York College Assistant Sports Information Director Brent Duffy has taken to the road as he is traveling with the men's and women's swim teams as they compete in the 2010 Capital Athletic Conference Championships in St. Mary's City, MD.
Please come to this page for all the links to what Brent will be doing over the weekend.
MONDAY - February 15 - 6:47 pm
Well ladies and gentlemen...this is my final written blog post for the 2010 Capital Athletic Conference Swimming Championships. We arrived home last night around 1:00 in the morning after a louder than anticipated bus ride from St. Mary's. There was a lot of laughing and joking. Telling stories and cracking on each other. It was fun.
As I have had some time now to reflect on this past weekend, I must say it was a very special event. I truly enjoyed being there and have sincerely missed it since. Being saturated with swimming for the past three days has been a great experience. From the still of the quiet between sessions, to the anticipation that comes with warm-ups and morning prelims, to the feelings of joy and excitement during the evening finals! I do miss the experience already.
I cannot say enough how great our swimming student-athletes and coaches are here at YCP! I want to thank each and every one of them for their hard work and effort that they put in throughout the season to make this event a special one.
Congratulations to AJ Bean and Heather MacLennan on capturing the conference titles in the 100 and 200 backstroke, respectively! MacLennan also posted a pair of NCAA "B" cuts and should find out within the next few weeks if she is headed to the national competition.
Well thank you all very much for following throughout this weekend. Have a blessed 2010 and hopefully we'll see you next year for the 2011 CAC Swimming Championships!
Let's go, York!
SUNDAY - February 14 - 11:25 pm
What a great experience this weekend and tonight was definitely cool! Heather MacLennan continued her great performance picking up the ladies' first victory by winning the 200 backstroke! Way to go Heather!
The men's team finished second overall and the women finished a strong fourth.
But more than that, this weekend is definitely a special event. I know I have said this before but if you have a chance to come down here, especially for a night time final, you really should come. It is well worth the travel.
I must say, the YCP swimmers are such a great group of student-athletes. Several of them came up to me today and thanked me for coming and then when I got on the bus they gave a cheer which I really, really appreciated. I sincerely appreciate them being very welcoming througout this entire year and especially during this trip. They were very willing to do random, on-the-spot video interviews, to have their pictures snapped throughout the weekend, and explain to me the intracacies of swimming despite my novice questions. Thank you guys, thank you so very much!
Well we are on the road now. Surprisingly it seems that most of the kids are still awake. There is a lot of conversing and laughs and music. Still having a good time.
Despite the CAC Championships being over, I still want to do one more blog to really summarize this weekend. Check back tomorrow evening for even more, including the final video blog. (Plus maybe a blooper real to come...we'll see.)
Let's go, York!
SUNDAY - February 14 - 4:14 pm
I'm just sitting here waiting for a video load (video blog #5 - now above) so I figured I would write a blog entry real quick. Teams are starting to file into the natatorium as are fans. I just looked up into the stands and saw people their and got very excited for the start of tonight! Can't wait.
I overheard that the start of the "Senior Display" is set for 5:30. I'm sure it will be a very happy yet sad time as your last college (fill in the blank) is always special. I remember our last regular season home game (Senior Day specifically) for the men's soccer team in 2006. It was very special and something I won't forget soon.
Anyway, I hope that this Valentine's Day has treated you well! (Have fun in your last three hours of work, Natalie. I'll see you tonight. I love you.)
Here we go!
Let's go, York!
(By the way, the "I love you" - major brownie points!!! - well probably not now)
SUNDAY - February 14 - 2:39 pm
It's quiet. There are some of our swimmers over on the podium talking, I think playing some kind of game - I hear some laughs. There is the drone of something mechanical I think (I'm not a mechanical guy - thanks Dad! - but it sounds like a fan).
This seems to be the lull before everything breaks loose. The pool deck is pretty empty. We have hung around, and I believe Gallaudet has as well, but really no other team is in sight. It's weird.
I am just imagining tonight what it could be like. Just such a stark contrast to what is going on right now. I think it'll be loud, excited, energetic - times ten. The anticipation is liken to Christmas Eve, which I like better anyway because of the anticipation (and my aunt's crabettes - Yeah, Maryland blue crabs!)
