The events surrounding the 2014-2015 GA State Swim meet still have me aglow. The ambience of the event still sends little shockwaves thru my system when I think back.
I loved the way the boys relay team sort of banded together as the race grew closer and closer. They were teammates our boys were freshman so it wasn’t like they’d spent too much quality time together. But Friday class rank didn’t matter. They were teammates fighting for the same thing: victory. Several times I saw the older boys talking to the younger ones. The senior took them to the practice block and, from my seats in the nosebleed section, I could see him helping them with their relay starts. Another senior loaned my guy a tech suit…a high $$ tech suit. They older boys took care of younger ones and it warmed my heart.
My boy pulled a Phelps and changed from his speedo to his hi-tech swim suit right on deck. I doubt anyone but me knew. Luckily he had to good sense to be against a wall with this towel firmly in place. I don’t know why that stands out to me but it does.
Seeing my fellas name in lights in that natatorium in that meet will be forever emblazoned in my heart.
My tiny dude was the 2nd fastest swimmer on his team that race. He’s a foot shorter, skinny as a yard dog and a freshman but none of that mattered when the horn sounded. He went to the meet expecting to swim 3rd-the slowest spot but At race time you can hear me on the video saying, “I think that’s colton…is that colton” when the 2nd swimmer took the block.
Later my little man admitted to me that one of the proudest moments of the entire event was overhearing some of the older swimmers complimenting him and his buddy on their accomplishments as freshman. I guess they earned their ‘stripes’ when they earned their letters as FRESHMAN!
Our high school girls finished 6th in the STATE. First. In the STATE. Their relay team missed the podium by one spot.
Seeing those gold caps in the water…well I am speechless. Seeing my fella in a gold cap in that water…priceless.
Hundreds of swimmers participated. 1-6A schools..125 schools to be precise… were represented. There were 70 teams in the 200 yard relay alone. I say all that to say this: Our boys finished 32nd. My son HATES that number but I think it’s phenomenal. You don’t understand the magnitude of it all until you consider that we swam a 1:35:94 and the finals qualifying time stopped at 1:34:75 (the alternate). That’s less than a blink! AND…drum roll please..we were the only top 35 team swimming 2 freshmen! Less than 5 freshmen were even in the 200 yard relay event.
My fella hopped off his chartered bus like he was somebody. And to me he was…is…HE IS SOMEBODY.
Red sweatshirts emblazoned with STATE TEAM with gold rip-away pants make a statement.
The pressure of this meet was intense. 2 boys had early starts and were DQ’d on the spot. That still breaks my heart. When I saw the final results I saw that 4 other teams had been DQ’d. That seemed high to me until Colton explained that there were sensors on the blocks that recorded if you left before the swimmer in the water touched the wall. Man-oh-man. I can’t even imagine the tension he felt waiting on that block knowing he was a) swimming against the fastest swimmers in the state b) knowing that a boy in the heat ahead of him had just been DQ’d and c) that if he went even a nano-second early he lost it all for his entire team.
I loved that my son put back on his sweatshirt and got back on the bus Saturday to go be a cheerleader for those that made the finals. He came back all smiles talking about how the seniors all took him under their wing and made him feel like he belonged.
After every meet my guy says, “Thank you for coming Mama,” and this time was no exception. He even quipped, “Bet that was the most expensive 24 seconds of your life” after hearing that it cost us $15 to park and $32 for his sister and I to get in the meet. I corrected him, “It was one of the BEST 24 seconds of my life.”
When we got home my big girl ran upstairs to change clothes. She came down wearing her summer swim all-star shirt. I loved that her brother inspired her. I loved that she was proud to be a swimmer after spending the day watching him. I love that she’s already dreaming of being a Titan.
Watching my son be a part if something bigger them himself was lovely, I loved seeing him as a contributing part of a team.
Best of all…Friday was even more then be ever dreamt it would be. His hard work, his efforts were all worth it. He had a goal. He achieved his goal and was rewarded with the experience of a lifetime. And love his heart-he took me along for the ride.
The worst part is that we have to wait almost a year for the Titan Tide to regroup. I miss it already.