COLUMBIA, Missouri, March 15. THIS week, Swimming World is proud to present an athlete blog to give a bit of an inside look to the NCAA Division II Championships held in Columbia. Shane Pelton of Southern Connecticut State University will be checking in with regular content from the meet.
Pelton is a senior swimmer and business management major. Pelton, a Malvern, Pa., native, is a three-time Metropolitan Conference champion and is swimming in his first NCAA Division II Championship meet this season.
With one day to go, the meet has tightened up and the atmosphere is still electric. For the first time at this meet, I saw the crowd absolutely erupt as Kristen Frost of Southern Connecticut headed into the last 50 of the 500 free. Frost broke one of the oldest record (21 years), if not the oldest, in the NCAA book. It was nice to see something so great, especially as a teammate. But the best was when a coach behind us turned to his kids and said, "Hey guys, get up and cheer and NCAA record is about to be broken." It shows that deep down every coach supports everyone at the meet, and that is nice to see.
One thing that has been bothering me at this meet is celebrations, or should I say the lack of them. I have fantasized during practices about pulling a miraculous upset and winning the 400 IM, and going absolutely crazy when I did it. Well, one thing is different with kids here at this meet; no one really gets that excited after they win the national championship! The most popular celebration is a casual waving of the index finger, showing the, "I'm Number 1." This just doesn't do it for me. Can I see some emotion?!? Let me see a guy throw the fist with an excited scream, or how about they point to their team with a smile. Can someone just act a little surprised or excited after they win? I know that I would probably run around the pool naked! That's how pumped I would be. I might regret it in a few years, but at that moment you're not thinking because you're overwhelmed with emotion! That's all I want to see, a little emotion!
All in all the meet got a little closer, but nothing too exciting happened last night. West Chester had a great 800 free relay, which was very enjoyable. My relay and I placed 12th overall, which is slightly disappointing, but what are you going to do. Everyone swam real fast. My day was made when I looked at the results for that relay and saw my reaction time. .01 baby!!!! OOO AHHHHHH!!! Can't get any better than that. But it's for the last day of swimming; get ready for an exciting day and a crowning of the team national championship!