A Day in the Life: Sarah Groff-Palermo, Day 6

NEW YORK, New York, March 26. IN the penultimate entry in her "A Day in the Life" series, New York Masters swimmer Sarah Groff-Palermo recounts Red Tide's performance at New Englands

Sunday, March 25, 2007, Day 6
It's one o'clock back here in Brooklyn and day three of New Englands has finally come to a close. Red Tide came in third in our division and the women retained their top spot. As usual, the whole team was supportive, good swim or bad, and often a swimmer had a shouting crowd at both ends of the lane.

Even better were our coaches. Not only do they put up with our baleful faces practice after practice–and mine especially for which they deserve medals of patience–but they did a fantastic job at the meet as well. With nearly 40 swimmers and three 10-hour days, they shouted themselves hoarse, gave helpfully pointed feedback, and generally made the whole endeavor much better. I am sure we will repay them by resuming our lazy, mistake-ridden ways as soon as we return to practice. Thanks, guys.

This afternoon the meet was broken for a salute to John Merrill, who at 90 broke all three Masters backstroke records. Pretty inspiring, that.

I finished out with my first ever 200 fly, of which I think I will be swimming many more: not the least because the fun of seeing people's faces when they talk about it outweighs the hurt at least a little.

Having recovered from my cold a bit, I also took a second off my day 1 relay split in the 50 free, snagging another national qualification.

One of the easiest satisfactions of being somewhat new to competition is that you can do things like a drop a second in your 50 without the difficulty that longtime swimmers have. It certainly makes meets even more addictive. In the warmdown pool, I ran into the woman who will be your next Masters correspondent, and I am sure she will have another interesting approach to this whole shebang.

As for the future, nationals is only 8 weeks away and I am looking forward to getting back to regular training. For all the good swimming I put in there are about a million things to work on. I suppose that's why we all keep coming back. That and a great team.

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