Lane Lines: Kirsten Byers Checks In With A Swimming & Diving Update
Nov. 17, 2009
The team is fresh off a very busy weekend competing in Arizona. We flew to Phoenix on Thursday afternoon, raced Arizona St. on Friday, drove to Tucson, and then raced the against the University of Arizona on Saturday. It was a lot of work, but also so much fun - travel meets are definitely one of my favorite things about college swimming. The thing that made this trip especially fun was having our divers travel with us. A lot of the time we compete separately, but since both Arizona schools have diving teams, we were able to travel and compete together.
On Thursday night after a short warm-up swim at Arizona St., we met up with junior Dani Milligan's family at P.F. Changs. They set up a beautiful dinner for us, complete with gift bags for the team and a fabulous blue and gold banner that made us feel right at home. The food was delicious, and afterwards we were all so tired from the long day that we went straight to the hotel for bed.
The meet on Friday against Arizona St. was incredibly exciting. The Sun Devils proved to be great competitors, and I was really happy that we were fortunate to be the best on that day. Everyone stepped up and had some amazing swims, but I was especially proud of sophomore Madison Fitzgerald, who still managed to anchor our winning 200 medley relay after being up all night sick the night before.
I felt so blessed because I was able to have a really close family friend who lives in Arizona come watch the meet, along with my dad who was in town for business. It's not very often that I have family in the stands since since I am from out of the state (Washington), so it made the day extra special.
Directly after the meet, we boarded the bus for the two hour drive to Tucson. Some of us finished some school work on the way, but we all watched the movie `Remember the Titans' and arrived at U of A just in time for a delicious dinner at the hotel. One of my former teammates, Amanda Beard, came to dinner with her husband Sasha and new baby Blaise for a visit with the team. It was so fun to see her!
On Saturday, U of A hosted us for a very fast dual meet. With the exception of USC, Arizona is my favorite team to race in the Pac-10. The Wildcats were very tough competitors and came out on top. While it stung to lose to them, it was also a great racing and learning experience, especially for our underclassmen. With it still fairly early in the season, we all have things to perfect in our race strategies over the coming weeks. I was sad to leave Arizona but very happy to return home to UCLA and look forward to facing both schools again at Pac-10s.
It is a quick turn-a-round this week as we leave in just two days for the Toshiba Classic at Belmont Pool in Long Beach. I've barely even unpacked my travel bag except to do laundry. If you live nearby, come watch the meet and make sure to wear blue and gold!
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