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March Madness Begins & Important Schedule Updates

Hi All,

Today is the start of swimming’s version of March Madness.  We will have meets every week through the first weekend of April. There will be many changes during this time frame, so please keep an eye on your inbox for updates and schedule changes. Thanks in advance for your attention in this regard.

Friday and Saturday Practice

We will hold in water practices as scheduled for all groups. We will not, however, hold any dryland sessions today. The same holds true for Saturday. In water as scheduled, no dryland.

AREA 3 Championships

The Area 3 Championships begin today. Psych Sheets, Time Lines and Heat Sheets can be found here

You have the option of printing out a two or three column version of the Heat Sheet. Heat Sheets will not be available for sale at the event, so please arrived prepared.

Warm Ups

Friday

The meet starts at 5:00pm. Warmups open at 3:30. I know that it can be tough getting swimmers to the pool that early on a Friday. Let’s shoot to have the swimmers ready to swim (caps on, goggles on, settled into their spots) by 3:55pm.  If, when you check the timeline, you find that your child is swimming later than 5:30, please try to bring them to the pool at least an hour before their event starts. It is going to be a long and chilly weekend. I would hate them to start it off sitting for hour upon hour tonight waiting to swim in the cold.

Saturday

There will be approximately a thousand swimmers at this meet (more on that later). They have split the warm ups into two sessions to make it easier for the swimmers to get ready to swim fast. There are assigned warm ups for each team. On Saturday, we will be in the early group. We have been assigned lanes eight through ten on the bay side course. Let’s have the eleven and older swimmers behind the blocks, ready to swim, at 6:25am.  Our ten and under athletes should be ready for their session by 7:55am. Those athletes will utilize lane nine of the bay side pool from 8:00 to 8:50am.

Sunday

On Sunday, our eleven and older athletes are in the later warm up session. Let’s be behind the sames lanes, ready to swim, at 7:05am. Nothing changes for our ten and unders. They still should be ready to swim at 7:55. It will be nice to sleep in and extra half hour on the third day of the meet.

What to Bring

It will a tad more chilly than it has been recently, so please, have the swimmers dress accordingly. Extra towels, socks, sweat shirts, etc. should be brought each day. Healthy snacks and drinks are also a must. The swimmers should bring a chair for under the tent. Space will be at a premium with so many swimmers entered in the meet. Parents who bring our tents, thank you again in advance. There should be seating available in the grandstands, but be prepared be be under the tents as well. If you throw a couple of folding chairs in the trunk of your car, you will be prepared for that possibility. Of course, always bring a great attitude and a smile.

Prelims & Finals

For the eleven and older swimmers, this is a prelims finals event.  The Top 10 swimmers ages 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16 year olds, as well as two heats of Senior swimmers, will come back on Saturday & Sunday for finals. Please check with your coach to see if you made it into finals before leaving the prelim session. Finals will not start before 3pm. There will be a one hour warm up prior to the finals session.  The exact start time for final will be determined at the meet. I will send it out when I know the time.

FLAGS ENTRIES

Flags entries are due by noon on Monday, March 6th. This will be tight as we will have new individual and relay qualifiers up through Sunday night. Please declare yes or no if your child has qualified for an individual event. Also, please indicate the events he or she has qualified for in the notes section. You can declare your intentions by clicking here

This is an online meet entry event through USA Swimming’s website. Your coaches will be entering your child in the event through their USA Swimming account.  Your declaration is to ensure that no one misses a single opportunity to swim.  Thanks in advance for your cooperation.

Future Alternative Events

Last night I left the pool a little early because I had to attend a webinar on a new type of timing system I want to bring to our club. The timing was ironic as we heading into a very large and potentially long meet weekend. A prelims/finals meet with a thousand swimmers, most of whom have not qualified for FLAGS or Senior Champs, will be lengthy. My long term goal for our club is to avoid these situations as much as possible. While I do believe it is important that swimmers learn to thrive in every environment, if they do not have to, they shouldn’t...especially if we can be pro-active and do something about it.

Our new pool, combined with the renovated long course pool and our other branches across the Bay, gives us many options.  We can host our own events and tailor them to our swimmers’ needs. Last Saturday was a glimpse at what I see us offering our swimmers and families moving forward. We can run meets that are quick, fun, family friendly and cost less than meets like Area 3. We can run dual meets, rookie meets and championship meets at our own facilities. In essence, we can reimagine how the sport is run.

To do this, we will continue to rely on volunteers to provide the support we need to make the proposed events run smooth.  Most large club have mandatory volunteer hours as a condition of membership. I am not a fan of that mindset. I am also not a fan of demanding families to spend weekend after weekend running large meets to support the club. Once or twice a year, sure. Once or twice a month? No thank you. If we all have the same vision and goals for our organization, support will be organic.

As we meander our way on deck this weekend, let’s look to the future; a future where we run our own events and ensure that our athletes our always put in the best possible situation for success. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide for making that come to pass.

Good luck this weekend. Let’s go have fun and swim fast!

See you at the pool - Rich