Editor’s note: Othello graduate Natilee Ruiz and Richland swimmer Lisa Bratton are competing this week in Omaha, Neb., at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. They are checking in with Herald staff writer Katie Dorsey each day from Omaha. At about 8:15 a.m. today, Bratton will swim in the eighth heat of the women’s 100-meter backstroke.
I didn’t think the trials would be much different from nationals, but they were way different. It was like walking into an NBA arena for a basketball game.
There’s a huge scoreboard, like an octagon, over the middle of the pool. There was fire going off tonight and a huge waterfall.
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We saw an American record get broken by Dana Vollmer in the 100-meter butterfly. Lisa and I kept seeing little specks of confetti.
There’s lights and cameras everywhere. And then one minute, the pool is bright blue, and two seconds later, it’s purple.
Lisa and I watched finals and prelims together.
Lisa’s family is down here, so she spent a lot of time with them. But we’re staying in the same room.
My mom is driving up and should be here tonight.
I saw Missy Franklin, and she’s good. She’s always so happy and smiley. I’ve never seen that girl without a smile on her face.
The arena was packed. Right across the street, they are having the College World Series, so the streets are filled. There’s just tons of people from all over.
The 400 individual medley was really cool because we saw Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps.
Phelps looked like he was going to be third, but he took second. We weren’t sure, but at the end, it was, ‘Oh, never mind, he’s gonna make it.’
Also, it was really crazy in warmups because Lochte walked up in front of us with his headphones on.
Natilee has been to big meets and camps like this in the past, so she knows some of the people here.
But I haven’t really gone to those camps, so I don’t know anyone.
In warmups, our paces were a little off. They weren’t as fast as we want them to be, but I’m really excited for today.