That meet ended up having a few surprises.
1. It wasn't a mid-size regional meet...it was a large international meet! There were swimmers there not only from all over Florida, but also from South Carolina, Georgia, and Cuba!
2. There were probably 1,000+ spectators there each day. A normal meet might have 100 parents who are only interested in their own child's swim. These spectators cheered for every event, rang cowbells, and were generally happy and loud.
3. Snapper's coach was not there at all. Her coach on deck the was coach of the next level up, and he was quite impressed with her. And he thinks she's a cutie pie (which she is).
4. Snapper made only slight improvement on the events I thought she would kill, but made huge improvement on the events that are typically her slowest.
5. The intense noise, chaos, and crowded nature of the event would have completely turned Snapper's world upside-down just 6 months ago. She amazed me with her poise, confidence, and relaxed demeanor throughout the meet. None of the craziness bothered her in the least. She swam her heart out and did great!
6. Did I mention that she got her BB time cuts in 100 IM and 50 Backstroke? That's a big deal for a just-turned-9-year-old!
Way to go, Snapper!
We have arrived at UF! Time to go swim in the O-Dome.
This is one of two competition pools. It was totally packed during warm-up. The other pool was packed too, as was the outdoor pool. That's a lot of 12&Under swimmers!
Snapper and teammate R during the National Anthem
Big meets like this can drag on, especially when there are 30 heats of 200 Freestyle. The Nintendo DS and iPhone games help make the time pass faster.
In the absence of Coach Gaby, Coach Joe took good care of Snapper. He will be her coach when she moves up to the next level.
Back at the hotel, we splurged on some Ben & Jerry's ice cream!
We spent a relaxing evening as a family playing the Wii in our hotel room.
National Anthem, Day 2
Snapper's starting block ritual: chew the fingers and adjust the goggles until the very last second.
She has gotten much more aggressive on her starts recently.
It was fun having an overhead view of the meet. I got some new angles on her swimming.
Her Butterfly is absolutely beautiful, no matter which angle you're watching it from.
Time to head home. The weekend was a great success!