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The Deck

Deck Change: Wrapping a towel around oneself to change (typically into or out of a bathing suit) in a public setting.
This is the place where you can talk about the pics, the sport, the weather, and the lack of pictures of deck changes on this site.

Monday, February 13, 2006

U.S. Masters Nationals 2005

I attended this meet because a friend of mine was competing. She wrote and said, "OMG I can't believe that I did this!" So I decided I could go support her. She was a swimmer in high school and had let her swimming go then joined a Masters class and thought it would be fun to do this competition. I LOVED it! It was so great to see age group swimming! A whole different age group though. There was the only man in the first heat of 50m butterfly. Robert Christians. He was 90 years old and he had to have assistance to get on the block. It was so inspiring. He is in the first few pictures in that gallery. There were quite a few World and National Masters records broken that day. One by 4 Men in their 80's that broke the world record by nearly 5 seconds. Amazing. There were people from ages 90 to 19. There were past Olympians like Gary Hall and a current Olympian, Gary Hall Jr. He was being teased mercilessly by all the "Sr.s"calling him "Jr" and telling him to take it easy out there. There were also some recognizable women there too, although it was so long ago that I have forgotten who they were. Sorry ladies! It was a very friendly and fun meet. The Halls were there promoting Race Club and the sport of swimming. It is good to see that people don't have to leave the sport when they hit say 30. All abilities were racing. People were sporting their fastskins and ready to make a mark and swim fast. I was really moved. I hope the trend catches on and other people who love swimming and racing continue after elite swimming is over for them. Or maybe some people who never did make it to an elite level find their way back to racing. Masters Worlds is being held at Stanford this summer. I have yet to see if I can make it there, but I think it would be great to see. Hey Janet... Janet Evans, start swimming masters. You can still be the queen!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Speedo Grand Challenge

Photo: Kaitlin Sandeno and Natalie Coughlin

I am going to blame the whole thing on Mr. Lezak, Jason's dad. When we went to the Dave Denniston Relay he told me about the Speedo Grand Challenge. I had no idea I could see elite and Olympic caliber swimming a few miles from home. As you can see from the pics I got Olympics Rings Tattoo crazy. I wanted to see everyone's Rings! Some I could see casually and some I had to ask to see. It was an interesting meet. British Swimming used the meet as a last chance to qualify for World Championships in Montreal. They came to the meet shaved and tapered and ready to make the team. A lot of pool and meet records fell those three days and most if not all of them to GRB caps. I was definitely not expecting to see them there and swimming so fast. Again Novaquatics was host to a wonderful meet. The environment is such that I found myself helping clean up after the meet. It just seemed to be the right thing to do. As if it was my home. The way this meet is different from others I have been to is the prize money is chosen by a spin of the wheel. The person who qualified first for the final gets to spin to see what they were swimming for in the way of prize money. They only allow the top four qualifiers to the final so the heats went pretty fast too. No taking it easy to qualilfy. Decent races the whole day. I sat in the USC section since the only person at the whole pool I even remotely knew going in was Kaitlin Sandeno. It was very exciting for me to see Natalie Coughlin swim too, she and Kaitlin are such amazing women. I got to meet up with Mr. Lezak again and met Mrs. Lezak too. Jason had a back injury and only raced the first day but his parents returned to the pool to support the meet. That's what I call class. This is an annual event and a good time. Bravo Novaquatics for being a great host! Oh and talk about sunburns.... That British team was not prepared for the bright California Sun. So thanks Mr. Lezak and Kaitlin for pointing me to quite a few meets in my local area. My spring started here. These pictures are the reason for this website.