Well that's it for now. Looking forward to an incredible and crazy night!
Let's go, York!
SUNDAY – February 14 - 11:40 am (posted at 2:32 pm)
The morning prelims session has gone well. Right now, we are in a bit of a waiting period. The 1650 freestyle will begin before lunch and then conclude later tonight.
On a very high note, Steve Yeager just blasted the 200 breaststroke school record! Great work, Steve! Hopefully he’ll be able to come back tonight and swim even better.
I guess not too much else to report. The mood here is pretty relaxed right now, but I heard from Clark Arnold and Ashley Stanton earlier that tonight is going to be absolutely bonkers. I am really excited about that.
By the way, I forgot to mention yesterday that former Spartan standouts Steve Fulcher and Laura McCray stopped by to support the Green and White for the evening session. Thanks guys! Also Kame’ Spencer, a former Spartan swimmer, is in the building. Love to see the support!
Well that’s about it for now. Hopefully get some lunch and do some work. Holler!
Let’s go, York!
SUNDAY - February 14 - 9:01 am
Happy Valentine's Day! Special thanks of course to my wife Natalie! Thank you for understanding and supporting me going with the swimming team this weekend. You're awesome!
Anyway, so here we are. The final day of the 2010 CAC Swimming Championships. I'm feeling a little jittery right now, but I think that is mostly because of the sleep deprivation, frozen coffee, and lollipop from this morning. Hooray, sugar rush!
We are at the pool now and the swimmers are getting loose and warming up.
I hate to do this...but I have to give a huge thank you to...Salisbury. Oh how that pains me to say that! hahaha Seriously though, I have had to invade their team's space on the pool deck at various points throughout this weekend and they have been nothing short of gracious. So Sea Gulls...thank you very much. It is much appreciated! Coach Jill Stephenson is pretty cool (sorry for all the green sparkles Coach!)
Anyway, we'll be hanging out at the pool for the day. We have checked out of our hotel. We have the 1650 freestyle swims today so hopefully I'll be able to post again.
Let's go, York!
SUNDAY - February 14 - 1:28 am
What an unbelievable day! I apologize for not writing during the meet but things were just crazy! (And I forgot, oops!)
The Spartans had a FANATASTIC evening finals session tonight and let me tell you, it was intense! AJ Bean provided York's first individual win, taking the 100 backstroke. He just out-touched a swimmer from Mary Washington by 0.08 to take the title! Great stuff AJ! You should have heard the Spartan side of the pool when Bean's place and time came up on the board! Loud would be an understatement. It was nuts!
On the women's end, Heather MacLennan picked up three medals, at least two school records (maybe three) and an NCAA "B" cut in the 200 freestyle. Awesome stuff. The women's 800 free relay squad took second (a place they were not certain to get at the start of the race) and blew away the previous school record by over 14 seconds!
I mention this in the fourth video blog and I'll say it again here, the passion that is displayed here by these swimmers and these schools is out of this world. I got chills at several points during tonight's meet because you could literally feel the energy.
It's funny how a race will start and people will really cheer at first, then it will lull for a little bit, but then if a swimmer is close to a particular time or if swimmers are neck-and-neck the place just erupts! It's a really cool experience.
Seriously, if you ever do get a chance to come down here and support these swimmers it is definitely well worth the trip!
You know I never did get any snacks on deck, but the intensity of tonight sufficed. We had more Panera Bread food tonight for dinner (that's right Natalie - Panera two nights in a row!) and it was awesome! Cookies, brownies, more of those little pretzels with the chocolate and M&M's too! Delicious!
After dinner, we then headed back to the hotel for these kids to get some rest for a big day tomorrow. I keep hearing that the last day of the championships is even louder and more energetic than tonight. So I am really excited about that!
Let's go, York!
(Additional bit: I realized I should let everyone know how the CAC Championships works. In the morning multiple heats of individual events are held. The top 16 from the heats are seeded 1-16 and come back to swim in the evening. Seeds 9-16 swim is what is called the consolation finals in and can finish no better than ninth. Seeds 1-8 are vying for the title and can finish no lower than eighth. Each of the 16 seeds score points for their respective schools (as do each of the relays). All the relays are run one time and those are conducted at night. I hope this makes sense!)
