I covered the Tri-City Championships on Saturday at Serier Pool in Kennewick. It was my first swim meet ever, and I enjoyed checking out the races and the atmosphere.
Between heats, I was checking my notes when I started hearing a Jonas Brothers song. I realized it was coming from the Kennewick High School team, which chose to unwind in a corner of the pool area by listening to Nick, Joe and Kevin. (I know their names because two of the guys' names are Backstreet Boys names. So sue me — I was a teenage girl once.)
Girls were cheering on girls from other schools and running around to hang out with their friends during down time. It seemed as much a social event as a competitive one.
A cool thing I noticed: A few people wore T-shirts bearing the face of Kennewick coach Erin Holmes, who was competing that day in the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. Holmes, a personal trainer at Tri-City Court Club and former Kamiakin swimmer, did her town proud. She was first out of the water in her division and completed the event — only her second-ever Ironman — in 12 hours, 30 minutes, 19 seconds. A couple nights before the Ironman, she went to dinner with several of the competitors. One of the pros at the dinner was so impressed by Holmes that she got in touch with her sponsor and surprised Holmes with a brand new swimsuit for race day. Keep your eye on Holmes — she's one to watch in the triathlon world.
As far as the Tri-City results go, I wasn't surprised to see Richland win, but all the other teams have very strong swimmers. I particularly enjoyed the 100-yard butterfly, won in a photo finish by Prosser's Hailey Rankin. Her race to the wall against Hanford's Melissa Merrill was similar to those nail-biting Olympic finishes we get to watch every four years. Speaking of, only a few more months until the 2012 Games get going in London. One of my co-workers *cough*KevinAnthony*cough* has been prodding me to get a nice TV — he'd say he has been offering gentle suggestions. Swimming would be pretty fun to watch in high def, so for once, maybe he's right.