Friday, May 13, 2011

Jones Wins! (And Other Thoughts on Charlotte Ultraswim)

Sometimes, swimming seems extremely predictable. Michael Phelps always wins, Aaron Peirsol always wins, Team USA always the 4x100 Free Relay. Then Phelps all of a sudden isn't even the best swimmer on his own national team. Peirsol loses to multiple countrymen. Team Australia pulls the big upset and all of a sudden Michael Klim is playing an air guitar. The exciting moments are when something completely goes against that conventional wisdom, and its happened in spades this past year of swimming.

Now that its over, the Cullen Jones/Josh Schneider swim off seemed very unpredictable. Except beforehand everyone I talked to had decided that Schneider was better. It was clear why- Schneider was the young guy on the rise. Jones has seemingly leveled off over the last few years. The narrative makes sense- Schneider was just coming into his own and Jones was on his way out. Or was he?

The swim off is also a simple reminder of the utter objectivity of swimming. Having just watched my beloved Boston Celtics get booted from the playoffs by the Miami Heat, I will now be subjected to endless stories about how Lebron has finally arrived and Kevin Garnett is done. But the whole thing is muddled by five players being on the court at the same time. If a few plays go the other way then maybe Boston is still the title favorite. In swimming, there is no doubt who is better right at this moment- Cullen Jones.

Two more quick hit thoughts as I get frustrated by poorly updated live results:

-Is anything less exciting than watching Michael Phelps loaf his way through prelim 200 freestyles on the first day of these meets?  I feel like every time I check results he's in 7th or 8th in this race, he practically has the prelim 200 free with the least possible effort down to an art.

- Rebecca Soni vs Jessica Hardy in the 100 breast will be the race of the first night. I love watching races like this where its back half vs front half. Sure, back half usually wins but not always. See Crocker vs Phelps, 100 fly, 2005. I feel like last summer Hardy got psyched out when Soni was right with her at the first 50- here's hoping she gets a leg up enough here to make it a fun race to watch.

Check back for more thoughts and inane commentary as the weekend progresses.

1 comment:

  1. ...Kara Lynn Joyce 56/2:00.... maybe that high air aint helpin that much... dunno..... just a random thought....