Saturday, December 20, 2008

2008 Nationals: A Big Finale

The team free routines and team combos were the final events in Nationals. We'd wised up the day before with the extreme cold and dressed accordingly. I couldn't figure out why it was so hard to close my suitcase when I was wearing three pairs of pants, my competition suit, two t-shirts, and two jackets. Karen loaned me her extra parka to on top of all that and I was pretty snug as a bug in a rug. Lilia had the brilliant idea of bringing a huge blanket from the Timeshare and I so generously offered to keep it warm while she warmed up with her team who would be swimming near the beginning of event.

Again, we began with the 70s age group then moved into the 20s. Lilia's team, The Bikini Squad went 2nd.

Despite the cold, they had a fabulous swim. Kimberly put the icing on the cake with her huge smile and dance when they lifted her at the end. They scored a 72.500 which gave them an overall score of 71.417 and silver medals.

Next up was our 30s team, Whip It. The scored an impressive 75.416 against some pretty stiff competition. They still managed to pull out an overall score of 75.167 which also gave them silver medals.

In the 50s, my team, the Synchronuts, swam 11th while our Ragtime team swam 13th.

The Synchronuts had a pretty good swim. We earned a score of 66.166 which gave us an overall score of 65.083. This gave us fourth place, just one point from third. The ribbons are nice, but next year, we plan to come home with some hardware.

The Ragtime team had a great swim and earned a 71.667 for an overall score of 69.667. They came home with silver medals around their necks after just being edged out for gold by .083 of a point. Great job ladies!

At last, we were finished since no one on our team was swimming the combo event. It was time to relax and enjoy the remainder of the competition.

But first, we had the awards ceremony and an impromptu photo shoot. After all the medals were awarded, the winner of the high point trophy was announced. The way they determine the National Champion is based on the points earned in each event.

Points are awarded through 8th place. With everyone swimming as well as they did we successfully defended our National Title with 136 overall points.

This is Whip It before they got their medals. Back left to right: Lea, Karen, Lesley, Ymajahi, Sylvia (alternate); Front left to right: Shannon, Catherine, Candy and Lindsay.

This is the Ragtime Team with their medals and roses. From left to right: Shelley, Lizzi, Jill, Sue, Molly, Kathy, Penny and Ruth.

Here are the Synchronuts. Back left to right: Lori, Akiko, Vicki, Mary; Front left to right: DeeAnna, Corby, Kathy and Elaine.

The Bikini Squad went in search of heat. This is all that was left of them:

After we'd gotten the medals and such squared away, it was time for the Combos to begin.

As always, San Francisco Tsunami put on a great show with a tribute to Dolly Pardon. They even put their tallest guy in a blonde wig and fake boobs for the routine.

The highlight of the competition for me was having the opportunity to see the swimmers from "O" compete. This team was so good that people were standing around watching their practice in the shallow end.

Needless to say, no one was surprised when they earned a 94.333 which was the highest score of the meet. They had a fabulous swim. Even their mistakes were beautiful. Karen told me later that the sign of a good routine is that your reaction is, "It's over?" after they stop swimming. The "O" routine certainly fit that bill.

All too soon, we were packing up and getting on the road to head back to Los Angeles. This time the milk thing didn't work as well. We learned that you have to get your eyes out of bright sun and heavy wind for it to be effective. I'm so thankful Kathy's husband, Denny, was driving. Neither of us could see all that well until after the sun went down.

And that's the end of our 2008 Nationals Experience.

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