Not once in my time at Lawrence High, or anytime soon thereafter did I attend a swim meet. I, like a few of my fellow runners, despised the thought of swimming and thought it to be a waste of a perfectly good winter. Tonight, however, I saw many of my former cross country runners competing their hearts out in prelims in order to qualify for the finals. While I believed that swimming was dull and boring, I found myself hooping and hollering as a lot of the races came down to the final stretch of the fingertips. It reminded me of coming down the finish line and watching these same kids gut it out to earn that extra spot.
I also saw camaraderie and excitement. Teammates huddled around the starting blocks and at opposites ends to cheer on their fellow swimmer. It didn't matter if they were first or last, everyone gave everyone a cheering section. Out of the pool, this group (mainly the former XC crew) was like peas and carrots, and I think that was what I enjoyed the most: seeing these former runners still enjoying the company of one another.
Coach McDonald was as stoic as ever with his perfectly-timed humor and calm demeanor. I'll miss those seniors who made the cross country season -- and now swim season -- one to remember. All-in-all, it felt like cross country. And for a moment, I was lost in it's revelry.