While many area school districts were scrambling to postpone and reschedule district and regional swim meets last weekend, swim teams in Montgomery County were missing out on another dual meet. The snowed out dual meets impacted divisional standings, but with divisionals slated for Saturday and the county championships scheduled for Feb. 20, the need to rapidly reschedule big meets was not as severe.
As of Monday, teams were still planning to hold divisional meets on Saturday which would keep them on schedule for the upcoming county and Metros championships. However, unlike private school leagues like the Washington Metropolitan Prep School Swim and Dive League, which has the flexibility to hold mid-week meets to account for winter weather, Montgomery County Public schools are heavily limited in their pool time, making it difficult to quickly reschedule a meet involving multiple schools. Six county teams lost meets scheduled for Jan. 30 while all teams were snowed out on Dec. 19.
“Unless there’s ridiculous amounts of snow on the ground Saturday morning, we’re still going,” Whitman Coach Geoff Schaefer said. “The beauty of the non-public school leagues is they can just say, ‘Hey, we’re going to have it at Prep,’ or, ‘We’re going to run this meet on a Thursday with timed finals at this place.’ They have a little bit more flexibility while the county is more strict about what they’re going to do and how they’re going to handle things.”
As for the missed dual meets, Schaefer favors a proposal put forth by Walter Johnson coach Jamie Grimes that would use the computer setup at Saturday’s divisional meets to create virtual swim meets. Since divisionals take the top three swimmers from each school for each event — just like dual meets — teams that had their dual meets canceled could score their times from divisionals against one another to determine who the winner likely would have been. Fitting in the dual meets is imperative for the county since they move the best team in each division up a level and the lowest ranked team down at the end of each season.
“Nothing has been decided yet officially,” Schaefer said. “But if they used a situation where everything was just run as virtual swim meets at divisionals, it would make things go a lot smoother with regards to completing the season. I think that’s the clear choice, but that’s my opinion.”
The WMPSSDL has yet to reschedule its postponed championship meet from last week. See the psych sheet here.
Update: Montgomery County Public Schools will remain closed through Friday and all school and community activities in school buildings are canceled, however no call has been made on Saturday’s meets as of late Tuesday afternoon. With the meets being held at county run facilities, the school closures will not necessarily inhibit the meets from taking place. Schaefer, whose Whitman team is set to host the Division I meet at the Montgomery Aquatic Center, expects the word to come late either way.
“They’re going to wait until the 10th hour,” he said of the county school officials decision on Saturday meets. “But right now, we’re still planning to host it. I told my team ‘Don’t go out of town,’ to make sure their parents didn’t plan a last minute trip up to Wisp or anything.”