Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Boy® & Dad Race Week

It is going to be a busy week for the Boy® and I. He is just coming off a weekend of ABC Swim finals. Poor kid, he had just qualified for a bunch of B-standard swim events last winter only to turn 11 and get bumped into the next age group. Now swimming with the 11-12 year old boys, he has had to 'requalify' with even faster swim standards. Not familiar with swim standards for Minnesota? Let me try and explain.

Types of Meets Available to Minnesota Swimmers

A/B/C Meets are for all swimmers. Event categories are divided into “C” and slower, “B” and “A” and faster. Think of C standard as a 3-hour marathon, B standard as Boston qualifier, A standard as running under 2 hrs 30 mins.

B/C Meets provide an intermediate level of competition for swimmers with “B” time and “C” times. The vast majority of kids swim here.

A Meets are for experienced swimmers who have achieved “A” times and faster. Team scores are kept and team awards are given. It is NOT easy getting an A time. These are gifted athletes.

State Meets are open to qualifiers with a “Champ" or State qualifying times or faster. These are the crème de la crème swimmers. Most would be successful anywhere in the nation. Amazing swimmers.

Zone Meets are annual regional championship meets held each August by USA Swimming. USA Swimming divides the country into four zones and each zone has its own meet and names a zone champion.  The zone meets are hosted in Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, or Indiana. My guess is, most kids who can get a Zone time will have a free ride in college via a swim scholarship

Let's look at some examples. For a 11-year old boy in the 50 free, a time of 45.69 is needed for a C time, 39:19 for a B time, 34:29 for a A time, 32:59 for a Champ time, and 29.79 for a Zone time. Pretty easy to understand.

So, the Boy® swam four times last weekend as he had a C-standard in the 50, 100, and 200 free and 50-back. He set PRs in the 50 free and 50 back and is nearing B times there.

This coming weekend he is swimming at the Minnesota State Long Course (LCM) Championship at the U of M. He will be swimming in the:
  • Fri - 400 Medley Relay (free)
  • Sat - 200 Medley Relay (free)
  • Sat - 400 Free Relay (2nd leg)
  • Sun - 200 Free Relay (3rd leg)
But, wait a minute. How can he be swimming at a Champ only event? Simple: Only one of the relay members has to have a Champ time. And the Boy® has a lot of simply AWESOME fellow swimmers on the team in his age group.

This should be a very good experience for him.....or it will be possibly detrimental. Emphasis on mental. He is on a very loaded team and is the obvious weak link. I can just imagine his fellow relay members are swimming in 1st or 2nd or 3rd when the exchange is made and he gets wiped out. Then we’ll be in the awkward position of knowing everyone is thinking, “we’d have won if not for him”. This could cause some mental scarring for the lad. But on the other hand, if the relay teams are successful then he’ll gain some much needed confidence.

He has tremendous, supportive teammates and outstanding coaches. If there is, say, a 20-meter lead in the medley relay when the boy splashes in with the last leg, and gets annihilated, I am confident in the fact his teammates and coaches will be there to pick him up. This should be a very interesting story to watch as the weekend unfolds.

I'll be there Friday, then I'll be off to Fargo for the Lindenwood 10K on Saturday morning (7AM). I intend to drive back immediately after and hope to catch the Saturday sessions. The 10K is the age graded event I've been telling you about.This should be fun as they award to the top two males and females in each age category: 19 and under, 20-29,30-39,40-49,50-59,60-69,70+. PLUS!! Age-Adjusted Awards to Top 5 Males and Top 5 Females! I'm excited about that.

Last year I was easily going under 40-minutes for a 10K. I'm not confident I can do that this coming Saturday. The run miles are only now starting to build to pre-injury levels after the pelvic stress fracture debacle from March. I should exceed 100-miles this month, my first such month since Feburary. I'll be looking to have a solid effort and let the chips fall where they may.

So, good luck to me and the Boy® this coming weekend! Hopefully, I have some good results to share after the dust settles.

1 comment:

Mario said...

GOOD LUCK! A sub 40 min 10k is pretty decent at any age. I'm sure you'll nail it--humidity can really affect that, but it will affect everyone.