Bowman shines in opening swim meetYoung swimmers gain experience competing in difficult events
No flash photography is allowed.
There is no talking. Electronic devices should not be heard either. Divers need all the help they can get.
The difficulty of swimming and diving was on full display Tuesday. Fairfield hosted Ottumwa at the Roosevelt Aquatic Center. It was the first meet of the season for the Trojans. Ottumwa won by the score of 111 to 56.
Fairfield’s Katherine Mueller began the event with her diving routine. When Mueller stepped onto the diving board, the bleachers went quiet, allowing her to focus on the task at hand. Before each of her four dives, the diving board’s twang was swiftly followed by flips, twirls and lastly, a splash.
Ottumwa didn’t have a diver to compete against Mueller, but she dove anyway so she could help her team by earning points for the overall score.
The amount of effort exerted at the swim meet was commented on by many. The 500-yard freestyle, which is 20 times up and down the pool, was the longest event at the meet. Brynna Bowman swam that event for the Trojans. It was the first time she had ever done it and she volunteered.
“Nobody wants to swim the 500, so when somebody wants to do it I’m jumping for joy,” said Fairfield swim coach Erin Cracker. “It’s hard for you mentally. I think the race tries to get inside your head and you have to try and get past that.”
Sportsmanship was also a common thread between both teams.
“I was really surprised with the sportsmanship,” Cracker said. “They cheered on every girl in each event and they even showed great sportsmanship for the other team. I think we have a really good team morale because we’re congratulating everybody and we want to see everyone succeed.”
Baylee Bowman was the star for the Trojans. She won the 200-yard IM, the 100 yard freestyle, and was part of the winning 200 yard medley relay. She is the only senior on the team. That would be all right for the team, except there aren’t any juniors either. The entire rest of the squad are sophomores and freshmen.
“We have so many young swimmers competing,” Baylee said. “We still need to work on things but I think we did really well.”
Coach Cracker thought her first meet as a swimming coach was a valuable learning experience.
“We need to work on starts, turns and relay exchanges, also building up our endurance because the girls aren’t used to swimming back-to-back events like today,” Cracker said. “That was good for me to see.”