GREENCASTLE -- Rarely is a swim meet as friendly as it is competitive.
At the Eagle Relays, however, a return to the pool from the holiday break was met with a more relaxed atmosphere as no scores or times were kept and the events deterred from the standard race list.
Events such as a 400 IM relay, an underwater relay, co-ed relays and stroke specific relays allowed swimmers from the host school, along with North Putnam, Cascade and Owen Valley to get in a competitive performance that didn't have anything hanging in the balance.
That type of swimming event was good to ease into after a protracted break according to both North Putnam head coach Wesley Richardson and South Putnam head coach Emily Karas.
"I think they did well for being off on holiday two weeks. Practice was kind of intermittent, so I though they did well today. I was proud of them," Richardson said.
"It's a fun meet for them. I let them choose the events that they want to do and what teams they're going to be with, things like that. They had some freedom in what they were going to do today," Richardson added.
"I think it's a fun meet to have over Christmas break. It breaks up the long practices that we are having. It also gave us a chance to preview North Putnam and Cascade because we haven't swam them yet, so we got to see them."
"I thought overall we swam well. We earned a lot more medals than we did last year, so that was good to see. My kids really came out and worked hard. We've been having a good Christmas break and I'm anxious for January."
The fun will have to be put to the side quickly, though, as the WCC meet takes place on January 8. With few events between the relays and the conference meet, both coaches have different things to work on.
"I think we really need to focus on our starts and turns. That's where you can win or lose an event. Just really working to making sure they're tight and solid," Karas said.
"We put some yardage in over Christmas break. We're just going to have to hit it hard and heavy next week and get ready for Saturday," Richardson said.
"We have a meet Thursday that will show them what they need to do for Saturday, the events that they're swimming and what they need to work on."
Next Meets: North Putnam hosts North Montgomery and Covenant Christian next Thursday. Both squads will compete in the WCC meet January