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813 Invitational Meet Recap

Blue Wave sent over fifty five (55) swimmers to the 813 Invitational swim meet held at the North Shore Pool in Saint Petersburg this past weekend. The meet was hosted by Tampa Bay Aquatic Club and Saint Petersburg Aquatics. Nearly six hundred (600) athletes from Thirteen (13) teams from across central Florida were in attendance. When the final race ended, Blue Wave finished as the first place visiting team.

This was the first meet of the long course season. The coaches goal was to see how well the athletes swam the back halves of their races. We were not disappointed at all. As a whole, the team finished their events with authority. Anyone who was at the meet could tell by watching those finishes first hand. It was obvious, heat after heat, that our swimmers were well prepared in terms of their endurance capacity.

There were other big pluses from the coaches standpoint as well. The swimmers were timely, warmed up well, stretched as a team and were very supportive of their teammates. There was a lot of high level energy on deck at all times. It was also nice to see our younger swimmers get to the blocks on time without a marshall on deck to guide them. It was a good balance of individual ownership and teamwork. To me, it seems like we are maturing as a club.

While dropping time is not a priority at this point in the season, we still managed to have a high number of personal best swims. This was certainly the case with our twelve and under swimmers. This was the first time since I arrived at Blue Wave that those age groups seemed dominant in the pool. It appeared that, race after race, the Blue Wave swimmers pulled away from their competitors...and not by small margins. It was fun to watch.

What we especially liked to see was how the swimmers descended throughout their races. If they were next to a competitor with fifty (50) meters to go, it seemed that they invariably pushed themselves to the next level and finished like champions. That was so exciting to us because when younger swimmers learn this approach to their races at this stage in their development, they should, if they stay focused and motivated,  expect to enjoy major success at the later stages in their careers.

I could go on and list the individual winners or Top 10 swims, but that list would be extensive and, quite frankly, too time consuming (we have a lot to do to continue preparing our swimmers for the end of the season and beyond). You can check the full results by clicking the link below:

Click Here For The Results

This meet was also the first opportunity our new coach, Mark Corely, got to see our swimmers in action. It was so nice to have another set of experienced eyes on the swimmers. As I listened to Mark give the swimmers feedback and advice, i felt like his words could have come directly out of my mouth. Having staff that are in line with each other is crucial for the long term success and growth of the program.

Here’s a little behind the scenes information that I feel is important to share. It’s important because I want to reinforce how much I feel having the right people on board is for our team. There were many coaches and officials who were shocked to see Mark on deck with Blue Wave. He has a stellar reputation as a world class program building in his own right. Why would he go to Blue Wave?

Unfortunately, in my view, most head coaches do not want another coach of their status on deck with them. It’s an ego thing, I guess. Mark and I aren’t into ego, just results. We both know that the program’s long term future is incredibly bright here and we want to use our experience and talents and make it one of the best clubs in the nation. As we continue to modify our program and add the right people, our members’ experience will only get better. Anyone who was here when we went to our first meet together nearly three (3) years ago and was also on deck this past weekend has seen the change first hand.

Congratulations swimmers. Well Done! Thanks to our parents for all of their support this weekend. You guys rock! Lastly, we would like to give special thanks to the Blue Wave parents who volunteered as officials this weekend. None of this would be possible without your help and support.

Next up? The team travel trip to New Orleans. Look for more soon.

See you at the pool - Rich