March 19, 2011

AUSTIN, Texas -- One of the greatest individual careers in Miami University athletics history ended Saturday afternoon (Mar. 19) as RedHawk swimmer Kelsey Vehr (Cincinnati) swam in her final race at the University of Texas pool.

Competing in the 200 breaststroke, Vehr swam extremely well, posting what would have been the 12th-best time among 51 individuals, but she was disqualified by the judges for flutter-kicking off her turn.

She sends her final blog from Austin:

I am writing to you as an official "swammer"! We went to the pool early to warm up one last time this morning. I had difficulty hitting my walls once again in warmups; but when it came time for my race I had better luck with my timing and didn't have much difficulty with my turns.

When I touched the wall before I looked at the clock I said to myself no matter what my time is I would be satisfied because I was exhausted and knew that I truly left everything in the pool. My time wasn't my best but definitely one of my faster times and I was happy with it. It wasn't until I had dried off with my towel and hugged Mark and Dave that they announced I was disqualified.

The normal response would be surprised, upset, or even outraged. Instead I started cracking up, probably out of shock. Mark and Dave got to the bottom of it and it turns out I was DQed for flutter kicking off of my turn. I've never done this before, and it seems odd for it to have happened, but what the official says goes! My parents who are here in Texas joke that ended my swimming career just the way it began by getting DQed. Apparently it took me about 2 years to learn how to swim legally in a meet without getting disqualified!

Although some may expect me to be disappointed with my swims here in Texas, I can proudly say that I am not. I left everything I had in the pool, and sometimes that's just not enough. Just to be invited to this meet is an honor and to have competed against some of the best swimmers in the world is a privilege. I gave Miami everything I have, and received more than I could have ever expected in return. It just goes to show that if you truly believe in your program and give everything your all you will achieve more than you could hope for, and thats what I did.

I will always look back on my Miami experience with a smile, and perhaps a few tears. I will remember jumping into the pool victoriously after winning MACs with my teammates, traveling to Texas with Aly Schmidt, countless meets with Mark and Dave, struggling through hard sets with my teammates, dancing on the pool deck with Megan Brunn and doing it all in the name of Love and Honor. Thank you so much Miami for giving me these priceless memories! This chapter of my life has closed and I move on to the next... as a swammer!

Love and Honor, KV