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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.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

TYR Swim Meet of Champions 2007

There are people who think the distance races are boring. I am not one of those people. The TYR meet was covered by a local cable company. One handheld camera, one on a track moving up and down the pool, and one aerial view. For two days one would have thought that this was a really high profile meet. Excellent athletes from all over the world. Past and Current World record holders. The New Zealand National team were there, many of the German National team including Britta Stephan and Antje Buschschulte, star Athletes from ASU, U of A, and USC to name a few. South Africans Roland Schoeman and Lyndon Ferns,USA National Team members Rachel Komisarz, Whitney Myers, Lacey Nymeyer, Nick Brunelli, Peter Marshall, Jessica Hardy, Jason Lezak, Rebecca Soni, Robert Margalis and Adam Ritter among others. People capable of swims worthy for television.

The stand out of the meet though, was Kate Ziegler. She had an amazing meet.
On Thursday she set a new pool record by 5 seconds (8:24.40) in the 800 freestyle. The old record set by Tiffany Cohen in 1984 was 8:29.48.

Friday night while being recorded for history, She took 5th in the 100 freestyle and surpassed Janet Evans' 400 freestyle pool record, set in 1988 of 4:08.46, by going 4:05.44.

Saturday night, still being filmed properly, she set a new pool record in the 200 freestyle going 1:58.80, surpassing Maki Mika of Japan's 2000 mark of 2:00.25. She also swam the consolation final of the 50 freestyle.

Sunday night, the cameras were gone.
It was Father's Day. The first event of the night was the Women's 1500 meter freestyle. No wonder the cameras were gone.

Kate had nearly a full 2 seconds on her competition when she touched the first wall. By the time she went about 200 meters, it was obvious she was feeling pretty good. By 400 people were starting to put down their mobile phones and pay attentions. Her pace was incredible, people were leaving their seats lining the deck. 800 meters everyone was screaming for Kate to keep it up, expecting her to "die" in the back half. She was smoking the world record! 5, 6 seconds under! The announcer did an amazing job of making it clear to us what was about to happen. All I could think of at that point was the fact that the cameras were gone and everyone was going to miss this. That Kate's parents live on the other side of the country and even if all I got was the last 300, at least they would see how much support there was for their girl. So I switched my junky little camera from photo to video mode. Thank God for youtube.com!



18 year old Kate Ziegler had broken Janet Evans' 1988, 19 year old World record of 15:52.10, by nearly 10 seconds. 15:42.54. Amazing. Janet's record was also a National Age Group Record. Every time Kate had swum this race since she was an age group swimmer, Janet's name and time were there at the top of the page. Now it will be Kate's world record (also a national age group record) that will be the benchmark for young girls all over the world.

I feel the reason this race was so special for me was the fact that so many people don't watch this event. They show up a little later. They don't pay as much attention. Kate demanded attention that day. Actually she does every time she touches the water. Just like World Championships in Montreal and Melbourne. She makes these distance races special. She's making some strong progress in the middle distance races too. She is also a really sweet and humble woman. I look forward to the probability of her swimming in relays on the National Team.

It is redundant to say she was the high point female swimmer of the meet. I didn't even get into Robert Margalis, the high point winner for the men. He went straight from a win in the 200 IM with about a 2 lap swim down to the 1500 freestyle final.

I always enjoy myself at the TYR meet (even when there are no world records). The Mission Viejo Nadadores are great hosts. And there are usually many international swimmers as well as USA National Team members and Olympians.