Charlotte is our swimmer. In every meet, Charlotte is seeded against every other swimmer in her age division. She will swim in the order of her best time. So, say she can swim 50 yards of freestyle in 50 seconds. She will be placed in the pool with girls her age whose times are just above and below hers. The fastest eight girls (8 because there are eight lanes in the pool) are placed in the first heat. The fastest girl is in the middle of the pool, and they fan out to the edges in order of speed. So you know by looking at the lineup of girls that the middle girls are the faster ones and the outside lanes are the slower girls, even though the difference in their times may be only .001 of a second. The second heat is the filled with the next eight fastest, the third heat is the next eight fastest, and so on. Does all that make sense?
This year, Charlotte had a great season. The Piranhas just finished their season and Charlotte improved in every stroke and added a new one - Breaststroke. She likes IM, Freestyle and Backstroke and she LOVES Butterfly, but she never competed in Breaststroke. In the IM (Individual Medley) she has to swim it (individual medley is 25 yards of fly, back, breast and free - in that order). This past few weeks, though, she's been working really hard on her breaststroke just to improve her IM time. Her coach encouraged her to compete in Breaststroke, and in her first race - seeded with no time, she crushed it. And yes, she shaved seconds off of her IM time, too.
Here are the final results - her best times of the season for each stroke. These times are ranked against all other 11 and 12 year old girls in Arkansas.
Freestyle - 50 yards
13th in the state of Arkansas
Backstroke - 50 yards
21st in the state of Arkansas
Breaststroke - 50 yards
34th in the state of Arkansas
Butterfly - 50 yards
10th in the state of Arkansas
IM - 100 yards
20th in the state of Arkansas
Next year Charlotte will be 12 in a field of 11 and 12 year old girls....stay tuned for big things!
I am so proud of her and her devotion to her sport. Swimming isn't easy - I know I can't beat her. She has pushed herself and been rewarded for her efforts. Her coach is fantastic - always a kind word and very encouraging, all the while he's pushing them harder and harder. He makes them run and do cardio warm ups on the deck, or when the weather is too stormy to get in the pool. He is their biggest fan and the swimmers all KNOW that he is there for them. Charlotte is fortunate to call him Coach.
This last shot is Charlotte with this season's ribbons medals and trophies. She earned 22 ribbons, two medals (from the Meet of Champs) and a team trophy. Awesome, Charlotte. Swim on baby!