The Other Daughter

A blog by Lara Jackson’s sister

Posts Tagged ‘Annie Chandler’

NCAA Friday: the impossible happens

Posted by Carly Rose Jackson on May 9, 2009

Lara puts on her competition suit.The first event of Friday was the 200-yard Medley Relay.  U of A women have owned this race since Lara was on the team.  The Wildcats have the American record from the 2008 NCAA meet.   Hailey DeGolia, Annie Chandler, Lara Jackson, and Anna Turner swam 1:35.29.  This year, the Arizona women planned to break that record so that no one could touch it for years.

Naturally Lara was in a good mood.  I caught her while she deck-changed.  That is, she changed from her warm-up suit into her competition suit while on deck, instead of going into the locker room.  All swimmers do this.

The best part was when Lara’s teammates helped her out.
Deck change: a team effort.

Deck change: a team effort.

Texas A&M distributed seats in such a way that a few Arizona fans were stuck far away from the competition pool.  We were the B section.  For Lara’s events, though, Mom was given a seat so she could video-tape.

Because my family was stuck in the boonies, I ran over to the good side of the pool so that I could see Lara’s races better.  Arizona fans often made a nuisance of ourselves.  The Aggie ushers were constantly telling us not to crowd the rows.  But most races take less than a few minutes, so we mostly ignored them.

The last heat of the preliminaries for the 200-yard Medley Relay, I was crowded with a bunch of other spectators who wanted a better seat for this race.  I also wanted to get good shots of Lara swimming butterfly.  I had a good vantage point, but I was keeping an eye out for the Aggie usher, because I didn’t want him to bug me.  Danny was standing right behind me.

The backstrokers jumped into the pool.  The buzzer went off, and I saw Hailey DeGolia flinch.  Then she was still holding onto the block while others were swimming.  Then the horn that announces a false start sounded.  Some swimmers didn’t hear the horn, so the officials tried to get their attention.  I turned to Danny, who swam competitively.  “Does this mean they can’t compete?” I asked him.  He gave a nod and a shrug.  Nobody knew what would happen.

We soon found out. Arizona was disqualified and would not compete in this race.

This DQ brought the energy among the Arizona fans to a screeching halt.  We hoped and prayed that the swimmers would be able to push through this horrible set back.

It was a silly accident.  It showed us that you can plan, and train, and work as hard as possible, but chance can still derail all careful plans.  We cheered and pushed until the very end of that weekend, but the girls just didn’t have the heart to break through the entropy.  They did their best, but it wasn’t enough to win the NCAA title.

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Aside: the “Do you know who we’re with?” thing

Posted by Carly Rose Jackson on April 21, 2009

 
Danny, Mom, me, and Dad showing off the stars.
Danny, Mom, me, and Dad showing off the stars.

I wrote in my NCAA Wednesday blog about Danny coming all the way out to College Station to surprise Lara.  I know Lara was happy to see him there, but I was more directly affected.  Danny and I were buddies all weekend.

We first made our presence known by showing everybody our stars.  See the photo at right?  Mom is trying not to look embarrassed at how obnoxious we were.  Dad is just laughing.  By gray-shirt day (Friday), Danny and I had our routine down.

When something inconvenienced or annoyed us, (like when people were in our way, or there was no parking, or a restaurant was closed just because it was 11 p.m.) we would display our badges with Lara’s picture on them, and say loudly, “Hello?? Do you know who we are?  Do you know who we’re with?”

Like this:

The Jacksons, including Danny, display badges with Lara's picture.

Then we would turn around and point to the stars on our back.
 
Hey, it’s hard work being part of Lara’s crew.  We had to arrive early to warm-ups at prelims and finals.
We arrive; notice Danny's strut.

We arrive; notice Danny's strut.

We had to take plenty of pictures.
paparazzi-cropped
And if anyone strayed into our circle, we made sure she was fully equipped to join the fun.
My friend Rachel Davison recently moved to Austin.  She drove a couple hours to hang out while I was in College Station.  We gave her a shirt with stars, and she helped us cheer as the team left the the hotel for finals.
Though most of the time we played it cool, Danny did have a fanboy moment.  The five of us went out to dinner on Wednesday evening.  My swimmeet-veteran parents spotted some familiar faces: Annie Chandler and her parents and boyfriend Matt Grevers.
This is a blog about swimming for people who know nothing about swimming, so I’ll forgive you if you don’t recognize the name: Matt Grevers.  Click here and you will see that Matt Grevers got the Silver Medal at the 2008 Olympics in the 100-meter backstroke.  Click here and you will see that Grevers was in the 100-meter free relay that got a Gold Medal.
So Danny and my mom got a picture with Matt Grevers, along with his autograph:
A TYR ad featuring Matt Grevers.  Mom got his autograph.

A TYR ad featuring Matt Grevers. Mom got his autograph.

Can you see his signature next to his arm?  It says, “Go Cats & USA!”
Thanks Matt Grevers.

