Gator Nation

Gator Nation

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Reflections of a Gator - by Sheridan Phalen

I have spent 13 summers of my life as a Gator. During those years, I have set records. I have been on relays to help set records. I have gone to all-stars. I have won all-stars. But before all of those things, I was just another six and under with no ability to swim. In fact, I was a six and under with no desire to swim. At practices, I would shiver until the coaches would let me get out early and dry off. At meets, I would make it as far as the clerk of course before I started to sob and scream, until my parents had to pick me up before my race because I was so afraid of swimming. Then, when I turned seven -- for some reason -- I swam.

I tell this memory as my favorite one because, before the trophies, the medals, and ribbons, I was just like many kids who start swimming, scared and unsure. While swimming might not be where some kids end up finding their passion, it is where I ended up finding mine. After my seven-year-old debut, I was swimming year-round, not because I loved swimming, but because I loved the MVP Gator summer swim team. I loved racing down the pool as fast as I could because I loved winning, but mostly I loved being a part of the team, which is what makes summer swim so different and special. 

Summer swim is about the race, not just the time, but the race. From this, we learn victory and loss, good sportsmanship, and the importance of collaborating and supporting one another; how to lift each other up for the good and success of the team. Summer swim is also unique in the fact that kids from age 5 to age 18 are on the same team, year after year. From this, we learn tradition and patience. We learn to be able to work and communicate with different people regardless of age or perspective.

As I continue my journey beyond the Gator Community, I would like to note that it is the love of my sport that pushed me to become a college athlete, and to study nutritional science and biological sciences at Michigan State. In addition, it is my love of coaching that has driven me to want to work towards becoming a secondary education teacher. Both my love of swimming and coaching would not have been possible without the support and guidance that came from my coaches and from my teammates in my Gator family. 

Friday, July 24, 2020

Reflections of a Gator - by Brian McNamara

Wow, this is hard to write. Once upon a time, my parents made the decision to become members at a local pool around the corner which had a beautiful pond, a colorful playground, a field, three pools, and tennis courts for their two children to explore. Little did three year old me know that it would become a home away from home for the next fifteen years.
When I was five years old I joined the Mount Vernon Park swim team which had practices in the morning and meets with hundreds of kids all swimming on Monday nights. Every morning I would wake up early and eagerly await the time that my mom would drive me to MVP. The big kids were there waiting for us so that we could start the fun activities on the hill to warm up while the other practice ended. The first day I immediately felt like I belonged.

Throughout the years, I grew as a swimmer and as a person with the help of my teammates, coaches, and family. I learned how to reach for goals and to persevere through my failures. And, even during the bad times, I had a loving environment to cheer me on and help me through them. I was able to swim at A meets where I worked for the good of the team scoring points, to attend the divisionals and All-Stars to represent our team, and to swim my heart out all season long. Some of my favorite memories are the cheers that we would belt before the meet, the comradery in and out of the pool, and the rewarding meal after all was said and done.


Although many of my favorite memories were in the pool, Mount Vernon Park as a community gave me so much more. Cookouts with family and friends, fishing, fun obstacle courses and dunk tanks on the 4th of July, a little shack to grab a snack or a drink when I took a break from my shenanigans, a job, a place to make s’ mores and stay up until the sunrise during campouts, a support system, and a love for swimming.

It’s funny because during this pandemic I wasn’t able to have a regular High School graduation experience and although I was upset, the pain from that was nothing compared to the pain I felt when I realized that I won't have a regular senior year on the MVP swim team. I had been looking forward to the costumes and swim meets, my senior night, the coaches’ retreat, a final camp out, and a slide show to finish off the season.

Although these things may not be possible this summer, I will always keep the memories that were made as I move on to the next chapter in my life. I guess what I’m trying to say is thank you to MVP and all of its members for being there to teach, love, and support me for the last fifteen years. I promise to make you proud.

Some of my favorite memories:
  • Campouts
  • Water polo
  • The IM invitational
  • All-stars
  • Pancakes
  • Throwing pies in the coaches’ faces
  • Synchronized swimming
  • Coaching and coaches’ retreat
  • Team lunches

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Reflections of a Gator - by Taylor Makin

         
Here you have it all, the first Makin child to graduate out of the gator swim team. I found out while trying to write this it is very hard to express the impact that my years on the gator swim team had on my life. Being part of the gators shaped my personality. All the fun costumes, pies flying in coaches faces, jumping around screaming and dancing… all the dancing contributed to my fun, goofy personality. I still remember when I was around 9, coach Bob ( who was really coach Julia) hanging Bea over the pond by her ankles telling her she was gonna drop her in and let the gator eat her. And I will never forget all the fun pizza dinners at primos waiting to find out what relays made it to allstar relays. I could go on and on about all the memories I have from basically living at the pool as a kid.

