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It was a new experience

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By Jessica Veatch

 

I   don’t know how many of you have been to a swim meet. I myself have only been to one, which was held last Saturday in Versailles. It was the regional swim meet and the Marion County AquaKnights had four relay teams and three individuals made it to the second day of competition. I went with the idea that I would capture some great pictures of these swimmers to include in an upcoming sports issue.
Now, we all picture what things are going to be like when we do something or go somewhere for the first time. So of course, in my mind, I had pictured what this swim meet would be like before I actually arrived at the Falling Springs Recreational Center, home to the Woodford County swim team.
I was excited for these swimmers, as I know how hard they have worked throughout the year and that making it to regional competition is a great accomplishment.  My husband Josh and I walked in (one of my friends took our daughter to the movies during the meet), and I can say that I was very surprised at what I saw.  
First of all, the bleachers, which took up one wall of the room, were completely packed. We scanned them, trying to find a spot big enough for the two of us, but there was not a spot to have. So we found a standing space by a window and watched the competition.  
Another surprise was that there were really no restraints on how close you could get to the pool. There was a rope along the side of the pool by the bleachers, but other than that, I had free reign with my camera. At one point, I was actually standing on the ledge at the end of the pool, snapping shots right over into the water. It was a pretty neat experience and I was very thankful for the strap on my camera as I leaned over the edge.
I had also not imagined the noise level being as loud as it was. If not for looking up and seeing a big pool in front of me, at times I would have thought I was in a crowded gym with a basketball team sending the game into overtime. It was loud!
Students were standing at the edge of the pool cheering their teammates on, families were cheering in the stands, and coaches were whistling to get their swimmers to go faster.
Finally, I was surprised that my jeans got soaked at the meet. I guess I should have had a clue when I walked in and several people were wearing shorts or capris. It didn’t help that I stood at the edge of the pool to take the pictures, and every time that a swimmer made their turn at my end of the pool, a splash of water came right at me.
So if I go to another swim meet in the future, I plan to wear shorts and flip flops, no matter the weather outside.
All in all, the swim meet was a good experience for Josh and me. It was a new experience for both of us, but definitely a pleasant one.
Thank goodness for Coach Colleen Ryan and the heat sheet we were given to let us know the order of the competition and which heats the Marion County swimmers would be competing in.
I was able to get some great shots of the swimmers and learn about a sport that I wasn’t very familiar with.