Dana Kirk's NCAA Championships Blog -- Entry #1

March 20, 2008

Columbus, Ohio
Wednesday, March 19 (5:16 pm, PT)

I am here in Columbus and everything is good. They actually have a brand new SID working the meet, so I don't feel so bad in my first day on the jo. I talked to a few of the girls on the team today and here's what they had to say.

Julia Smit --- I think the team is gearing up right now. We know that there are six tough sessions coming up, and we need to step up and perform in the mornings so that we are in the right places to make an impact in the finals.

Elaine Breeden -- I'm fired up and ready to swim fast. This is such a good pool, it feels really fast, and I can't wait to see all of the team's hard work pay off.

Kate Dwelley -- We are confident and excited. It doesnt feel that different from a nationals right now, but I am sure that tomorrow when all the teams are here and cheer, then I am sure that it will feel different.

As for my thoughts ...

On my recruiting trip, before I had ever even qualified for the NCAA Championships, a bunch of the older girls started talking about what it was like to swim at 'The Meet'. The story that stood out the most was Misty Hyman's. The fact that she was my idol sharpened my focus just a tad. She talked about the Olympics, representing her country and winning a gold medal. Then she said that there wasn't a second at the Olympics that even competed with what it felt like to swim at the NCAA Championships. There you not only represent your teammates, you represent your friends and your sisters. There when you step up on the blocks it isn't for yourself. Every point you score, every person you beat, and every place you move up is for your team and your family, because that's what the team was to her and to every woman that has ever swam for Stanford. So now it is Wednesday night, the night before 'The Meet' starts, and you can feel the calm settle on the deck. You can see the focus in the eyes of the athletes and the coaches as game time approaches.

I'll check back with you later.


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