After an extended layoff and nine months of club swimming indoors around the area, the summer swim season is set to begin this weekend and teams across the region are preparing for their opening meets.
It’s commonplace for community pools to hold pasta dinners and pep rallies on Friday nights and those surely will begin tonight as the 2010 summer season finally gets underway.
To this point, swimmers have had to settle for time trials – which provides an indication for how far they’ve come from last season, both for swimmers who compete year-round and those who only swim in the summer.
But tomorrow teams will get a chance to compete against each other and that provides the first glimpse of how pools will stack up against each other in leagues from Prince William to Howard county.
“Everyone wants to see how they’re going to shake down in a division and the first meet is an indication of that,” said Stonegate Coach Brian Cheng. “And when scores come out you can see how you match up against the rest of the teams. A lot is unknown before the first week and after the first week you learn a lot about your team and your divison.”
For swimmers, it’s a chance to have a little fun – a welcome break from the grinding training of the club season. Many of the swimmers who take part in summer swimming are in the midst of long-course season and the sprint-style of summer leagues are a welcome opportunity to race.
“It’s going to be fun, it’s just a sprint league so you get to go in and have some fun and don’t have to worry about warming up as much,” said Georgetown Prep All-Met Jonathan Ekstrom, who swims for Rock Creek. “You just get in, have some fun and go back home to sleep.”
While the swimmers and coaches are excited about gauging their progress and their standing for the season, many also said that it’s not necessarily about the results. Teams also look forward to the atmosphere of the early-morning meets and the rivalries of the community pools.
“We’re really excited for it, Tilden Woods is a very good team, they’re so much fun to swim against they have so much spirit and they are one of our favorite teams in the A division,” said All-Met swimmer Sarah Haase, who coaches and swims for Flower Valley. “We’re going into the meet with a positive attitude, everyone is really excited to swim because we’ve just had time trials. We have a good idea of where we should be, and we are in it to have fun and have good season.”