So.... I was at my best friend's house. As I often am. And I was in a super feel-good mood because her little brother and I had just made muffins. Chocolate chip muffins, to be exact. They were awesome, not that I need to mention that though. And there I was, standing in the kitchen, probably eating some sort of snack (although I have no recollection of stuffing my face at the time, but I feel that it's safe to say that I was. :)) Her mom, Francy, also known as FranDog, comes waltzing into the kitchen with her happy-go-lucky manner that she always has, and says "Hey Erin, wanna go to the Pentathalon with us?" And I, being in my super feel good mood, decide 'What the heck? It kinda sounds like fun. Plus, I love the people that are going, so why not? I think I can handle swimming five events in one day. No big.' That was all intermonologue, of course. So I told her yeah, I'd go, sign me up, etc...
What is a pentathalon, you may ask? It's a living hell. :) Except... not really. Created by the Zoltoski's approximately 30 years ago, the Pentathalon is an annual swim meet held at Lock Haven University where the swimmers must complete all four individual strokes and an individual medley. The yardage of those strokes is determined based on age group. So, being that I am in the 15-18 year old age group, I was required to swim 100 yds of each stroke (4 laps) and a 200 IM (8 laps).
The day in and of itself was great. Out of the 7 girls competing in the 15-18 year old age group, the four competing for Juniata Valley (the same four that make up the relay team mentioned in a previous blog) took home the top four awards. The one 13-14 year old boy that competed for Juniata Valley snagged 1st place overall and one of the three girls competing in the 10 and under age group secured third place. With 12 swimmers, the Juniata Valley YMCA brought the most swimmers from one team to the meet, which was our best turn out so far in JVYMCA history.
The Pentathalon, all in all, was an amazing experience. It pushed every swimmer to their limits as they fought fatigue throughout the entire day. Many may not realize it, but swimming five events in one day is extremely strenuous on a swimmer's body. Especially when they are swimming all individual events. Relay events are less strenuous because a swimmer is only swimming a portion of the entire race. Because there was not a great number of swimmers at the Pentathalon, as swimmers, we found it hard to have time to refuel before seeding for our next race began, and refueling is a crucial part of a swimmer's competition. Hence, the Pentathalon is the best worst idea ever. Everything turned out okay, however, and everyone left the meet with a positive attitude and intentions to return to the Pentathalon again.
Props to the Zoltoski's for founding the Pentathalon and providing central Pennsylvania's swimmers with an event to look forward to as the season comes to a close.