On the 21st of March I swam in the All Junior Heats along with about 6-7 other Kilmore swimmers. I competed all the events, but only made finals in fly and free. I was pretty nervous coming up to fly, even though I was ranked 2nd before the event even started, because we were all so close in our qualifying times. But luckily I did a PB of 33.14 which put me in first position by .58 and I was pretty stoked because I had never been in an All Junior final before. In the freestyle I was qualified 6th fastest in the heats so I was pretty nervous about making finals because again we were all so close. I swam another PB getting a 30.95 and qualifying 4th. The whole day was pretty relaxed, but the atmosphere was electric when races were close.
On Finals day (the 22nd) to sum myself up, I was pretty much a nervous wreck. The warm-up was so much better though, because I pretty much had a whole lane to myself by the time I hopped in. I felt really good in the warm-up, but I was still pretty nervous. Before coming to finals, I hadn’t realised that they introduce you before you start the race, so every race took FOREVER because after each person’s name was read out, their club would shout like crazy at them. It was basically a Mexican wave of voices, except there was no order. Waiting in the marshalling was surprisingly relaxing because we were all talking about anything other than swimming, which passed time pretty well.
We had to wait a while at the blocks as there was a medal presentation before it but it was worth it, it felt pretty good hearing my name called out in front of heaps of people.
I felt really powerful in the water, more than I’ve ever felt before and I’m pretty sure I forgot to breathe so I only took like one breath in the whole race. I guess all the hard training paid off because I got another PB of 32.96 and 2nd place by .07, but I didn’t really care because I was too happy that I had medalled. The medal ceremony was pretty much straight after the event finished. I had to hurry to get my stuff even though I wasn’t allowed to and nearly missed the presentation. They announced the presentation on the loud speaker as well, and it also felt pretty good. The medals were on this massive red velvet pillow. They took so many pictures that my mouth was sore afterwards from smiling so much but it was worth it. Thankfully freestyle was last so I had a while to wait. Eventually I think all the big clubs got sick of cheering every time one of their swimmers raced, as there was at least one of them in every event. I was a little less nervous coming up to the freestyle because I didn’t really feel like I was expected to win because I was in lane 6, even though I still wanted to win.
In the freestyle, I also felt really good in the water, and when I touched the wall I was pretty sure I knew I had gotten a PB. Turned out I was right as my time was 30.78 and even though I came 6th, you can’t really ask for more than a PB so I was still pretty happy.
I am really grateful that Lynton came to the finals even though I was the only Kilmore swimmer, and made me feel really lucky and more reassured about my races.