Sunday, December 11, 2016

Following Her Dream

We came to Texas to watch our oldest granddaughter Kylie follow her dream in the National Swimming Competition West, held at Texas A & M in College Station. Now a high school junior, I think she was 5 when we took her to her regular swimming lesson. (Her Mom was in the hospital after the birth of her brother.) Since then we have been to numerous swim meets. Our RV travels and winters in Arizona have limited that in recent years but this is the second year we have attended the national competition--also referred to as the Junior Olympics.

We arrived on campus a day before Kylie and checked our where the swimming would be held. These were the signs on the door where she would go in. We had to look further to find the public entrance.

We saw the calm before the storm. I don't know how many competitors there were in the event, but in the women's 200 backstroke event on Saturday morning, Kylie was one of 128 contestants. In the 100 freestyle she was one of 160 swimmers. And that is only the women. There was also competition for the junior men (under age 19, I think.)

In three days Kylie competed in 8 events--freestyle, back and butterfly in different distances and two relays with teammates from Colorado. Preliminary competition is in the morning. The top 24 in each event return for finals in the evening.

Friday Kylie was in the 100 fly.  Here you can see her with her hands on her hips wearing the dark blue swim cap. 

She placed #1 in her heat but overall only 43rd.  Talk about competition!

Saturday one of her events was the 100 freestyle.   She placed second in her heat and 20th in the competition meaning she would be in the finals that evening.We were delighted to return to the pool to watch the finals. Competing at this level is serious business.  It was interesting to watch this 17 year old's face as she waited her turn to swim.

Thinking about what her coach is telling her.

Talking to her friends.


Ooh, what is going to happen?

I'm going to go do my best.

I did it!  Before the race Kylie ranked 58 based on her previous times; she was 20th after the prelims and 18th in the finals.  Great job girl!

We left after that race.  Here we are with Kylie and her dad, our son Eric.

Isn't it fun to be a grandparent? Good job, Kylie!

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