Monday, February 13, 2012

Home... home on the range

We traveled to Missouri last weekend for some quality time with the family and a little bit of racing. My family is from Columbia, Missouri (home of the Missouri Grand Prix), so we treat this weekend each year as a double whammy.

Yes, the boys (Mark, Eric, Tyler, Fred, etc.) swim... and swim well. But, in their down time (and during feeding time) they can all be found at the Rubenstein homestead. Last weekend, Mark, Annabelle, and I, Eric Shanteau, Tyler McGill, and Gideon Louw bunked up at my parents' home while others stayed with my brother. Each night my mother cooked for the entire group and after dinner all could be found in the basement in a heated game of ping pong--don't worry, Tyler... you'll have plenty of time to practice before next year.

Mark and Adam Klein playing Coach Lionel Moreau and Fred Bousquet in doubles--Tyler was merely a spectator.

The meet wasn't too shabby either. There were some great swims, then there were some fine swims, then there were some swims that we wish could have been better. This is typically how it goes. The most exciting part of the meet however, didn't take place in the water, but rather ont he podium when Matt Grevers proposed to his long time girlfriend, Annie Chandler. After the question had been popped, I huddled around Russell (video guru for USA Swimming) while he looped the video over and over again. I think I watched it 8 times.

Mark swam well. It was solid. It was fine. He was satisfied. Was it great? Not particularly-especially not after last month's race in Austin. So, after a "fine" performance in the 100m breaststroke finals, Mark decided to give it one more try. The next morning in the prelims of the 200m breaststroke, Mark swam the first 100 "fast" like a 100m breaststroke and "floated" the second 100m. This is a common practice amongst specialists like Mark. Mark is a 100m breaststroker. All other events are secondary and, thus, Mark is willing to sacrifice other races to focus on the 100. The third time Mark raced the 100m breaststroke he did not swim as fast as he had hoped. But, it'll do, Mark. It'll do.

Next month, Mark will be heading to France for a little training trip and French Nationals where he'll get another chance to get 'er done!

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