Day One here in Minnesota is done! And it was was a success. The great Michael “Woody” Woodward, and the fabulous Natalie “Dirtbag” Turner swam fast enough this morning to make it back to finals this evening. Mike swam the 200 IM and this evenings and the race was a true Woody performance… I know this because I have been on the receiving end of the way Mike swims that race once or twice and it’s not much fun. He takes the fly out nice and controlled, works the backstroke with nice arm speed and a good body position, rides his legs very well in the Breastroke and then THROWS IT DOWN in the Freestyle and blows you out of the water completely ruining any chance you thought you had of touching him out at the finish. Tonight he finished the last 50 of the 200 IM in 25.45; nearly a full second faster than ANYONE else in the entire field could finish the race. I am not sure how he does it but it sure is fun to watch! He went a 1.51.93 which placed him 11th, gave him his first All-American performance and was only 0.41 seconds off Kevin Wang’s Whitworth and North West Conference record.

Say Hey
Say Hey

The fabulous Natalie “Dirtbag” Turner started her final National meet in pretty much the same way she has swam at every Nationals since her Freshman year. She is now 10 for 10 in individual All-American performances at Nationals after her 6th place finish tonight, and goes into tomorrow looking to make it 11 for 11 in the 200 Freestyle. She swam two very different 500 Free races today, this morning she was out very fast but didn’t descend her 100’s as she normally does. This evenings swim was much more controlled. She started out smoothly and descended throughout. She swam a 4.56.53 tonight which is just a little slower than when she set the school record at Conference a month ago but was still a really good swim. I am impressed whenever I watch Natalie swim, she has been incredible for Whitworth Swimming and it’s been a lot of fun swimming with her over the last two years.

The “Dirtbag” Getting Her Woody

This morning we also had the buff Kalen “Pussycat” Darling swim the 500 Free. He looked really good in the early stages of the race and finished off with one of the fastest last 50’s split of the field but he couldn’t quite hold it together in the middle of the race. He swam a 4.35 in the morning at Conference Champs and went a 4.37 this morning so he was a little off his pace, but with the strength that he finished with I think his 400 IM and mile will be good.

The “Pussycat” Ready To Pounce

The beautiful Christine “Da Haaaven” DeHaven also swam the 500 Free this morning. She she swam a 5.05.64 which was only .40 slower than her finals time at Conference Champs. She looked really comfortable throughout the swim and I think that if she had the chance to swim it again tonight she could be under 5.00.

“Da Haaaven” In A Blurr of Speed

The sassy Ashely “Training Partner” Lecoq swam in the 50 Free prelims this morning.  I think that she feels the same way about the 50 Free as I do… It’s fun to race and I like to go fast but neither of us specifically train for it, we just race it and hope that the training we have done for the Breast or Fly have some carry over. She swam well this morning, going a 24.29 which was 0.06 of a second slower than her swim at Conference Champs.

Our girls also swam the 200 Medley Relay this morning. This relay wasn’t the one that they qualified in but they got to swim it any way. The wonderful Jennifer “Slow Arms” Benson moved her arms pretty quickly to lead them off in the Backstroke going a 27.98. It was really good to see her go under 28.0 and I think she was very happy with it. Ashley took one for the team and swam the Breastroke and went a 31.50 which is pretty good considering it was the first Breastroke swim she has done in the last two years. Christine swam the Fly in a 27.10 and Natalie anchored with a 24.83 to bring them home in a 1.51.41.

“Dirtbag” “Slow Arms” and “Da Haaaven” After The Relay

I also swam the 50 Free this morning. My swim was ok. I came into the meet seeded on a 21.18 which I swam in finals at Conference a month ago. I went 21.21 today, but I was happy being only .03 off of my night time swim this morning. I think that if I had the opportunity to swim it again tonight I would be faster… Unfortunately that elusive 20. evades me for another season. I am not feeling very good this evening. I didn’t get much sleep last night and my cold has come on in full force. I’m all good though. It’s not the first time I’ve had to swim sick. I have the day off tomorrow so will dose up tonight and hopefully I will be feeling much better in the morning!