One of the biggest memories I have of when I was younger was making my first all stars. Swimming always came so easily to both of my siblings. Everyone knew their names. No one really knew mine. Sometimes it felt as if I wasn't holding up the family name. Making my first allstars on my own really gave me so much self confidence. So what if I wasn’t my sister, I was me and that was enough. 

One thing that the gators gave to me that will live on forever is my love for teaching kids. Since I was 12, I have helped coaching the kids however I could. The look on the kids faces when they finally got something they wanted to do so badly. It made my heart smile. I somehow just knew teaching and coaching was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I have the gators to thank for that. Gators was way more than a summer job. This was my family. They have seen me at my highest and at my lowest, and supported me through both. There are no words in the english dictionary that can describe the impact gators made on my life. Though my time as a swimmer may be over, you have yet to see the last of me. Someone's gotta be my dad's right hand man, am I right?

My memories:
  • Winning my heat at allstars in 50 breaststroke
  • Almost getting my tooth knocked out playing water polo with the olders kids for the first time at 13
  • Smacking my back on the water trying to touch the flags with my foot
  • Teaching the 8& unders the “Im a little gator” cheer each year
  • Getting to dress up in my gator onesie and dancing around like a fool
  • Painting the little girls nails before the green and white meet
  • One time someone brought bagels and cream cheese to practice and we decided to sit around and eat bagels and talk for the first 45 minutes of practice instead of practicing
  • Beating the team relay record with Sheridan, Cassidy, and Parker





Friday, July 10, 2020

Fact versus Fiction

Everybody Safety Dance.
Sigh.

One thing I have always hated about swim season is the way we handle DQ of little kids for false starts. The older swimmers get it. But those 8 & unders... sometimes I think we're giving them PTSD. They false start, and then we make the kid get out of the pool, totally embarrassed, often in tears, and march away in front of everyone back to the team area in shame. I've always thought that there is no real harm in letting the kid swim. A DQ is a DQ, we get that.... but no matter how bad things are, we all just want to participate. And right now I feel like we are all that kid, and 2020 is that mean old NVSL official kicking us out of the pool with no opportunity to participate.
Sigh. 

I've struggled with kicking off the blog this year. I have been challenged to find my motivation. Generally, when I get out out onto the pool deck and see all the swimmers, parents, coaches, and other friends around the pool the energy and excitement of summer swim builds. I think it is that energy that serves as my muse for the blog articles. So, without the swimming, the muse seems to have stayed in hibernation.

Starting is the hard part. You just gotta jump in.
Yes, this is a blogging metaphor. 

The teens are doing great, but don't necessarily love
all the social distance stuff... 
In case you haven't noticed, we have a global pandemic going on. So, not only are we lacking the excitement of summer swim, but we are anchored down by the malaise brought upon us by social distancing and self-isolation. That's where the fact versus fiction comes in. (No, this blog is not about any particular politicians or news networks... I'm going to really try to keep it apolitical. There's enough of that fact vs fiction debate on the cable news.) This is about fictional swim meets. When we first started isolating, I thought about writing a fictional blog that went through a lot of the pre-season and pre-meet analysis that I normally do and then expounding upon the "virtual" meets and results. (Spoiler Alert: we were going to do a LOT better in D2 this year than most people think... yeah, we would have been back next year.) But, the problem was my muse. I couldn't bring myself to start typing away without getting out there on deck and being part of it. So the digital printing press remained quiet. No clicking-clack of the keyboard and no fly photos to post at the end of the blog.
...but I've heard the dad's are all generally fine with it. 
But then... we emerged from the darkest days of swim isolation and made it to Phase 3 of the COVID-19 reopening plan in Virginia. And that meant we could swim! And time. And DQ. But no cheering (because airborne particles). And actually, no spectators at all. (Which is probably good, because if spectators were there, the announcer would have been heckled pretty badly for mispronouncing just about every swimmer's name. He even whiffed on his grandkids, I think. To be fair, the mask should probably take the blame.)

Really taking that "wear your mask" thing to heart!

So, our unofficial time trials kicked off the swim season. An actual, non-fictional, event with Gator swimmers in the pool racing. Monday. July 6th. 8am. I love the smell of chlorine in the morning. Let's do this! 

