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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, July 09, 2007

Speedo Grand Challenge 2007

Tyler Clary, Euan Dale, Tamas Kerekjarto and Vanni Mangoni

The Irvine Novaquatics hosted another fine meet with superstars in attendance. This
meet brought the return of Klete Keller to Southern California and the Trojan Swim
Club. For this SoCal girl, it was good to see Klete back in the Cardinal and Gold.

British Swimming showed off some of their best swimmers here as well, with a few of the finals being British only. This meet uses a format that has only the top four finishers from the prelims making it to the championship final. The Brits were in good form at this point in the season and swam some nice times.

We also got to see Amanda Beard's return to competitive swimming. She made finals for each event she swam, even if she didn't compete in the final. This shows me she is on track in her training as she made Olympic trials cut times in her breaststroke events. The field is pretty impacted so she is going to have to work very hard to win her berth on the Olympic Team, but the same can be said for all the other women vying for a spot.
I always love seeing the Pac-10 club teams going up against each other, and Stanford and Cal sure didn't disappoint.

There was one HUGE disappointment though. I complained about this same thing last year here on my blog, and I guess I will have to say something official next time. The spectator seating is overrun by 10X10 foot sunshades and folding chairs that have no one in them. After last year I decided that it was best not to go to prelims as all the seating space is used for the swimmers who are swimming all day. They do need the shade for prelims as the sun is very hot on that side of the pool in the morning, BUT. The sunshades on lower levels block the view for anyone behind them. So the swimmers who are sitting on higher levels have to squish down to watch the meet. You can kind of see it in this photo. I think that can't be very good for their backs.

All that is fine for prelims, but if this meet wants to ever have any spectators, they have to change the way things are done. A lot of the clubs leave all their chairs and sunshades up when they leave after morning sessions. Spectators come in and have no place to sit because they don't want to encroach on other peoples' space. The upside is, I ended up standing on the deck one day and I am happy with my action shots from that vantage point. But I really think that people need to carry it out if they carry it in, or better yet have their swimmers that don't make the finals stay and watch. They are given the opportunity to see some of the best swimmers in the world. Olympians. World record holders. Amazing coaches. They could learn so much.

I will continue to go to this meet whenever possible. The Nova families and the people who run this meet are very friendly and efficient. (Except for the seating area thing.) I enjoy the music and the sense of fun that this meet has. And the announcer does a great job. So, I'll see ya next year!


  • At 7/09/2007 8:50 PM, Blogger AimsRos said…

    Speedo Grand Challenge sounds like a great meet. I would love to see it next year.

    As for the music and the announcer, anything would be better than the music and the announcer at Santa Clara. The music was odd, and the announcer was just rude at time.


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