SATURDAY – February 13 - 4:53 pm
Saturday finals, here we come! We just arrived here at the St. Mary’s Natatorium for this evening’s races. I am very excited to see how we do tonight and see some more records fall!
I must say on the way over, I learned that saving your body (as a male) is not the most fun experience. A certain Spartan senior male does not like the feeling of jeans on his now hairless legs and in fact some unfortunate nicks have occurred. Not cool. I think I’ll stick with sports information!
Anyway, the swimmers are now beginning their stretching and warmup process. We have some painted faces of YCP swimmers who will not be swimming tonight and it is great to see the team spirit.
Additionally, I have noticed that a lot of the swimmers here, the lady-folk in particular, often times wear two suits while warming up. I just checked with freshman swimmer Meg Dailey and she informed me that it is to give more drag in the water. That way when you swim in just one suit you feel lighter and go faster. So it is basically the same type of idea as a batter in baseball using a weight while in the on-deck circle. Got it!
I hope that tonight some very nice parents bring some snacks on deck because I am already hungry and we won’t eat dinner until after tonight’s events. Oh well, I’m sure the excitement of the events will take care of that hunger stuff.
Keep checking back as I hope to be able to post again before tonight’s events are completed.
Oh I almost forgot. Matt Jennings is here. One of the most talented men’s swimmers to have worn the Green and White is back to support him alma mater! Thanks for returning, Matt, and showing YCP that alumnus love!
Let’s go, York!
SATURDAY - February 13 - 2:32 pm
The preliminaries this morning went well. York has a number of swimmers in the top eight (tonight's "final") while a slew made it into the top 16. This is how the final tonight works. From this morning the top 16 times in each event (only individual heats were swam this morning) come back tonight and race. Seeds 9-16 will score that way - even if a swimmer that is seeded 14th tonight swims the best overall time, the best that swimmer can finish is eighth. Seeds 1-8 are vying for the top eight spots - points-wise and of course for the title. I have learned though that eighth is best place to be in because you can do no worse, but ninth is the worst place to be because all you can do is hang out to ninth. I hope you got all that!!
Anyway, I was able to take a bunch of pictures from this morning that I'll post later tonight. Did you see the new link above? It will have all the information from this weekend linked there! Holler back technology!
We had another quality lunch today as the YCP swim parents are awesome! We had a deli tray brought in with meats and cheeses, plus rolls and condiments, and of course sweet snack foods. My personal favorite, as I'm sure Natalie can attest to, is the mini-pretzels with the melted (but hardened) chocolate on top plus an M&M in the middle!! Pure awesomeness! Thank you VERY MUCH to whoever brought those!
Anyway, I guess I better get some other work done. The swimmers are (supposed to be) sleeping right now getting valuable rest before tonight's blitz of swimming! But unfortunately, Maryland is getting trounced by Duke!! Not cool.
Let's go, York!
SATURDAY - February 13 - 8:41 am
Well welcome back SpartaNation! (Thanks Kristen and Jessie!) We are currently at the pool and the kids are getting their warmups in to prepare for today's preliminaries. Should be a very exciting day here at St. Mary's!
So we got up this morning at little after 7:00 am. The YCP coaches, plus Terry the massage therapist, go over to Sheetz in the morning, a few blocks away, to get "good" coffee (I'm not sure there is such a thing a "good" coffee unless it is frozen with some whipped cream on top! Yeah Frapps!) Anyway, it was pretty icy on the way over and Head Coach Gina McHenry in particular almost bit it several times. I have to give her props though as she saved it each time with the most impressive being on the way back when she did not spill a single drop of coffee! Solid, Gina!
By the way, I just found out (and I should have known this) that the Maryland men's basketball team plays Duke today at 1:00! So, Scott (Coach Herdson) and I have a date now to watch the game. Go Terps!