We've missed a few weeks worth of swim blogs.
We have the luxury of our huge park with space for all the swimmers to spread out and keep good social distance while awaiting the events. We had a very temperate day. It almost felt like a normal MVP summer day. Almost. We did still all wear masks. 

And that means we've been robbed of all those Fly photos.
While not a full team, we had all the age groups represented, with lots of good swims taking place. All of the times were technically unofficial for this meet, since we only had one timer per lane and kept a few official positions vacant to help with social distancing requirements. But all in all it was a good event. It was a swim meet. Not the greatest one we ever had. Not the climactic, drama-laced final meet of the year versus High Point that elevated us into 2nd place in the division last season (and landed us in D2). But yes, it was a meet. Fact.

And we all know that Fly photos are the best swim photos.

There were even results (unofficial) which you can check out here. And lots of pictures that you can see here.

So, since we're blogging again...

It was a good, and needed, spark to the swim season. It's good to belong to a pool where the leaders have worked hard to take the necessary safety steps to enable us to have this little bit of competition and fun in an otherwise challenged summer. (Thanks leaders... you are officially the Gator's of the Week!)

And since we've missed those weeks... 
And it was a needed spark to the summer blog. I think my muse has returned. So, check back for some more blogs in the days and weeks to come. We've got a couple more events planned (a virtual meet and a Green and White B meet coming up... and maybe more). Whatever may come, I'll put together a few of those fictional meet entries, too... just to show you how the season would have likely played out. And to be clear, my plan for these blog entries is not fantasy-fiction, its historical fiction (i.e. based on facts that actually occurred, posed in a realistic scenario, that didn't actually happen). 

We might as well catch up a bit... 
Go Gators. 


And see more of those great Fly photos.  

Sunday, August 4, 2019

They Are Who We Thought They Were

Dennis Green, the former NFL coach, had an epic meltdown/quote after his team blew a lead in a game that they had dominated, and ended up losing. When one of the reporters asked him about how they could lose when their defense had been so dominant, he set off on his rant. The other team was better, and even though his team had played well for much of the game, the other team still found a way to win. He repeated the quote multiple times at the post-game presser, in a much more animated fashion than his normally stoic demeanor. "They are who we thought they were," he said, referring to their opponents.

Beware. Hungry Gator.
To be clear, I'm not channeling Denny Green here on any type of rant. But the words fit. We thought our swimmers were All-Stars and they performed that way. In fact, just about everyone pretty much hit the mark on their seeds within a place or two either way on Saturday. Hitting their seeds means that they finished in the place they were seeded. They performed as expected, and "They are who we thought they were."

That said, we did have a couple of our swimmers outperform a bit, which is worthy of special recognition. First, Clark Bayer, who was initially entered as an alternate for the 15-18 Free a week ago, then was moved up all the way to his final spot as the 10th seed after some scratches, and ultimately took 5th place in the event! That's quite a climb to glory. Natalie Crowther also kicked it into a higher gear in the 8 & under Fly. She cut 0.77 seconds off her time and jumped up two spots to finish 6th and come away with one of the coveted top-6 medals. And the BIG MOVER of the weekend was Sam Bruce. Sam crushed it in the 9-10 Fly, cutting 0.64 off his own team record to finish the race in 15.95 and jumped up 6 places to finish in 4th and earned himself one of those shiny top-6 medals, too.
Sam says, "I'll beat you with one leg behind my back."

Rounding out our other top-6 finishers were:
Donovan Kovalsky, 3rd place in 13-14 Free
Alex North, 4th place in 11-12 Free
Sheridan Phalen, 6th place in 15-18 Free

For those who like the stats, seven out of our 19 Gators swims were in Freestyle, and four out of our six top-6 finishers were Freestyle. We then had a tie with four swimmers each in Breaststroke and Fly, and then we had three in Back, and one IMer.

And in case you didn't read the last blog post, I'll mention it again... 19 swims at All-Stars is an all-time high for the Gators. And you want to know something else? Every one of those swimmers is coming back next summer. And... five of those 12 swimmers will be in the same age group again next year. Something tells me well be reading about them again in about 12 months.

"Who me?" Yeah, you know it. 
Five out of 12 coming back in the same age group next year? Maybe they aren't who we thought they were after all. Maybe they are even better. And that's saying something.... 'cause we already thought they were pretty darn awesome.

