SwimMAC Carolina Takes a Road Trip

By Bill Davis

Like an inland tsunami of chlorinated joy, the SwimMAC Carolina (SwimMAC) family washed over Omaha for the 2012 version of the Olympic Trials.  This year’s SwimMAC team consisted of 45 athletes, from both the much heralded Team Elite training group that many of us saw at USMS Spring Nationals and the Age Group program.  Beyond the spell-binding performances of the five Team Elite members to make the Olympic Team (Jones, Thoman, Joyce, Lawrence, and Tarwater) there was lots of action by our SwimMAC USMS crack reporting staff, beaming their inside stories back to those of us who only had the internet and television coverage.  These are their stories.

SwimMAC Masters Jerrie Lynn Rhodes and Mary McCullagh had two special reasons to attend Trials besides the steaks that Omaha is known for:  their wildly successful and super speedy daughters, Lauren and Nora.  While both of them clearly acknowledged that their favorite part of trials was watching and supporting their daughters, they also provided behind-the-scenes reporting and little known facts to us older swimmers. 

Jerrie Lynn, who, incidentally, has the prettiest fly stroke in all of USMS, said this experience at Trials really drove home the feeling that representing the United States is an honor.  The dazzling light shows and medal ceremonies emphasized the honor of being part of the greatest swim meet in the world. 

Mary, internationally recognized for her impressive pull buoy speed, also commented on the show that was put on.  She stated: “the swimmers have been given a gift and made the most of it.  Many know what it takes to get to this level and seemed genuinely grateful to be part of it.”  Mary went on to say that no matter the swimming style it is all about excellent technique. 

The third Amiga in the reporting trifecta was Michelle Dempsey.  Michelle is an impressive swimmer for SwimMAC and has an unnatural affinity for all items pink.  Michelle and her son Joshua went to Omaha to watch the first four days of the Trials.  Michelle and Joshua both remarked on the fantastic streamlines they saw, which they now plan to emulate every day in workouts.  Also, they said seeing so many SwimMAC swimmers gave them a lot of pride in the club. 

All three women said the meet was incredibly exciting, topping even their expectations.  On the dark side, none of them brought back a gift for their Masters coach, which made him sad, and likely vengeful down the road in a workout situation. 

As USMS swimmers at SwimMAC we see these awesome Trials athletes daily.  We know first-hand their dedication and workout habits.  We also see the work their coaches put in for their benefit.  It gives all of us SwimMAC USMS swimmers a feeling of pride to know the young adults, who swim in the same pool we swim in, can perform on such a stage.