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NCAA Thursday: 3 races, 3 golds, 3 American Records

Posted by Carly Rose Jackson on April 1, 2009

The swimmers warm up.  At this level they all look as graceful as penguins underwater.  P.S. That's a compliment.

The swimmers warm up. At this level they all look as graceful as penguins underwater. P.S. That's a compliment.

Thursday is always the most exciting day for the Jacksons.  This year, Lara swam the first leg of the 200 Free Relay, the 50 Free, and the Fly leg of the 400 Medley Relay.

Let’s break that down.

200 Free Relay

200 = 200 yards (because NCAA competitions are always in pools that are 25 yards long).

Free = freestyle.  Technically the swimmers could swim any stroke they want, but since the crawl is the fastest, everybody swims the crawl.  My parents said that at less formal meets, swimmers will often swim butterfly if they want to see how fast they can go.

Relay = 4 swimmers, each swimming a quarter of the distance.  In the 200 Free Relay, each swimmer swims 50 yards.

Lara started off the 200 Free Relay, which means that her time qualifies for records.  Other legs of the relay do not qualify, but coaches and swimmers do pay attention to the times of every swimmer.   Those are called splits.

Arizona has a very strong team.  They have always done great in the relays.  The women feed off each other’s energy.  As my father said at the NCAA banquet: this team is a whole, greater than the sum of it’s parts.

Arizona broke their American record from last year in the 200 Free Relay.  Lara broke the 50-yard free American Record in the first leg of the relay.

Swimmers, in order

Split time

(in seconds)

Total time

Lara Jackson

21:27

21:27

Lindsey Kelly

21:75

43:02

Justine Schluntz

21:59

1:04.61

Taylor Baughman

21:59

1:26.20

  Lara told us later that before they swam, Taylor said, nonchalantly, “Hey, could you just lead off with an American Record, it will really lift my spirits.”

Compare Arizona times with second place, Cal. (That’s University of California at Berkeley for the laypeople.)

Swimmers, in order

Split time

(in seconds)

Total time

Liv Jensen

22.09

22.09

Hannah Wilson

21.15

43.79

Madison Kennedy

21.54

1:05.33

Dana Vollmer

21.15

1:26.48

 

(All results found here.)

If you’re paying attention, you will notice that Cal lost by 0.28 of a second.  It took me 2.92 seconds just to read that last sentence.  You will also notice that Dana Vollmer swam faster than Lara, but because she didn’t start the relay, she doesn’t get the American Record.  Lara explained to me that when you begin a leg in a relay, you have more momentum when the timer starts.  The second swimmer’s toes have to still be touching the block when the first swimmer touches the wall, but the rest of the second swimmer’s body can already be leaning over the water: momentum.  When Lara started the race, she began from a still position.  Dana Vollmer started her leg, she was moving.

Later that evening, Lara won first place in the 50-yard free.

Then, the last race of the evening was the 400 Medley Relay.  Arizona again broke their own American Record from 2008 NCAAs and won first place.

Swimmer

Stroke

Split time

(in seconds)

Total time

Ana Agy

Back

51.13

51.13

Annie Chandler

Breast

57.95

1:49.08

Lara Jackson

Fly

51.80

2:40.88

Justine Schluntz

Free

47.43

3:28.31

 

At the end of the first night, Lara swam 3 races, won 3 first place trophies, and had her name on 3 American records.

Did you see the stars on the back of my shirt?  That’s so you know: I’m with Lara.

That's me.  That's the star on my back.  Do you know who I'm with?

That's me. That's the star on my back. Do you know who I'm with?

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The Great Black Suit Debate

Posted by Carly Rose Jackson on March 11, 2009

LZR design.jpg

In the past year, Speedo introduced the LZR Racer suit, a full-body, technologically constructed super swim suit. (pictured left)

Speedo has one of my favorite websites, because you just feel cooler after you look at it.

 There now, don’t you feel cooler? 

This past week, the Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA) met with suit manufacturers to clarify the restrictions on competition suits.  You can read all the intricate details here

Speedo is not the only manufacturer of full-body, high-tech suits.  Lara wore a Blue Seventy at Olympic Trials, and a TYR— oops, no I meant this TYR — at the international meet in Japan.

The team suits at 2008 NCAAs were Nike.  Below, Annie Chandler, Hailey DeGolia, and Lara celebrate their 200 medley relay victory.  Notice the Nike. 

NCAA 2008 celebration.jpg How we know there’s a suit issue:

Over 100 world records were broken in the past year, and most of the record breakers were wearing one of these high-tech suits.

Studies determined that the suits help stocky swimmers more than tall swimmers.

At over 500 dollars, the suits are not accessible to every swimmer.  Lara said her team and coaches had to jump through hoops to get suits for all the swimmers who qualified for Olympic Trials.

In Lara’s words, “The suit thing turned out to be kind of a mess.”  She said the records have been broken, so what would happen to the records if the suits are declared to be “technological doping”?

She said, “How do you undo letting go floodgates?”

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