Editor’s note: Richland swimmer Lisa Bratton is competing this week at the Pan Pacific Championships in Gold Coast, Australia. She flew with the U.S. team from Los Angeles to Australia a day after the conclusion of the U.S. national championships in Irvine, Calif., and trained in Brisbane for a week. She swam in her first Pan Pacific heat Wednesday night (PDT) and finished 17th out of 21 swimmers in the 100-meter backstroke with a time of 1 minute, 3.19 seconds.
Bratton, an incoming Texas A&M freshman, is swimming three events at Pan Pacs: the 100 and 200 back and the 200 individual medley. She has been chronicling her experience in Australia for the Herald. She sent this email hours before her first heat.
We had a team meeting tonight and talked a lot about supporting each other and giving back, but at the same time, taking care of yourself. Everyone is super stoked to race and swim fast! We are excited and ready to go!
Final prep has been good! The focus switched to more pace and speed work. Pace was on point this morning, and I’m feeling really strong in the water.
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This week I have been working on my finish on backstroke. I’ve been working on diving back as opposed to reaching to my side. It feels kinda weird still, but that’s how change is at first.
I have also been working on keeping my head back and charging through the first stroke to get my tempo up on backstroke. It’s just been a lot of focus on the little things. Greg (Meehan), my coach, uses a lot of different swimming vocab, and we do different stuff than Todd (Stafek, Tri-City Channel Cats coach) so the girls in my group have been helping me know what to do since Greg is their coach. I’m not sure if I’ve been any help to anyone. But the most help people have been is just being nice and welcoming. I know I’ve said that a lot, but it’s been the best thing.
Once we got to the Gold Coast, we haven’t been out and about. There isn’t anything in walking distance. So lots of relaxing. I took a nap the other day, which felt amazing!
(On U.S. teammate Missy Franklin, who dealt with back spasms the day before competition began) I have no comment on the Missy situation. I am not permitted to release that information.