I only highlight the returning to the same age group thing because those swimmers are basically already below the All-Star cut for next year. In all likelihood, they will get even faster. And so will the other swimmers who are moving up an age. There's going to be a lot of fast swims to write about. I like the way next year's Gator summer season is stacking up already.

Full results are here and pictures are here.

Go Gators!

Last one. Cue the music. 


Friday, August 2, 2019

All-Business for the All-Stars


Ok, it's All-Star time. Since the last update, we've added some firm entries to the Gator All-Star squad. Gabby Greszler has moved up and is now seeded and will swim the 15-18 Free. And Cole Miller is now an Alternate in both 15-18 Free and Fly.

That puts us at a firm entry total of 12 swimmers in 19 events, with a 13th swimmer possible for a 20th and maybe even 21st event. That's a historical high for MVP. We've had more individuals attend the meet in the past (15 different swimmers in 2013), but we have never had Gators swim in 19 events. The highest number of Gator swims was in that 2013 season when we raced in 18 different events. So, we're going to break that by at least one this year, and maybe two or three. Pretty impressive, eh? 

In fact, there were so many Gators at the pool familiarization Friday morning that we couldn't fit them all in the photo: 

Apparently, we need one of those real estate camera lenses to get
so many Gator All-Stars to all fit in one photo! 
If you are interested in watching any portion of the All-Stars, it will be streamed online by SwimNinja.com here: https://swimninja.com/2019/08/02/2019-nvsl-all-stars-livestream/

The schedule will follow these "No Earlier Than" times, meaning that even if the meet is going quickly, they will not start subsequent strokes earlier than the published times below. Each stroke will begin with the 8 & unders, then 9-10s, 11-12s, 13-14s, and then conclude with the 15-18s. 

NET "No Earlier Than" times (Swimmers are listed in the order of their events): 

9am Freestyle 
  • Margaret Driscoll
  • Sam Bruce
  • Alex North
  • Donovan Kovalsky
  • Cole Miller (TBD/Alternate)
  • Clark Bayer
  • Gabby Greszler
  • Sheridan Phalen
10am Backstroke
  • Lincoln Jetton
  • Elizabeth Kellogg
  • Alex North
11am Breaststroke
  • Lincoln Jetton
  • Natalie Crowther
  • Jack Klopson
  • Donovan Kovalsky
12pm Fly
  • Natalie Crowther
  • Sam Bruce
  • Matt Makin
  • Cole Miller (TBD/Alternate)
  • Sheridan Phalen
1pm Individual Medley
  • Matt Makin
That's a lot of Gators! The full Psych sheet is posted here

Ok, I was just kidding about not being able to fit all the Gators in the photo... I was able to back up a little and get the rest of them in there, even without the fish-eye lens. Yes, I said that this blog was going to be All-Business, but I had to get some levity in here. Here's the real photo. 

Gator All-Stars
Enjoy the show. Go Gators!




Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Divisional Championship and Those Squad Goals


MVP wins the Sportsmanship Award... two years in a row! 
With the conclusion of the final "A" meet of the season last week, I mentioned that the "team" aspect of the season had ended. And it ended famously with an amazing win capped by several come-from-behind victories in the relays which gave the Gators a winning record on the season and moved us into 2nd place in the division (read about it here). Now we move on from the regular season into the "post-season" meets. The Individual Divisional Championship and the Individual All-Stars are both (as the name implies) focused on the individual. There is no team score. The outcomes are individual times. The Divisional Championships pit the top two swimmers in each stroke against each other for Divisional glory (and as we've covered here quite a few times, Division 3 is absolutely stacked). The top performing swimmers at Divisional then have the chance to advance on to All-Stars if their times fall within the top-18 in all of the NVSL (which quite a few Gators did... more on that later).

New MVP Record. Awesome Fly Photo. 2 for 1. 
As a team, we don't really have any explicit goals for Divisionals or All-Stars. We just want all of our swimmers to do the very best they can. Of course, we like it when our team earns those coveted 1st place medals at Divisionals or berths into the All-Star meet. We keep track of that stuff (and, of course, I'm going to talk about it in this blog), but as a team, we don't set specific goals for team performance. That said, lots of people hope that we'll have more champions than in previous years and get more swimmers into All-Stars than before. Similarly, we don't have explicit team goals for the regular season, but everybody prefers winning more than losing (and finishing 3-2 is pretty nice in that regard). I'm sure some folks want to see a 5-0, but I also know others who think 3-2 is the sweet spot, since it normally keeps us put in D3, with a lesser chance of moving up next season (but, not a zero chance).

