saw that I won my heat. I was happy because that was my best time.
In preliminaries, I placed third and moved up to the finals in the afternoon to swim again. I wanted to speed up my last 50 by 1-2 seconds in order to get a medal. In the end, I placed fourth in my age group. I need to work on my turns. I got a best time of 1:15.
The 50 freestyle is the fastest event of the meet. I had just previously broken 30 — which means I finished the 50 freestyle in under 30 seconds. When I dived off the block, I stayed underwater, “body-dolphining” longer than other swimmers.
At the wall, I gave it my all and passed the other swimmers on the way down. My finish was the favorite part of my race, because I charged into the wall as if it wasn’t there. When I talked to my coaches, they said, “OMG! It was like in the Olympics where one swimmer stays underwater much longer than any of the others, and then passes everyone at the last second!”
I was happy and proud of that swim. I had a great team cheering me on, and we became closer to each other — as well as to teams from Seward, Kenai, Soldotna and Fairbanks. I hope to see them at the next statewide meet.
Kachemak Swim Club hosts its only fundraiser of the year with a February 28 Swim-A-Thon at Kate Kuhns Aquatic Center. The host a March Madness Meet on March 21-22.
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