There have been few better renditions of the National Anthem than the one that took place at the beginning of the boys meet.
Everyone was standing, the flag was on the digital scoreboard at the south end, but there was no music. The instrumental version was coming through the loudspeakers.
Then from the east end of the stands, a few people began singing. By the time they got “dawn’s early light” out, the rest of the crowd — fans, coaches, athletes, everyone — was singing along.
As they should have, all of the participants gave themselves a hearty round of applause.
Snowy weather extends hotel stays
Nearly every team from outside the Lincoln area will have spent three nights in hotel rooms across the city because of the threat of potentially paralyzing snowstorms.
In most years, teams spend just one night away from home. A few coaches mentioned that one way they helped keep order was to have all swimmers and divers turn in their cell phones when everyone returned to the team hotel.
All reports from coaches were positive, including fewer distractions from outside sources (friends, parents, other well-wishers) and improved behavior and team camaraderie.
More the merrier for Saturday’s races
Action on the pool deck will be a bit more hectic Saturday as there are eight swimmers in every consolation and championship final race instead of six.
This is the first year for the expanded finals fields, and there were no problems with overcrowding on the deck during Friday’s prelims.
Swim-off races determine finals
There were two swim-off races at the end of the girls meet and one for the boys to break ties for last person in or first alternate positions.
One of those races pitted two Papillion-La Vista/Papillion-La Vista South teammates against each other.
Sophomores Amanda Carlson and Mary Stanley dueled in the 100 backstroke, and Stanley won to earn lane 9 for the consolation final.
Just as the teammates started after the starting beep, someone in the crowd shouted “Go Papillion,” which drew plenty of laughs from those remaining to watch the race.