A Splash in Picornell: Spanish Summer Nationals

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Piscines Bernat Picornell, on top of Mountjuïc in Barcelona was the site of aquatic events in the 1992 Olympic Games. The outdoor 50-meter pool that can seat 3,000 spectators makes it an ideal site for Spanish Nationals, like those that were held last weekend.

With the European Championship to be held at the end of August the entire national team made an appearance, which led to some great racing. Most of the team, like myself, were not rested and used the meet as training gearing up for their major competitions. As a non-European, I will be competing in Irvine, CA August 6-10th at USA Summer Nationals.

Although it is very VERY hot on deck because there is no shade from the relentless sun, and despite the lack of rest, I swam very well. It took me a day or so to unwind from thesis stress and get into the meet, which meant that my 200 Butterfly was good enough for fourth place but lacking the extra ummph necessary to receive a medal. For fun, I swam the 400 IM and surprised myself by dropping over 3 seconds off my lifetime best (from 2011) and placing 6th overall in the event. I picked up the USA Cut and will be swimming the event in Irvine. I am excited to see how this event goes and just goes to show that we are all constantly improving.

My first medal of the meet came during the 800 Freestyle relay where Canoe took third place. This is quite an accomplishment, since the rest of my team members are just 15 years old, competing against all the oldies like myself. I was extremely proud of my teammates and how they fought to the bitter end. I won my first individual medal in the 200 IM, placing third with a time that is just shy of my personal best. This bodes well for Nationals where I am sure that I will swim well.

It was a grueling meet with over 15 swims in four days, but well worth it since it has given me a lot of confidence leading into my final meet. To everyone’s surprise, Canoe won third place overall in the Female Absolute *over 18* category. Although it was not the win of last year, there is a bright future for Canoe considering, besides myself, all of the girls are under 18 years old.

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