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Q-C swimmers ready to make most of surprise state trips


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Posted Online: Nov. 15, 2012, 6:20 pm
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By Chris Steele, chrissteele@qconline.com
Adversity tests more than just the physical tools of an athlete.

It's a combination of determination, mental toughness and heart that ultimately define what separates the best.

During this high school swim season, Moline's Allison Patch and Rock Island's Kelly Bishop had their passions tested in the water.

During the Rock Island Sectional, both senior swimmers emerged strengthened by their wins and stand ready to face their final test at the state meet today.

While Patch and Bishop have been two of the elite swimmers in the Western Big 6 over the past four seasons, this season's state trip came as a surprise for both.

Patch had been struggling with scoliosis this season and suffered a flareup just a week prior to sectionals at the Western Big 6 meet.

"It has made me more susceptible to getting strains in my back," Patch said. "Having to use those fast-twitch muscles in my back for the starts, kicking and sprints irritate my back."

Patch wouldn't be slowed at sectionals, though, swimming a season-best time on her way to a state berth in the 100-yard backstroke (1:01.01).

Patch has used about every available measure to alleviate the pain, including massages, bio-freeze and muscle relaxers, but never gave up on the sport.

"You do whatever it takes to get what you want," Patch said. "This is something that I've been looking forward to ever since I watched Bryce Bohman, Alexa Harris in 2009. I've looked up to all of these swimmers, and I've always wanted to be a part of that legacy, so a little scoliosis is not going to hold me back."

Patch was excited to represent Moline, the Western Big 6 and longtime friend and teammate Brianna Hutchings, who missed this season with a shoulder injury.

Bishop, who had missed time in the pool earlier this season, came down with a fever of 104 degrees just a few days prior to her sectional swim.

Her hopes seemed bleak, but somehow Bishop managed to burn up the water at the Rock Island pool and had her best swim of the season (59.62) to win the 100 butterfly.

The emotion came flooding out of Bishop, who couldn't believe her own performance.

"It's like the whole world is spinning," Bishop said. "I can't get a grip on anything, and I know that I'm prouder than I've ever been before."

At the state meet, both Patch and Bishop come in as underdogs.

Yet after a season of overcoming obstacles, the duo look to buck the odds one more time.



















 



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  Today is Monday, Sept. 22, the 265th day of 2014. There are 100 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: The board of education has granted Thursday as a holiday for the children, with the expectation that parents who desire to have their children attend the Scott County Fair will do so on that day and save irregularity the rest of the week.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The guard fence around the new cement walk at the Harper House has been removed. The blocks are diamond shape, alternating in black and white.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The Rev. R.B. Williams, former pastor of the First Methodist Church, Rock Island, was named superintendent of the Rock Island District.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Abnormally high temperatures and lack of rainfall in Illinois during the past week have speeded maturing of corn and soybean crops.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Installation of a new television system in St. Anthony's Hospital, which includes a closed circuit channel as well as the three regular Quad-Cities channels, has been completed and now is in operation.
1989 -- 25 years ago: When the new Moline High School was built in 1958, along with it were plans to construct a football field in the bowl near 34th Street on the campus. Wednesday afternoon, more than 30 years later, the Moline Board of Education Athletic Board sent the ball rolling toward the possible construction of that field by asking superintendent Richard Hennigan to take to the board of education a proposal to hire a consultant.






(More History)