Sunday Night Swim Off!
In prelims/finals meets, where only 10 swimmers are allowed back in finals, there are rare instances where two athletes tie for 10th place exactly, down to the one hundredth of a second. In these instances, the two athletes that tied swim off in a mono a mono duel in the pool. The winner of the race gets a lane in finals.
This past Sunday, Zack Lyle tied for 10th place with a swimmer from Kingsport in the 11 year old 50 yard Butterfly; both athletes swimming the event in 32.81 seconds. With all eyes around the deck and in the stands on the pool, Zack rose to the occasion with an adrenaline fueled 2.5 second drop, new sectional cut, guts and glory filled 50 fly. 30.44! Who goes from a 32.81 to a 30.44?!!! Zack race set the tone for finals Sunday night. From there on out, everyone was officially FIRED UP.
SMAC athlete Reagan Wilkinson LOVES the 100 Fly. It's his JAM! Totally his most favorite race of all time. Before the race on Friday, Reagan had visualized his swim, talked to his coaches about the game plan and was going to give it everything he had. Standing behind the blocks before his heat, he heard the triple whistle, adjusted his goggles, and shoved everyone ahead of him out of the way. Reagan jumped up on the blocks. "Take your mark, BEEP!" Reagan dove in! Suddenly, as if by teleportation, he found himself in a place he didn't expect. Reagan was at the bottom of the 10 ft deep pool. With the rest of the heat swimming away, Reagan surfaced and his goggles sprang a leak. Then on his fourth breath, disaster. Reagan took in a 1.2 gallon sip of water. Struggling to finish, he toughed it out, and finished the race. With ESPN cameras in the building, Reagan didn't get a best time, and didn't have the best time. His favorite event did NOT go as planned.
Many athletes would have packed it up, thrown in the towel and headed home. It was the first SNOW DAY of the school year for goodness sake! Not every athlete is Reagan Wilkinson. The next day, he made sure to ask his coaches for help with his starts in warm up. He made sure to tighten his goggles. He started the session right with a fantastic 50 BK, finishing with a brand spanking new B time. Who would have thought his first ever B time would have come in something other than the 100 Fly? From then on out, Reagan was on fire and his starts were amazing. RESILIENCY is key to success in any endeavor - we're proud of you Reagan!