Repeating a scene they had played out dozens of times in practices and past competitions, friends and teammates Deyn Welke and Jason Bostock of Hastings took their marks for the 50-meter backstroke competition Saturday at the Special Olympics Nebraska West Central Swim Meet.
They donned goggles and expressions of determination, and at the sound of the buzzer, they plunged into their lanes, pushing their limbs and their cardio systems as hard as they could go.
Cheering and shouts of encouragement bounced off the high ceilings of the Hastings Family YMCA swimming pool arena, blending with the sounds of furious splashing coming from the water.
It was a close race, and a fast one. Deyn, 32, finished with a time of 1:03, and Jason, 40, touched the wall just three seconds behind him.
But, to them, the numbers on the board were not divisive. The friends slapped each other on the back in a gesture of camaraderie after the race.
“He’s the best,” Welke said, breathless, hugging Bostock around the neck.
“We cheer for each other,” Bostock added.