How do I join the team?

Email our Head Coach, Chris Wolford, ([email protected]) to schedule a swim evaluation for your child.  This will allow us to place your swimmer in the practice group most appropriate for age and ability.  This will give you and your swimmer a chance to evaluate CA to see if we are a good fit for you and your schedule.  Once the evaluation is finished, go to the CA website and use our convenient online registration.


What are "practice groups?"

CA has a number of different groups that practice at various times and pools. The groups differ based on the swimmer's age and ability.  Placement into a practice group is made by the coaches to allow for the most successful experience for the swimmer.  Coaches will move a swimmer to the next level practice group as soon as the coaches believe that the swimmer is ready.


Where do you practice?

The competitive team holds practice at USC's Sol Blatt P.E. Center, Columbia College, and Topspin Racquet and Swim Club in Lexington.


What are short course and long course seasons?

The swim year is divided into two seasons:  short course season (late August through March) and long course season (April through July).   During short course season swimmers compete in a 25-yard pool.  During long course season, they compete in a 50-meter pool.  The long course season is shorter in duration, but it is critical in helping your swimmer improve over the summer.  Swimmers who participate in long course season set themselves up for greater success over the next short course season. The team takes a two-week break at the conclusion of long course season (in the middle of August).


How is CA organized?

CA began in 1997 as a professionally staffed 501(c)(3) non-profit year-round competitive swim program.  The Head Coach and Board of Directors work together to smoothly manage the overall operations of the club.


How many meets should I swim per season?

This will depend on your swimmer's training group. At the higher levels of the team, swimmers are expected to compete in almost all of the meets offered, while newer and younger swimmers may compete in meets based on preference.  We generally schedule one meet per month.  Championship meets generally take place in February and March during the short course season, and in July during the long course season.  Some championship meets require qualifying times, but most of our meets are open to all swimmers, regardless of experience or speed.


Are all the meets travel meets?

No.  CA typically hosts three short course meets and two long course meets.  While we do have travel meets, most of these travel meets are in-state and a relatively short drive from Columbia, often under two hours.