Well that's about it for right now. Everyone was pretty quiet on the way over but it's early. I can't imagine what this day could hold, especially in tonight's finals. I'm pretty excited though.
Let's go, York!
FRIDAY - February 12 - 11:54 pm
WOW! What a first day at the CAC Championships! The intensity, the focus, the school spirit. It's all incredible.
The Spartans had a really good first day. The men's squad posted eight medal-stands finishes - including a win in the 400 intermediate medley relay - while the women's broke a total of three school records.
Afterward, we had food from Panera Bread brought to the recreation gym here at St. Mary's - brought in by the YCP swim parents. Thank you very much swim parents! It was good stuff. I had a smoked turkey sandwich with those good crunch chips, and a big chocolate chip cookie! Sorry, Natalie!
Anyway, everyone here is in bed and hopefully asleep. The Winter Olympics opening ceremony is on the television and they just lit the Olympic Torch. Pretty cool stuff - and I must say - curling does not get any love except for the Winter Olympics, so...let's go curling!!!
Have a great night and keep checking back for updates on the Spartans throughout the weekend!
Let's go, York!
FRIDAY - February 12 - 5:15 pm
Good start for the Green and White. The ladies led off the meet with a school record in the 200 freestyle. Ashley Stanton, Liz Grey, Chelsea Ross, and Heather MacLennan put together a spectacular race. (As swimming smart as I am, I came up to Ashley after the race and asked her if that was a good time for them. In her very sweet manor, she said yes, we shattered the school record. So maybe I am not the best person to be writing about swimming!!)
The men's 200 free relay followed and the Spartans grabbed a very postivie second - a great start for their meet as well.
We have just ended the 500 freestyle heats - won by UMW's Sarah Crockett - and are currently in the men's 500. Matt Kemple is in lane five for the Green and White.
More to come...
Let's go, York!
FRIDAY - February 12 - 3:30 pm
Check out the video blog that was just posted - VIDEO BLOG #1
Alright, so we are here at the pool at St. Mary's. It's a pretty cool atmosphere here - especially for a first-timer.
We made great time getting down here. I must say I did catch a quick nap on the bus ride. There was a lot of laughs and joking around on the ride down here. Definitely the feel of a loose team that is excited to get these Championships underway.
We stopped a St. James Deli to pick up a meat tray and rolls for lunch. We got to the hotel - the LaQuinta - and had lunch in the conference rooms. The swimmers then went back to their rooms to get a nap in before tonight's event. Coach McHenry and Coach Herdson discussed various lineup possibilities for tonight's events - timed finals because of the snow in the mid-atlantic. And I must add, that we have a massage therapist with us this weekend to help keep the kids loose!
I also must give a HUGE thank you to Adrienne Mulliken, Hood's Sports Information Director and a swimming buff, and Nairem Moran, St. Mary's SID, for taking care of my internet needs here. Thank you very much!
Well, we are about to start here within the next 30 minutes or so. Check back later this evening to see some more updates and videos!
Let's go, York!
FRIDAY - February 12 - 8:02 am
And away we go! Hello there everyone, my name is Brent Duffy an I'll be blogging about this weekend's CAC Championships with the York College swim teams. This is my second venture into the world of blogging postseason activities as I had the chance to travel with the YCP baseball team to last spring's NCAA tournament - so we'll give this here blogging stuff another shot.
Anyway, we have just left the Grumbacher Sport & Fitness Center and are one our way St. Mary's City, Md. Everyone is here, the hairdos are wild (more to come), and we are cruising down the George St. exit toward I-83 South.
Before I close out this entry, I want to give a couple shout-outs. First to my wonderful wife, Natalie, who supports my endeavors with the YCP athletic teams - thanks darling! Second, to Scott Guise - York's Sports Information Director. Thanks for allowing me to go on this trip and have the freedom to document this weekend's activities. And of course, to the YCP swim teams. I was not a swimmer myself growing up so I really did not understand how a swim team works. But it has really been great getting to know them this year and I want to wish each of them the best of luck throughout the weekend and in their futures of course.
Alright, enough of that sappy stuff! Check back throughout the weekend for updates to this written blog as well as video blogs and highlights. Let's go, York!