SWIM MEET OVERVIEW AND PHILOSOPHY
Swim meets are at the very heart of why the Murray Aquatic Club (MAC) exists. The sport of competitive swimming has a thrilling history and when you join a team like MAC, the implication is that you are ready and willing to begin the exciting process of becoming a competitive swimmer. Swim meets play a vital role in the development of swimmers at all levels of the MAC program. This overview of our swim meet philosophy will provide some fun basic information about what swim meets entail, how to sign your swimmer up for swim meets, the MAC guidelines for swim meet participation, and a description of the types of swim meets we participate in. Finally, you will come to understand the exciting competitive edge of the MAC program.
Swim Meet Basics
The USA Swimming website has a parent section that includes a nice article for those of you who may be attending a swim meet for the first time. Click Here to check it out!
Swim Meet Sign-ups
The MAC coaching staff prepares the team entry for each meet well in advance of the meet entry deadline established by the host club. The MAC coaching staff will establish a meet entry deadline for the team and post it on the current season’s meet schedule. Email reminders will be sent out to the team as the entry deadline approaches.
The official meet announcement will be posted on the MAC website once it is released by the host club. This document will give an overview of the meet format and provide any details released by the host club. It is important to remember that the entry deadline posted by the MAC coaching staff is the one you are responsible for in terms of the meet signup process if you want your swimmer to compete.
Please use the following steps to sign your swimmer(s) up for swim meets:
- Check and make sure your swimmer's group is included in the swim meet. Often swim meets are targeted for specific age groups or time standards (i.e. 10&under, Invitational, BB times, etc). If you have any questions about your swimmer’s eligibility for the meet, please check with their primary coach.
- Using the email signup link you received, confirm swim meet attendance by clicking on "Attend".
- Select the events from those listed that your swimmer would like to participate in. There will be limits on the amount of events you can select (usually 3 per day).
- Each family is responsible for the meet entry fees associated with the meet once the team entry has been sent to the host club. You must calculate the amount due and make a check out to MAC.
Swim Meet Participation Guidelines
Bronze– Swimmers at this level are encouraged to attend swim meets once every 4-6 weeks. The primary purpose for swim meet participation at this level is to apply the technical skills learned in practice at race speed. Swim meets are a great opportunity for your swimmer to enjoy a competitive team atmosphere, and feel their progress.
Silver– Swimmers at this level are highly encouraged to attend swim meets once every 4-6 weeks. The primary focus for swim meet participation at this level is learning to pace and race each distance of all four strokes and the individual medley. This is a fun atmosphere as these swimmers get involved with the IMX program, swimming the majority of events offered in their age group.
Gold– Swimmers at this level should be attending every swim meet on the schedule. Swim meets at this level play very specific roles in the training process and each one is included for a reason. The training process at this level is much more advanced and the season plan is geared to prepare the swimmer for peak performance at specific times of the season.
Types of Swim Meets
Dual Meets– A dual meet is a meet between two teams. The format can vary depending on the purpose of the meet.
USA Swimming Age Group Meets– This is the most common type of meet that MAC participates in. Age Group meets typically take place over 1-3 days and include multiple events contested in multiple age groups (i.e. 8&under, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, 15&over or Open). These meets can be run with a variety of meet event lists and formats. Most of them are conducted in a timed final format, which means that the swimmer will only compete in each entered event once during the meet.
Utah State Championship Meet – Utah hosts two state championship swim meets each year. Short course state championship meet is in early March. Long course state championship meet is in mid to late July. These meets use the prelim/final format for most age groups and events, which means that swimmers will swim in heats during the morning prelims, with the top qualifiers advancing to the finals session in the evening.
Regional– The regional championship meets involve the USA Swimming Zone that we participate in, which is the Western Zone. For age group and senior swimmers, the Western Zone Championships take place in August and the swimmers that qualify will represent Utah Swimming at the meet. For senior swimmers, the Speedo Champions Series (Sectional Championships) take place in March (usually short course) and July (long course) respectively.
National – The national level is the highest level of the sport that members of USA Swimming participate in unless they qualify to represent our country in international competitions. The short course Junior National and National Championships take place in December. The long course Junior National and National Championships take place in August. The US Open, US Olympic Trials, and Grand Prix Series are also national level competitions that take place on the national calendar depending on the year.
High School Meets - High School teams will participate in dual meets and two day invitational meets during the season. The UHSAA regional and state championship meets are in the prelim/final format and take place in February.
Types of Swim Events
Short Course Events include: 25 Free, 50 Free, 100 Free, 200 Free, 500 Free, 1000 Free, 1650 Free, 25 Back, 50 Back, 100 Back, 200 Back, 25 Breast, 50 Breast, 100 Breast, 200 Breast, 25 Fly, 50 Fly, 100 Fly, 200 Fly, 100 IM, 200 IM, 400 IM
Long Course Events include: 50 Free, 100 Free, 200 Free, 400 Free, 800 Free,1500 Free, 50 Back, 100 Back, 200 Back, 50 Breast, 100 Breast, 200 Breast, 50 Fly, 100 Fly, 200 Fly, 200 IM, 400 IM
*We ask that each MAC family considers the importance of these meets when you plan your meet participation each season and that you make plans to have your swimmer attend as they achieve standard qualifier times.