The boys swam their final meet of the season tonight. Neither was going to the conference meet next week, so this was their last chance to turn in some good times this summer. Their team tracks "pops" -- personal bests over the course of the season. Ben had seven coming in and Michael had four. They lost some of their fitness over vacation but had managed to get themselves back into shape over the past few days. This meet was for kids not swimming at conference, and because both Ben and Michael just missed being included for next week, we felt they could do really well tonight.
They did great! Each kid swam five events, and Ben finished with pops in all five and Michael in three. I was quite proud.
Michael's summer has been weird -- he swam great the first meet, then leveled off once basketball really kicked in. This happened last summer when he played All-Stars for baseball, and he recovered once we got back from vacation. That was much the same this year, as he looked great in his 50 freestyle, 50 breaststroke and IM. He could have won the 50 backstroke but misjudged the turn and bonked his head on the wall.
This was such an incredible season for Ben. He improved so much and his confidence soared. But the 7-8 boys age group on his team is so good that we had a hunch that he wouldn't make conference. At one point, Ben was ranked in the top 30 in the conference in the 25 freestyle in his age group ... but had only the 12th-best time on his own team. Going into this meet, he had the best backstroke and breaststroke times of all the competitors, so I thought he had a chance to win those races, but I wasn't sure after he missed two weeks of training after vacation. Something must have clicked with him and his confidence, because he won the 25 breast and went crazy in winning the 25 back and breaking his best time by almost two seconds. He took third in the 25 and 50 freestyles and fourth in the 25 butterfly. This meet gave out an award to the top point-getter in each division, and when Ben realized this (we didn't tell him about it), I think he realized he had a chance at it. However, another teammate who won three events took the honor (the pair really dominated the meet). Ben looked sad and happy at the same time, and he got a hug from one of his coaches who knew how hard he worked.
We went to Smashburger for dinner. The heat returned, and I waited until later to walk the dog. Another sports season complete. Soccer is up next ...