Sadly, Kelly and her teammates on the Louisville Cardinals Division 1 Womens' Rowing team are not going to be going to the NCAA championships in two weeks.
The NCAA announced the 16 teams that would be attending, and the Cardinals are not on the list.
Kelly's response, not surprisingly, was short and pointed.
"Absolute b#%@#*%@! Nobody made it. This is ridiculous and unfair," she wrote me in a furious text message minutes after the news was posted on the Internet.
The team's hopes had been high a few weeks ago that they would finally be invited to the prestigious national championships for the first time. But in the last few weeks, they have been frustrated by the weekly rankings, which seemed to be ignoring their positive results, while other teams they had beaten seemed to get the benefit of the doubt.
It's not the first time the Cardinals feel like they've been denied a place they should have received. The news was similar last year. Fortunately, the selection process is supposed to change next year, when it will be based on a more transparent system which should get rid of these kinds of controversies.
Alas, the subjective nature of the ranking system means that no one really knows the criteria that go into the final decision. So although there seemed to be a lot of competition among the schools, the predictable teams will be there again this year.
The championships will be held May 25-27 at Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
For Kelly, that's the end of her freshman collegiate rowing season, which has to be ranked as a tremendous success. She gained valuable experience and scored personal bests several times in her erg scores. And she's got three more years ahead of her.
She's heading up to Hamilton for a couple of weeks, then she's going to be coming out to Victoria for the rest of the summer. She'll be rowing with the UVIC team here over the summer and participating in the Henley Regatta in St. Catherines in August.
What about your other kids, Dave?
Good point. It's been awhile since I updated any of you on Jaime and Cory, isn't it?
Cory is now living at our cottage in Buena Vista, just outside of Regina. He moved out from Hamilton in February and settled in at the lake as soon as the weather warmed up. He's enjoying the place a lot.
In a couple of weeks, he'll be starting work in the oil fields in Alberta, which he's looking forward to. He'll be on a 2 weeks on, 1 week off cycle and he'll be at the beach when he's not at work. It's hard work, but compared to what he used to be doing as a bricklayer's apprentice, it should be a piece of cake.
Jaime has just started another work term with the provincial government here in Victoria as part of her recreation and health program at UVIC. She's taking some time off from competitive rowing this spring in favour of working full time. And she's loving every minute of it. After 7 years of getting up at 5:00 am every morning, heading off to work seems like a breeze.
She's not sure whether she'll be rowing in the fall again or not. Only time will tell.
And me? Well...let's just say that I'm not rowing either. But we finally got some roof racks for our kayaks, so look out!