Santa Rosa lacking in lanes


Press Democrat article

Published: Tuesday, February 10, 2009 at 4:20 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, February 10, 2009 at 4:20 a.m.

In the city of Santa Rosa, there is a lack of pools for the public to use. This affects people of all ages in our city, but especially teens involved in the sport of swimming.

The two public pools are Finley Aquatic Center and Ridgeway Swim Center, which are standard 25-yard pools. These are referred to as short course pools in competitive swimming. These are the only two pools that high school swim teams have to practice in, because none of the high schools have their own pools.

Ursuline High School has a pool, but it is very old. Maria Carrillo, Montgomery, Santa Rosa, Elsie Allen, Piner, Newman and Ursuline high schools have to share these two public pools for their swim teams.

This becomes more difficult when the Neptune Swim Team uses Ridgeway Swim Center for several hours each week day.

Ursuline and Newman have opted to practice at Santa Rosa Junior College at 5:30 a.m. every day instead of trying to squeeze in a practice time late at night at other pools.

The Neptune Swim Team in Santa Rosa also suffers from not enough pool time and space. With all of the different ages of swimmers on the team and not much lane space, it is very challenging to have a reasonable practice times for all of the athletes.

Some swim groups have a practice time that ends at 9:15 p.m. every day except weekends. This caused late nights for students and insufficient time to have a proper dinner every day.

Another very important aspect of the sport of swimming is practicing to compete in long course size pools, which are 50 meters long. Half of the swimming season is swum in Olympic sized pools. Santa Rosa does not have one long course pool. The closest 50-meter pool is in Petaluma; a big inconvenience for Santa Rosa swimmers.

On hot summer days, people want to be able to enjoy time in the pool, cooling off. When pools are so crowded, this is not as enjoyable.

In addition to recreational swimming, these pools are used for swim lessons and aquatic programs. If there was even one more public pool in Santa Rosa, pools would be less crowded.

Santa Rosa would benefit greatly from investing in another public or long course pool, open to the public. This would not only help people get in the pool, it would not only help high school team swimmers, it would also be beneficial to year-round recreational swimmers.