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Letter from Coach Daniel

posted Jul 11, 2011, 4:47 AM by David Baur   [ updated Jul 11, 2011, 4:49 AM ]
Dear Parents and Swimmers,

As the season approaches its final days, I want you to be aware of certain things
prior to District and Sundance finals meets. First of all, swimmers need to sign-up
for the events they would like to swim at the Los Lunas meet (July 13th) and the
Districs (July 21st). The deadline to sign-up for Districts is Wednesday, July 13th
at noon. I cannot accept any entries past this time because the league will not allow
me to do so. The District meet is a very important competition because at this time
swimmers get to qualify for the Sundance finals meet on Saturday, July 23th. At the
finals meet, our swimmers get to compete against the best swimmers from all the
other teams in the league. The way swimmers qualify to the finals is based on times.
The fastest 3 times per event, per gender, per age group from each district will
directly qualify to the finals. There are a total of 4 districts, so for each event, there
will be a total of 12 swimmers qualifying to the finals. In addition, the next fastest 4
times, outside from the already qualified swimmers, will qualify to the Sundance
finals competition. Therefore, if a swimmer finishes in 4th or 5th or 6th or 7th place in
their individual event at districts, he/she still has a chance to qualify to the finals if
the time obtained falls in the top four from all the districts. It is important that
swimmers try their best at every race because although they may not finish in the
top three, their time might fall in the additional top 4 from all districts. In addition,
even if swimmers do not qualify to the finals in an individual event, they might do so
in a relay. However, we will not swim relays at the district meet. We will only swim
relays at the Sundance finals competition. I am only allowed to submit 1 relay per
age group, per gender. So if swimmers want to be part of a relay, they still have 2
meets (Los Lunas and Districts) to show me their best times so they can be
considered for a relay. As I mentioned on a previous e-mail, I will put the fastest
relay the computer program gives me. I set relays strictly by time in order to avoid
any controversy. This year, we have a unique situation with the 13-14 girls because
we only have 2 swimmers able to swim. Therefore, I will move swimmers up (who
are not already on a relay) from a lower age group from the same gender to swim in
this relay at finals. Once I get the times from the District meet entered in the
computer, I will set-up relays and alternates. All swimmers who will be part of the
relay will be notified by phone after the District meet. The relays will be posted at
the pool the day after the districts meet (Friday, July 28th)

In our district, we will compete against TCA, Del Norte, and Chamisa. I encourage all
our swimmers to participate and choose their events wisely. Coaches want all of our
swimmers to qualify for finals, and in order to do so; we have to be strategic in
choosing individual events. For example, if I have the 4th fastest time in the 100
butterfly in our team, in order to qualify, first, I will have to beat the 3 fastest
swimmers of our team, and then, beat the other swimmers from the other teams in
our district. Therefore, my chances of qualifying in the 100 butterfly are slim.
However, if my 100 butterfly time is very close to the top three times in our team, I
will sign-up for that event because I can improve my time at districts and beat some
of my teammates, and if I don’t beat them, my time could fall in the top 4 from all the
other districts which can make me qualify for finals. Also, swimmers are only
allowed to swim 3 individual events at districts. So, if swimmer A has the top times
in all the events in my age group and that swimmer chooses not to do the 100
butterfly, then my 4th fastest time becomes the 3rd best and my chances of qualifying
increase. However, if swimmer A decides to swim 100 butterfly and my 100
butterfly time is not very close to the other top 3, I would consider doing a different
event in which my chances of qualifying are better. Everything I explained before
are suggestions in order to maximize our chances of qualifying as many swimmers
as we can, but swimmers are free to choose any events they want to swim at
districts. If swimmers are confused or have any questions about what they want to
swim at districts, they can come and ask any of the coaches for advice.
After seeing our performances throughout the season, I believe our team can finish
in the top three at Sundance finals. Also, a lot of our swimmers have a chance to
win their individual and relay events. A potential top three finish will be very
rewarding for the swimmers’ hard work done thus far and, as far as I know, it would
be the best finish achieved in gators’ team history. This is why, us coaches, would
like to reward the kids by doing something special for them if we do achieve a top
three finish. I asked them to come up with ideas of things they would like to do
to us, coaches. Somebody mentioned they could throw shaving cream pies at us.
I suggested maybe they could shave my head. I am not sure what we will end up
doing but I would like more ideas from both swimmers and parents.

I would also like to ask parents to volunteer at the districts and finals meet. We need
to provide volunteers for these swim meets and if no one volunteers, we cannot run
the meet. So please, if you haven’t volunteered this season yet, sign-up with Molly
for the upcoming swim meets. At the same time, I want to thank everyone who has
volunteered this season, specially our swim team president, Molly Cheves. She has
done a tremendous job thus far. This season would have not run as smoothly as it
has been without all the work she has done. So, once again, please volunteer and
thank Molly for volunteering her time for the team.

Finally, as some of you already know, coach Britta and I will not be at practice the
last week of the season (July 18th through the 22nd) as we will be starting medical
school at UNM. My assistant coaches Taylor, Amanda and Elliot will be running
practice in our absence. I am aware that this is the most important week of the
season because kids need to get prepared for the District meet. This is why I will
be available in the afternoon (6:30pm) of that week for the kids who would like
some extra stroke and turn time. This doesn’t mean kids should skip morning
practice. Everyone should go to their regular practice time and come back later if
they think is needed. I will be at the District meet (I will skip school that day) and
Sundance finals. Coach Britta and I apologize for this inconvenience because it is our
responsibility to be at practice coaching your kids. However, when we took on this
job, we did not know we were going to be accepted into medical school or the date
school would be starting. We will do our best to provide support to the kids as much
as we can.

I hope this e-mail was clear enough for everybody and once again I apologize for us
being gone the last week of practice. If you have any questions or concerns, please
do not hesitate in contacting me at my e-mail dparedes@unm.edu or my cell phone
(505) 803-1056. Thanks for the support and the work done thus far and let’s keep it
up for two more weeks.

Go Gators!