Monthly Archives

November 2008

Coaches, Swimming & Diving

Decided in the last event…twice!

Can’t remember the last time that both sides of a co-ed dual meet were decided in the last relay. To say that the meet was exciting was an understatement. There were great races all night long…even the exhibition heats had exciting races.
Here’s how close this meet was: There were nine races in the women’s meet where the finishers were separated by fewer than 87 one-hundreths of a second, and half of those were decided by three tenths of less. The men’s meet had four events decided by four tenths or less, with Jeremy Anderson missing second place in the 1m Diving by 85 hundredths of a point. That’s one of three judges throwing an extra half-point on just one of six dives (at a 2.0 DD).
Of the thirteen close finishes, we came out ahead on nine of them. While it would have been wonderful to swing a couple of the other close ones, and win the meet, I’m not complaining. We competed hard against a very good team.
We talk a lot about “winning the close ones.” There is scarcely a better illustration that a tenth of a second on a turn or breakout or race plan or start or finish, when you add two or three of those tiny gains together, can turn a loss into a win for the Tommies.

Coaches, Swimming & Diving

The Margate Memorial Trophy

This November 5th, St. Thomas and Carleton College swimming teams will mark the 14th anniversary of competition for the The Margate Memorial Trophy. This trophy is an emblem of the sportsmanship and friendship between the two schools that goes back many years. Here’s how the trophy came to be:
At the St. John’s Invitational in January, 1994, the Carleton food service sent them to the meet with a box of bagels and a three-pound brick of cream cheese that had, according to the expiration date on the carton, expired three months earlier (hence the “Memorial” trophy). Tommies joined Knights and Carls in a complex combination of mourning (over the expired cream cheese) and indignation that the Carleton swimmers and divers would be treated with such disrespect by their own food service. This shared moment wove a fabric of friendship between the teams that can only be described as “well beyond diaphanous,” and led to the creation of the Margate Memorial Trophy, in memory of the expired three-pound brick of cream cheese.
Hours of painstaking woodwork and careful engraving created the trophy that is so respected today. Each year’s dual meet is preceded by a ceremony, where the trophy is presented for competition by the home team. The level of creativity in these presentation ceremonies needs to be seen to be believed, of course.
While the Margate Memorial Trophy may not rival the Little Brown Jug, Floyd of Rosedale, or Paul Bunyan’s Axe, it is emblematic of Division III swimming, which can be both fun and very competitive.