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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, May 15, 2006

Dave Denniston Relay Across America 2006

Dave Denniston and his Physical Therapy team from Project Walk

Another fulfilling day spent at the Dave Denniston Relay. Again the event was was held by the Novaquatics Swim Club in Irvine. They did an excellent job. There seemed to be less NOVA swimmers this time but more from other clubs. The weekend was also the CIF (California High School) Championships so a lot of the kids were otherwise engaged. The event started with Dave fulfilling his promise. With the assistance of a walker he walked the 25 yards across the deck. It was very emotional to watch (yes.. I cried. So what?) and I am amazed at what Dave and the people at Project Walk have been able to accomplish. If you had told me last year that he would be upright this year I would not have believed you. It just goes to show that you can never underestimate the power of the human spirit. Dave looked Fantastic! His upper body looked so big I thought it was just great details on his Nike shirt, but then when he peeled you could see it was all Davo! He didn't even need to be lowered into the pool. He just lowered himself out of his chair. This year Dave was joined in his swims by his family and his Therapists from Project Walk. There were also a few of the other spinal cord injury survivors there too. On the deck, Dave was joined by Olympians Jason Lezak, Natalie Coughlin, Lenny Krayzelburg, Derya Büyükuncu, Kristen Caverly and Staciana (Stitts) Winfield. World Championship team member and recent world record holder Jessica Hardy was also on hand to sign autographs with the rest and support Dave in his event. There were regular relays of about 6 members and a few so called "fun" relays. And they really were fun! Natalie and Jason helped out in the innertube relay's where the object was to get the tube back and forth by any means possible as long as you keep contact with the tube. The smartest team was the one that recruited Jason to pull the whole team. Jason and Lenny also helped out in the T-shirt relay. Lenny's team was very efficient with the t-shirt change exchange in peeling the shirt off one person and putting it on another in one smoothe gesture. I am not sure how much money was raised for Project Walk this year but I hope it is an event that will be continued. Dave said he will try to skip across the deck for us next year. I think he just might do it!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

XI FINA World Championships - Montreal, Canada

Photo Bottom to Top: Nick Brunelli, Salim Iles, Roland Schoeman and Bartosz Kizierowski

I just went back to look at my sheets and results from World Champs. Finding a photo to represent it for me could only be this photo. There was crazy fast swimming! I decided to put some stats down in one place because the bar has really been raised.

Championship Records:
Men's 50m Free - Roland Schoeman 21.69
Women's 50m Back - Gao Chang 28.31
Men's 100m Free - Filippo Magnini 48.12
Women's 100m Fly - Jessica Schipper 57.01 prelim, 55.75 semi, 57.23 final
Women's 200m IM - Katie Hoff 2:10.41
Women's 400m IM - Katie Hoff 4:36.07
Women's 4X200m Free relay - USA 7:53.70
Women's 4X100m Free relay - AUS 3:37.32
Men's 4X100m Free - USA 3:13.77
Women's 4X100m Medley Relay - AUS 3:57.47

World Records:
Women's 50m Breast - Jade Edmistone 30.45
Men's 50m Butterfly - Roland Schoeman 23.01 and then 22.96
Women's 100m Breast - Jessica Hardy 1:06.20
Men's 100m Fly - Ian Crocker 50.40
Men's 200m Back - Aaron Peirsol 1:54.66
Woman's 200m Breast - Leisel Jones 2:21.72
Woman's 200m Fly - Otylia Jedrzejczak 2:05.51
Men's 800m Free - Grant Hackett 7:38.65

All the world record swims were exciting, my favortie was Grant Hackett breaking Ian Thorpe's 4 year old record. The crowd was on its feet for the last 300m. People who think distance racing isn't exciting are crazy! There were some questionable calls by the officials, in my opinion, but I enjoyed it all the same. The venue was as nice as the swimming was fast, set on an island with subway access. And the people of Montreal really showed up to support their team. There were a couple of races that I felt the heart of the crowd carried the Canadian swimmers to podium positions. Beautiful city, excellent sport.
I am now finished with all the meets from 2005. I had a great time making friends and watching excellent swimming last year. I hope I get to do it again in 2006.