Joseph's goal going in to State was that he finish higher than he was seeded.
In the 50 free, he finished 11th and he was seeded 12th. No PR, but he was happy and it was a fun race to watch.
In the 100 free, he didn't really have a great swim and even though he was seeded 9th, he finished 12th. He was not thrilled.
I kept reminding him that he is only a freshman. He just expects a whole lot of himself.
The relays were what ended up surprising everyone.
Our medley relay, early in the season, was just not up to par. The problem was that we didn't have a strong backstroker. Our breast, fly and free legs were excellent but you can only make up so much ground when your first swimmer, the backstroker, comes in last.
At the tail end of the season, the coach made a hard decision. He took out the backstroker, who is a seasoned senior and replaced him with Joseph. He then brought in a different freshman to swim Joseph's free leg. The senior was very bummed.
This was done in hopes that we would be able to make district finals.
They ended up making state...barely. They were seeded dead last.
At the prelims, on Friday they surprised everyone by coming in 6th and making the finals.
At finals, they ended up being fifth overall.
Not too shabby for a team that wasn't even supposed to make district finals.
As for the free relay, they were seeded 6th at State. At finals, they all totally ripped up the pool, each leg putting up a PR. Joe barely out touched another team to snag 3rd place. They swam so fast that they broke our high school 200 free relay record.
After the relay was finished, Joe had a swimmer from the relay team that placed 4th come up to him. He wanted to know how Joe was able to beat him. It sure did make Joseph feel good.
The most unexpected thing was, our school only had four male swimmers make it to state. But those athletes did so well that their boys team ended up taking 4th place overall and get to bring a really nice trophy back to their school.
It was amazing!
Joseph is still on cloud 9.
He's already talking about next year...