This last weekend was the Ohio Junior Olympic (State) Age Group Championships. Over all 4 days Taylor competed in 7 individual events and 4 relays swimming 17 times in total. Taylor came into this meet as focused as I have ever seen her. She rested during the week. Would not eat ice cream– this is a major item for her to give up — because she wanted to eat healthy food. She passed on going to Kings Island until after the meet. She had a great meet.

Thursday – Day 1:
She started off swimming the 400 Freestyle on Thursday night when all the distance Freestyle events are swum. She was seeded 3rd overall, which means she swam at finals with the top 8 swimmers. During the 400 Free she actually kicked. I mean a good steady kick the entire 400, when in ANY free event you would be lucky to get 50 meters of kicking. It paid off as she swam the event nearly 6 seconds faster than her Personal Best (PB) time and finished 3rd overall. A good start.

VIDEO: 400 Freestyle (large file- 89 meg) Right click “Save as” to download instead of stream into media player.

Friday – Day 2:
Prelims: She had the 200 Free plus two relays: 200 Medley and 400 Free. She was on the “A” relay for both, which meant she swam those at night during finals, so she only had one swim in prelims- 200 Free. This is an event that she was spent her entire swim career saying, “Not the 200 Free. I hate the 200 Free.” Well, she continued the trend she started in the 400 Free by kicking the entire 200 and swimming another PB time (over 3 seconds faster). That swim mover her up to from 11th seed to 5th placing her in Champ Finals (top 8 swimmers – guarantees you will not finish less than 8th).

VIDEO: 200 Free Prelims (large file- 23 meg) Right click “Save as” to download instead of stream into media player.

Finals: Started with the 200 Medley Relay with Taylor swimming to Butterfly leg. The “A” relay finished 6th after swimming a little slower than their seed time (Maddie Rapp aged up right before the meet and she was on the relay that set the seed time). Next was the 200 Free where Taylor was seeded next to Cara. Well, after 200 meters of swimming and more strong kicking Taylor improved on her PB swim from the prelim session, but placed 5th overall going .05 seconds slower than Cara. Then she finished swimming the lead off leg of the 400 Free Relay going a PB time 1:05.63 (a full second faster than her previous PB time).

VIDEO: 200 Free Finals (large file- 23 meg) Right click “Save as” to download instead of stream into media player.

Saturday – Day 3:
This would be Taylor’s busiest day with 2 relays and 3 individual events for a total of 8 swims on the day. Once again she swam the “A” relays in Finals, so her day started with the 50 Free. She was seeded 11th coming into the event. With 50’s not being Taylor’s strong suit she was going to need a great swim to make it back in Champ Finals. Well, she delivered with a PB time of 30.24 earning her the 8th seed helped by a great start. Whew! Next was the 50 Fly, where she swam in the lane next to Cara. She had a great start and her PB time of 31.35 put her in Champ Finals as the #1 seed! Her last swim of prelims was the 200 Individual Medley where she continued the string of PB times by going 2:36.79 (4 seconds faster than her PB).

VIDEO: 50 Free Prelims (large file- 23 meg) Right click “Save as” to download instead of stream into media player.

VIDEO: 50 Fly Prelims (large file- 23 meg) Right click “Save as” to download instead of stream into media player.

VIDEO: 200IM Prelims (large file- 23 meg) Right click “Save as” to download instead of stream into media player.

Finals started with the 200 Free Relay where she swam the anchor leg going a 29.75 her 1st sub-30 50 Free time. The team finished 7th overall. Next was the 50 Free where she swam another PB time improving on her Prelim and finished 7th overall. Then it was on to the 50 Fly where she would face Rachel Jackson, who is a very fast fly swimmer (in 2006 Taylor had the 11th fastest time in the nation and finished 2nd to Rachel), so even though Taylor was the #1 seed I knew it would be tough for her to win. Rachel won setting a new state record. Taylor finished 3rd with another PB time– her 8th PB in a row. Her last individual event was the 200IM where she ended her streak of PB times, but still finished 3rd overall. Finally, the night ended with the 400 Medley Relay, where she swam the 100 Fly leg. She swam it in a PB time of 1:09.22 and the team finished 4th overall.

VIDEO: 50 Free Finals (large file) Right click “Save as” to download instead of stream into media player.

VIDEO: 50 Fly Finals (large file) Right click “Save as” to download instead of stream into media player.

VIDEO: 200IM Finals (large file) Right click “Save as” to download instead of stream into media player.

Whew! A busy 1st three days with some great swimming. Every swim was a PB time except 2 finals swims which would have been PB times prior to her prelim swims.

Sunday – Day 4:

No relays and only 2 individual events to round out the day: 100 Free and 100 Fly.

Prelims: Taylor started with the 100 Free. She went into prelims seeded 11th, so she needed another good swim to get to Champs Finals. She delivered swimming another PB time: 1:05.38 which was nearly a second and half better than her previous best time. That was good enough to put her 7th seed for finals. Then it was the 100 Fly where she swam another PB time going 1:08.11– only .3 seconds off a Sectional cut.

VIDEO: 100 Free Prelims (large file) Right click “Save as” to download instead of stream into media player.

VIDEO: 100 Fly Prelims (large file) Right click “Save as” to download instead of stream into media player.

Finals: Back to the 100 Free with Taylor swimming in the outside lane- lane 1. She swam the second sub 1:06 time of her life, but added from prelims and finished 8th. Finally, the 100 Fly where she was seeded 3rd and swimming between Cara and Rachel. Rachel took off with her usual strong start and Taylor was running 3rd early. In the end Taylor was swimming hard to hold on to 3rd and hold off Cara. She finished in a 1:08.51.

VIDEO: 100 Free Finals (large file) Right click “Save as” to download instead of stream into media player.

VIDEO: 100 Fly Finals (large file) Right click “Save as” to download instead of stream into media player.

It was a long weekend and you could tell Taylor was starting to get tired there in the finals on Sunday. She had an awesome meet recording PB times in every event and nearly getting her 1st Sectional cut.  In fact her 100 Fly time puts 23rd fastest in the nation.  Also, her 200 Fly time from the time trial she swam a couple weeks prior to the meet was 19th fastest in the nation.  She, also, made Champ Finals in every event she swam.  Even high point winner can’t say that. Pretty darn good I’d say.

You can view the complete results: CLICK HERE

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