By Annie King '19
5:30 (or 4:15, sorry Virginia people): Wake up
5:45: Regret signing up for this sport
6:00 (or 4:45, sorry Virginians): Carpool makes the rounds to pick up several swimmers
7:00: Arrive at Fairland Sports and Aquatics Complex, send the moms to pick up Starbucks from the one open store in Maryland
Many swimmers arrived at Fairland Aquatic Center on Saturday morning with some form of caffeine (coffee, tea, monster, red bull, and C4 were common in our team area). With some extra (artificial) energy in our systems, the NCS swimmers were prepared for a long day at the pool. Prelims began at 7 in the morning, and despite the hour, many swimmers had great performances. Ella Berry dropped 15 seconds in her 200 IM, and Julianna McKessy dropped 4 seconds in her 100 backstroke. Megan Craven earned finals-qualifying times in the 50 free and the 100 free, and all the A relays qualified to return later in the day.
The swimmers who braved the windy day and crowded pool deck to come back for finals at 5 pm came bearing even more caffeine and even less actual energy, but still rallied, raced well, and had some great swims. The 200 Medley relay, swam by Rachel Yoon, Megan Craven, Margaret Herbold, and Nia Brown dropped two seconds and placed 13th overall. The 200 Freestyle Relay was swum by that same group, dropping another second to place 10th overall. Finally, the 400 Freestyle relay, composed of Annie King, Elektra Papathanisiou-Goldstein, Addie Sears, and Alyssa Gabidoulline, dropped ten seconds and came in 15th. Card games, blankets, winfo gossip, and cheering for our teammates kept us entertained. While the smell of the hot dogs in the concession stand may have induced some nausea, we powered through to a 13th place ranking out of 22 teams, a strong finish for our relatively small team. The meet ended around 9 pm, and while it was definitely a long and tiring day, it was a lot of fun and all the swimmers had a great time hanging out and celebrating everyone's achievements!
Our more awake counterparts, the divers, had their WMPSSDL championships on Thursday, and were very successful as well. Highlights included Dorothy Shapiro placing 3rd out of 34 competitors a week after her third consecutive ISL championship win, as well as Claire Fortier advancing to finals and placing 14th, a major accomplishment for a first year diver. Go Eagles, and let's get excited for Metros next weekend!