Pardon me sir, is that a 1st Place Jetton?

So, while the team goals are limited and generally not a driving force during the season, the individual goals of the swimmers are another thing altogether. Success doesn't just happen. Success is something that comes from hard work, focused in the right areas. There is a lot of research on goal-setting and it all tends to point at the same thing: setting very specific and challenging goals has a greater effect on performance improvement than easy or vague goals.  That's right. If you set specific goals, you will improve more than if you set general goals.

There is a good acronym for goal-setting know as "SMART" goals. The mnemonic helps guide goal-setters in how to craft a goal so that it will be valuable in making those performance improvements. SMART stands for:
Specific: A general thought of "I want to do better" is not a goal. Specific targets that are actionable are what we need to improve performance.
Measureable: Finding a measure to track progress helps evaluate progress.
Achievable: It's got to be something realistic. That doesn't mean you can't have a goal of going to the Olympics from a young age... but there need to be intermediate goals that help get you there for the short and mid-term.
Relevant: This is where the "why" part comes in. The goal must be something you buy into. It must means something to you.
Time-Bound: Goals have dates on them.  Weekly? Seasonal? Annual? Olympic cycle? Set a date.

Pearls published a comic about goals on the day I blogged about goals...
the universe is connected. And, mmmm.... donuts. 
Many of our swimmers dream of success. Setting SMART goals and developing an action-plan for achieving them is the recipe for fulfilling those dreams. Here's the confusing part... saying "just go do your best" is a common refrain around the swim pool, and it is a wonderful concept but that is most-definitely NOT a good goal-setting strategy. That "just do your best" is good advice on game day. But when we are trying to get better, we need those specific goals and targets to work towards. Once we have those goals, then we set up action plans to get us there. When swimmers are waking up before 4am all winter long, "just do your best" isn't going to keep getting them out of bed (or get them to go to sleep early the night before). But having that goal to cut 4 seconds off their time in Fly by next summer in order to make All-Stars will help. (Can you identify all the components of a SMART goal in there?) Once that goal is set, then the action plan helps define the steps necessary to get there: (1) Enroll in winter swim, (2) establish a set bedtime routine, (3) get up early and get to swim practice consistently, (4) do your best every day at those practices (see, that's where the "do your best" part comes in... in the action, not the goal), (5) measure progress, and (6) reflect.

That reflection part is an important and often overlooked piece of goal-setting. Did we achieve the goal? If so, awesome! If not, did we come close? One of the great benefits of setting high, challenging goals is that even if we miss them, we generally move pretty far along the continuum towards greater performance. Maybe that swimmer who wanted to cut four seconds to make All-Stars only cut three. That three-second cut is still pretty good... it probably moved the swimmer up the ladder both at MVP and got them a higher place at Divisionals. The reflective part of goal setting lets us evaluate if the goal is still valid and if the action-plan did the things needed to get there. Do we need to make modifications or changes?

In the "identifying the swimmer" category... Breast
photos definitely win the contest, even above Fly. 
One thing for sure, is that many of our Gator swimmers had goals involving Divisionals and All-Stars. Many of those goals were probably achieved, and they should be celebrated. But some may not have been. Now is the time to reflect on those goals and start setting new goals for next year (and then putting in place the action plans to achieve them).

One of my goals is to be able to blog about all the awesome stuff the Gators do all summer long, and these swimmers make that easy. It's ten weeks from Memorial Day when practices begin until All-Stars and the conclusion of the summer season... and what an enjoyable ride it has been this year! That aforementioned 3-2 record with some super exciting meets was a big part, especially that final Hollywood Ending last week. The Relay Carnival and All-Star Relays were both amazing. And now that we find our Gators competing in the Divisional Championships, the performances did not disappoint.

The inspirational pose for the new Gator team trophies...
At Divisionals, there are five events across all of the age groups: Free, Back, Breast, Fly, and IM. (Note: there is no specific IM for 8 & unders, but they can compete as 10 & under if they qualify.) Each team sends two swimmers for each of the 48 events. MVP swimmers brought home eight of the championship medals. Event winners were:

Donovan Kovalsky (2): 13-14 Free and Breast
Elizabeth Kellogg: 8 & under Back
Alexander North: 11-12 Back
Lincoln Jetton: 8 & under Breast
Natalie Crowther: 8 & under Fly
Sam Bruce: 9-10 Fly
Matthew Makin: 11-12 Fly

Interestingly, the breakdown of champions was pretty even... as has been the case with everything else in D3. Donaldson Run, the D3 champs, also took home the most individual crowns with 11. Hunter Mill had 9, MVP and Crosspointe 8, Vienna Woods 7 and High Point 6. If you are doing the math, you'll notice that adds up to 49, not 48. There was one tie for 1st place.

