I had never lost a meet at home.
Four years on the swim team and a strong tradition of winning. For four years, I had dealt with the expectations of not only my teammates but also students, teachers and parents. Every year, Blue Valley North (BVN) was one of our toughest rivals.
I slowly grew to know the guys that swim for BVN. Over two years, I swam with a number of their teammates on my club team. As senior day approached, I was asked questions about the meet.
Would we win? Is BVN good this year? Are you guys going to win state this year?
I tried to answer these questions as best as I could. They had some great swimmers and so do we. A rematch between two of the top teams in the state. It was going to come down to the wire.
And it did.
By the end of the meet, we were down by 14 points. A loss. The first loss in four years at East.
With the loss came questions. Why did we lose? But to me, this meet was more than a loss. I tried to look past this loss and realize it for what it was — my final meet in the East pool.
Looking back on that day, I don’t remember the feeling of loss at the end. I remember the happiness of seeing my coaches Wiley Wright and Colby Dischinger pump their arms and scream on the side after the 200 free relay. I remember seeing the heart that went into the final races of the meet as my teammates lay on the ground, spent from a day of pushing themselves to the edge.
Most of all I remember standing in the pool after the meet soaking it all in. Standing with a fellow senior, thinking back on all my favorite memories that I have made in that pool over the past four years.
I could picture Chris Watkins sprinting and trying to run across the water before falling down face first. I could picture Benn Schmatz floating in a baby sized rubber ducky, wearing a small pink hat after being asked to WPA. I could picture running around in swimsuits, hurling snowballs across the pool at one another. The memories began to pile up as I looked across the pool.
These were some of my favorite moments of high school, all culminating in a final few moments. And as I thought back on these hours spent in this small building, I couldn’t help but think about the future.
As much as I loved thinking back on the past memories, I look forward to the future. I have three weeks left and I need to make them count. Our team is getting closer and closer by the day.
Grade distinctions are breaking down as we close in on these final practices. I only have two more meets left. All I can do is hope that I make more great memories in these last moments.
Sure, we may have lost the meet, but covering the pain of that loss is a flood of happy memories.