Friday, June 20, 2008

Competition Day #3

Back in the pool I go!

The previous night at dinner, while I discovered my intense love of Australian BBQ sauce, Becky showed us pictures from her trip to Caversham Wildlife Park. The koalas and kangaroos were so cute that we immediately planned an outing there the next morning.

However, business weighed heavily on us and we decided to work on our free routines instead. Karen finally finished writing her routine that morning and showed off her unKarenlike move for Jenni and my approval.

Then we set out to gel my hair for the very first time. As you'll see in the soon to come videos, we swim free routines in costumes and makeup and headpieces on gelled hair. I should probably mention that it is NOT hair gel. It is Knox gelatin which hardens your hair to keep it in place in the water. Oh yeah...and did I mention that the gel is made of horse hooves? That's why we prefer Knox. It smells...less bad...than the off brands.

Karen used her "forty years of experience" to perfectly gel my hair. She arranged the headpiece I'd made with beads and thread - as opposed to the wire I'll use next time - around the bun I'd managed to put in off center and it looked fabulous! You'll just have to take my word for it because I was so excited and forgot to get a picture.

Jenni and I gelled Karen, Karen put Jenni's headpiece on her and we set off for the pool.

Of our group, Jenni was first up with the 20s age group. She swam 7th.

Solos seem to be trending toward darker music. Jenni stayed true to her sunny personality and swam to a "happy" song which definitely set her apart from the rest. As always, Dawn is a fount of knowledge. Jenni's choice was a good one because "blondes don't tend to score well when swimming darker music." Who knew?

I swam 5th in the next age group. After those low scores on the tech routine, I really had nothing to lose. I was firmly in last place. While I was waiting, I made the decision to go out and give it my all. In my tech, I'd taken out all the difficulty in favor of the technically sound and got creamed for that. My free was a whole different story.

About a month and a half before we left, Dawn had moved one hybrid from the end of the routine to the beginning. After many tears and much panic, I finally got it down. Maybe.

I got the go ahead to take my position and climbed into the pool. In true Lori fashion, I didn't put the noseclip on until I'd swam out and was set. I actually had to hold up a finger for the referee to wait for me to put it on. I'm really looking forward to a competition with no noseclip issues.

The music began and I gave it my all. I grinned my little heart and covered the pool as best I could. The night before, Lindsay and Karen complimented me on one of my strokes. Karen was actually considering borrowing it. How flattering is that? So when I got to that section of the music, I had a total brain freeze. Luckily it was only for a brief second and I got back on track. I finished the routine, grinned some more, climbed out of the pool - I was done!

As soon as that video turns up, I'll post it here.

Next up was the 40s age group and Karen's battle with Carol.

Carol went first. Karen was 2nd. Her routine was thoroughly amazing in true Karen fashion. I'll post it when it turns up as well.

Karen was a walking illustration of honesty during the trip. The night before, she found a camera in the stands and turned it in. The French guys to whom it belonged were so thoroughly grateful that they made sure they took some professional shots of her routine. They were so cute. They would not move from that area until they were sure they got Karen on film.

Lea, the team trooper, went 5th. She'd gotten some comments on her tech being done too much with one arm. So despite the excruciating pain in her shoulder she pulled out all the stops for her free.

Sylvia was last up on our team to swim. We gathered in the vendor area for the awards. Karen took silver because Carol's routines were more contemporary. She's already looking forward to the rematch even though it won't be for another four years because they won't be in the same age group when we go to Sweden. Lea fought through her injury enough to earn the bronze.

Because of the bogus penalty, Jenni ended up in 8th place. Sylvia took 5th. And I, in the shockers of shockers, ended up 10th. One judge was blatantly scoring swimmers from her country higher. My cousin likes to call it their affirmative action. Except it totally backfired on them. High and low scores are tossed. Because of that I was blessed to score higher than one of that country's swimmers for the #10 spot.

How funny is that?

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