MVP giving 'em the old 1-2 in Breast. 
Silver medal winners were:
Margaret Driscoll: 8 & under Free
Sam Bruce: 9-10 Free
Alex North: 11-12 Free
Clark Bayer: 15-18 Free
Abigail Litonjua: 11-12 Breast
Jack Klopson: 13-14 Breast
James Piland: 13-14 Fly

And Gators finishing third:
Kate Barber: 8 & under Free
Sheridan Phalen: 15-18 Free
Lincoln Jetton: 8 & under Back
Natalie Crowther: 8 & under Breast
Jack Alzona: 11-12 Breast
Cole Miller: 15-18 Fly
Sheridan Phalen: 15-18 Fly
Anthony Sarro: 9-10 IM
Matthew Makin: 11-12 IM
James Piland: 13-14 IM

Whew. That's a lot of Gator D3 medalists in there. The complete results for all the swimmers is online here

There were some other major accomplishments, too. Record breaking? Of course.

Strong finish for the record. 
Donovan Kovalsky swam in two events and broke two MVP records (what is this 2018 again?). Donovan lowered his own 13-14 Boys 50 Free mark to 25.50. He also set a new mark in the Breast with a time of 34.51, shaving about 0.2 seconds off Charlie Ruppe's record from last year.

Sheridan Phalen broke Cassidy Bayer's 2015 MVP record in the 15-18 Freestyle by swimming a blistering 26.58. Despite that record breaking time, which was faster than her first place time last year at All-Stars... she finished 3rd. Have I mentioned how strong D3 is lately?

Sam Bruce lowered his own record in the 9-10 25m Fly finishing in an amazing first place tie in a time of 16.59.

Wheaties? More like Special K.  
And while not a record, Elizabeth Kellogg's personal best in the 8 & under Back is noteworthy as she dropped 2 seconds off of her seed time for the upset win in 22.51. I would say she must have ate her Wheaties, but we all know those are from General Mills, not Kellogg's (Ba-dum-tss).

And, let's not forget about the All-Stars. As I mentioned, one of the other major functions of the Divisional Championships is to serve as the qualifying meet for All-Stars. We had 10 Gators initially make the cut for All-Stars in 16 events, and those All-Stars are:
  • Alex North (Free and Back)
  • Donovan Kovalsky (Free and Breast)
  • Elizabeth Kellogg (Back)
  • Jack Klopson (Breast)
  • Lincoln Jetton (Back and Breast)
  • Margaret Driscoll (Free) 
  • Matt Makin (Fly and IM)
  • Natalie Crowther (Breast and Fly)
  • Sam Bruce (Free and Fly)
  • Sheridan Phalen (Free)
Definitely didn't "Back" into that victory. 
And that's not the end of the story. Several other Gator swimmers who originally made the alternate list have been moved up to the firm swim list in the past 24 hours. Clark Bayer has been added to Freestyle and Sheridan Phalen has made the cut for second event in Fly (putting her in both Free and Fly now). That brings the MVP firm entry total up to 11 swimmers in 18 events... which (if they all actually swim Saturday, as expected) would tie the MOST EVER actual swims by MVP Gators at All-Stars. We also had swimmers in 18 events back in 2013.

But wait... there is more. Adding a final element of drama to the 2019 season, both Cole Miller and Gabby Greszler are currently first alternates for their respective 15-18 Freestyle events... check back later this week to see if any other scratches get them in. If either of them gets into the meet, it will set an MVP all-time high by having swimmers in 19 events!

Something tells me lots of these Gators are good at goal setting. I can't wait too see what goals they set for next year. But first... let's wait and see how this All-Star thing turns out. We'll keep you updated this week with any more movement on the qualifying list and then send out a meet summary over the weekend after the meet. Be sure to come back and read about how it all turns out.

Interested in attending All-Stars? The info is here. Interesting in watching from home on your couch? Well you can do that, too... you just have to cheer extra loud if you want them to hear you. The meet is scheduled to be live streamed on Swim Ninja.

Want to see more pictures? Look here.  Want to see the end of year videos from the campout? Here.

Go Gators!

That's some high quality H2O. And a high quality Fly pic.