I have no idea…all I can think to do is breath. My lunges…rib cage are on fire. I was gasping for air. My vision was distorted with dark spots. I shoved my head underwater. Better. As I surfaced, Timothy had his hand extended towards me. Now that I could see, I took it and shook. We exchanged our good jobs, and then Timothy climbed out. ‘Huh?’ Suddenly Matthew and Ken were grabbing onto my arms lifting me out of the pool. I helped a smidge, but then sat my butt down on the gutter. “How..’d…we..do?”
I still couldn’t breath normal…
“WE GOT SECOND!” Ken and Matthew shouted out together!
‘Oh.’ I was not looking forward to Coach’s disappointment. Hopefully he would be proud. Jerry, who was also exhausted, helped pull me up, and we turned to go to the cooldown pool; instead, there stood Coach, Jenny, and Brit.
Since the competition was over we were given permission to cooldown in the competition pool. Jerry and I turned to jump in, but Coach stopped us.
“You four did amazingly well. 3:10.33 is an amazing time. Especially you Ken,” Coach smacked, maybe a little too hard, Ken on the shoulder. “You just finished your one-hundred breaststroke, and placed third overall by the way. But still, this relay was impressive. Matthew and Ken, I will tell you your splits and then I want you two to start your cooldown. Then I will continue to George and Jerry. All of you must do at least a fifteen hundred. Even though the season is over, there is still practice until school is over. Understood?”
We were silent but nodded. ‘That’s a long cooldown…That’s sixty laps. I’m dead, but if Coach said it…’
“Good. Matthew 48.95. Ken 51.45. Well done you two,” Coach said with one of the happiest smiles I have ever seen.
“Dude! That’s awesome!” Jerry had let go of me and hugged Ken, “Dude?”
Once again Ken was dumbfounded. He was silent. ‘Priceless.’ “Ken,” I brought my hand up to slap him back to reality. He must have noticed.
“I’m good, I’m good. No need for that,” ducking away from my hand. “I’m just shocked. That’s my best by like four seconds. I was dying.”
Matthew was silent too. “You did amazing Matthew. You finally broke the fifty!” I drapped my arm over Matthew’s shoulders.
“I am proud of myself, but I am just so tired. Coach can I cooldown and then react after?” Matthew said while he stepped towards the pool.
“Yes. Good. Both of you go cooldown. Ken,” Ken was still dazed, “Go!” The tone in Coach’s voice quickly brought him back to reality and he followed Matthew to the pool.
They were both swimming when Coach turned to Jerry and I. Brit had left to probably keep an eye on the rest of the team; while Jenny walked up to listen.
“You both should be incredibly proud of your efforts. You did amazing. I am good with the second place, because it was so close that you scared lane four into winning. Listening to the other coaches, I heard many saying that lane four would win hands down. You made that team sweat. Lane four came in at 3:10.29; that’s only a four one-hundreths of a second difference. You both did above and beyond what I could imagine. Jerry 46.37. George 43.56. I had Jenny time Timothy and he finished at a 43.78. If you had been tied diving in, you would have beaten him. Good job,” Coach reached out and patted our shoulders. This response was huge from Coach.
‘43.56…That’s crazy. If this time counted, it was almost half a second faster than my best.’ I was probably grinning stupidly, but I was happy.
“George. I wish I had known you could do the straight arm swimming technique. In your future years, you will need to perfect it, and you will be unstoppable. Also, The Montana School scouts came down after your race, and told me they would contact me soon about their decisions,” Coach stepped back and his face showed true pride.
I was speechless. Jerry was silent too. I looked at him and he turned to me simitanously. Yep. We were both in the same boat, utter shock.
“Well enough chit chat. Go cooldown. It’s a bit late now. Do at least a six-hundred. If you feel sore still, than Jerry go to George’s house and finish the cooldown. Go,” Coach pushed us towards the pool then turned and walked to the officals tent.
I looked back to see Jenny still standing there watching us. Her face was beaming. Her smile… I smiled in return. She waved me to go cool down, and she went to follow coach. I jumped into the pool. I don’t know if this cooldown was going to work for me, I was still so pumped, that I don’t think my body will calm down any