This short course season has left Ella (and us) feeling frustrated, as short course season often does, because it seems like it often takes 6 months to get back to the same level she ended long course season on. Part of it is just the fact that Ella swims with such amazingly talented kids that it is easy to feel discouraged when she actually is doing very well and has improved a lot, especially in breaststroke. She was thrilled when she qualified for the medley relays at TAGS last weekend. TAGS is a huge deal in the swim world for Texas athletes 14 and under and Ella's goal is to have her own TAGS time for long course season this summer. Her relays were on Saturday and Sunday which was perfect since she couldn't miss more school and we left as soon as she was done on Friday to drive up to Dallas where the meet was being held this time. Ella swam well, had fun with her friends and loved all the fun swag they received. The rest of us loved our hotel (Element DFW, which Mike got on Hotwire and it was great!) and eating In n Out two days in a row :-)! We hurried home to celebrate my Grandma's 81st birthday and then fly out to Costa Rica the next afternoon for our Spring break adventure!
So, the 200 Medley Relay ended up being drama-filled. The meet did not have a great system in place for getting the swimmers on the blocks and with the relays and 4 girls needing to get behind each block it became sheer madness. I didn't even know what heat our girls were supposed to be in because there was no heat sheet (even though we paid for the more expensive entrance that supposedly came with one..$80 for me, Mike, Addie and Preston..that's another story haha) so Mike and I were just waiting to see them walking up to the blocks. I noticed one of the other girls' moms was down trying to yell to them and then saw no swimmers at lane 4 and realized what was happening. Our girls could not get through the mass of other relay swimmers to the little entrance up to the blocks. We had no idea where the coach was that was supposed to be helping them (our real coach was getting married). The race started and they weren't in it. Ella was crying, it was a disaster, and we were just stuck up in the stands waiting to see what happened while the coach went to talk to officials. Luckily they did let the girls swim it at the end of the heats. They were all by themselves and it was a little anti-climatic, but they swam it and still beat some other teams.
We stayed after the end of the morning session so Ella could do a time trial since we were all the way out for the meet anyway. She really wanted to do 50 Free because she told me her freestyle was feeling a lot faster and even though I personally would have picked something else for her, we went with it. And wouldn't you know it, she was right! She ended up dropping 2.27 seconds on a 50! Got her A time and is actually really close to the AA now on it. She was one happy girl! And it helped that she knew we were heading right to In n Out from there ;-)!
(we only needed one timer, so I just used my camera while Mike timed!)
her previous time: 30.32 and this time: 28.05
we hit the gym for a second time that day and then loaded up on healthy snacks for the night ;-)
The next morning we were back at the pool for the 400 Medley Relay. The girls got to the blocks in time and Ella swam a great split for her 100 breast, nearly 2 seconds faster than her fastest 100 breast time.
After another stop at In N Out where we ran into lots of her teammates we were on the long road back home!