Fast Twitch -- Day one at the Southwest Classic

100 back prelims: 1:00.04

100 back finals: 59.98 (4th place)
What a relief to break a minute again! That was the fifth time in my life I've broken a minute. I couldn't be happier. Well, maybe if I had taken down Albert Subirats. He got third place, beating me by one tenth! I grazed the lane line on the last 50, and it threw off my concentration for a beat. But, this time is seven-hundredths slower than what I went at worlds last summer, so this was a major achievement. The pool doesn't have touchpads at the turn end, but I wass told I went out in 28.9 in both races. That's good, but if I had more long course training, I might have been able to come home faster.

My start was great. I did four dolphin kicks and was right at the surface. I didn't have to fight to get to the surface. When I turned at the 50, I saw Simon Burnett a bit ahead of me, and out of the corner of my eye, the kid in lane two (I was in lane three). I might have freaked out too much and started to sprint too early. The lack of long course training is probably why the last 20 meters were so taxing. But I got my hand on the wall before the clock reached "1:00."

Before I go, I have to make sure everyone knows that 40-year-old Jeff Utsch went 1:59.41 in the 200 free. Actually, he's 39, but he turns 40 before the end of the year, which means masters says he's 40. So all of you who are in the 40-44 age group, you now have a rabbit to chase.

Here are Saturday's results. Go to this page to see more results from the weekend.

Tomorrow is the 100 breast. I'm going out to just race. The time I see on the scoreboard will hopefully reflect that.

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