Bottom line, while KStern is an outstanding swimmer, I have much more respect for Todhunter, Wilson, Barito and others who not only excelled individually but also swam their hearts out on four relays. Relays are cherished and coveted team positions that true champions are honored to be part of and would not miss.
In past National & NESCAC Championships KStern has swam on morning relays, now she sits out a relay or two (which we don’t know the reason why) and you have more respect for for Todhunter, Wilson, Barito…..give me a break. Over her four years the girl has given her heart and soul to the Amherst program. Sounds like bitterness to me..
But the 2009 meet can’t be what was referenced in the first place. I looked up that year’s results, and the Amherst women finished 5th overall, 133 points behind 4th place Williams. I’m not very good with math, but I don’t think the difference in points between Amherst’s 400MR finishing 16th (as they did) and 9th (best case scenario speculating that the Stern sisters swam the event in the evening) would have bridged that gap.
I remember the Amherst women having a much deeper team that year, and once the Stern sisters qualified the relay for the evening session it was decided to stick some other girls in for the night. The point difference didn’t matter (as I said above), and it obviously gave the Sterns a chance to rest (I’m fairly certain that swimmers can get fatigued and that fatigue might effect their later performances, anyone who has ever had a rigorous swimming schedule at a high level meet would agree, even if you may not). The decision also gave two other girls–were they seniors??–the opportunity to suit up again for Amherst at Nationals. Seems like a good decision all around.
I am glad RealTalk brought this up because I would of done the same thing. I have given my relay spot to a senior that was slower to me. This person was never on a conference championship winning relay and I gave him that opportunity. He told me afterwards that meant a lot to him.
People sit out relays at prelims all the time. If I could get my relay to make finals without using all my A guys, I am going to do it! Some coaches would agree with me on this, others would disagree. Denison didn’t load their Men’s 400 Free Relay in prelims two years ago. They decide on not swimming John Geissigner in the am. They finished 8th in the morning by .28 w a time of 3:01.80. Risky move by Coach Parini but it paid off in the end. They end up going 2:56 at night and Geissigner split a 42.85……fastest 100 relay split to this day.
It is easy to critique a decision after the fact but this in case we don’t know if it was Stern or Nichols decision.