Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Heading to the Chesapeake Pro-Am

Since I am back to club coaching again, I am thrilled to have the chance to go back to Oklahoma City for one of the coolest meets in the midwest.  What is not to like about the Chesapeake Elite Meet?  They offer prize money with bonuses for setting records; they attract some pretty big name national team swimmers along with great clubs and college teams from around the country; and they offer the tournament style "50 free shoot-out" that has proven to be a lot of fun over the years.

This is the 20th year of the meet, and a meet record swim to win the 50 or the 1650 could bring someone $2400 each!  I have been smoking two cartons a day, all week getting ready for that mile and I plan to start swimming some laps sometime soon too.  $2400 would buy a lot of smokes.  (Yes, I really did just hyper-link to the story recommending cigarettes as a training tool.  Deal with it.  I ain't deleting that masterpiece.)

In the few times I have been there I saw Dave Denniston swim a 1:54 200 breast, watched Lezak hit 42.22 in the 100 and 19.11 in the 50 unshaved in a brief, watched Amanda Beard almost get worked over in the 200 breast by a local high school kid , Caroline Bruce, who was relatively unknown at the time, and had some of my young swimmers get autographs from some of swimming's super-stars.  It is just an all-around fantastic swim meet experience.

One of my friends was lucky enough to land the 8th place spot in the prelims for the shoot-out once.  That put him, you guessed it... up against the first place swimmer in round one of the semi's for a one-on-one swim.  Who was first seed to complete the match-up?  Jason Lezak.  My buddy now has a story he can tell for the rest of his life that even non-swimmers will appreciate.  How freakin' cool is that?

One of my favorite memories from the meet comes from Swimming World's coverage in 2009.  I wasn't actually there that year but several of my swimmers were, which made this video an extra special treat.  

Please notice the swimmers in the bleachers.  Many of them are from my club.  If you are paying attention, you will see our club coach at the time (former swimmer of mine) picking his nose, one of our girls poking her head out and making a face at the camera, and several of our team's swimmers just walking right through the footage and pushing Garrett and Darren out of the way like they own the place. The nerve!

At one point Garrett even says "that's okay... we're just live on the internet" and then later "so, apparently we're getting in everyone's way so we are gonna call it a night."  Haha. Some of those kids will be going this year with me.  They are a fun group.  I will try to keep them from ruining everyone else's good time.  Haha.

Are any of you readers out there gonna be at the meet?  If so, let me know.  So far I have never actually met anyone in person who reads the blog and I am starting to wonder if the comments are actually just really well-programmed robot-generated spam.  Plus, my life doesn't have enough awkward experiences... if you spot me on deck, please pretend you are a fan of my work so I can make the most of it.

Just kidding.

Kind of.  You would probably end up in a video on the blog.  But don't let that scare you off from saying hi.


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