By Reach for the Wall Staff Writers.
As many of you know, the USA Swimming “swim calendar year” runs from September 1 to August 31 and is divided into two seasons: the short course season (swum in 25 yard pools) and the long course season (swum in 50 meter pools).
Short course season for PVS swimmers is anything but short. After a quick break in August, most swimmers are back in the pool before school starts. The first short course meet generally is in October and the culmination of the season is in late March or early April. While there is not much in the way of breaks in the swim schedule, short course is a pretty calm season. Most age group swimmers participate in one meet a month, including an invitational meet in December and a championship meet (or two or more) in March and early April. High school swimming adds another layer that we will delve into this Fall.
Short course season now has ended and long course season has officially begun in PVS. But, before we completely move from the short course to the long course season, we want to recognize the PVS swimmers who made the “top times” lists for Potomac Valley Swimming, Eastern Zone and USA Swimming for the short course season. That is, these three organizations constantly update the following “top times” lists throughout the year to recognize top male and female swimmers (and relays) by age for both the short course and long course seasons, and have produced (nearly) final lists for the short course season:
Congratulations to those PVS swimmers who appear on one or more of these lists! These are tough lists to get on, and doing so reflects lots of hard work and dedication.
While the short course lists above likely will not change much between now and August 31, the long course lists will evolve lots over the next four months since we are at the beginning of the long course season. We will publish the final PVS, Eastern Zone and USA Swimming short course and long course lists at the end of August when these lists are finalized in order to recognize the athletes who made these lists.
A few things to note on these lists:
- The PVS swimmers are indicated on the USA Swimming and Eastern Zone list by “PV” under the LSC heading.
- The lists are based on the swimmer’s age at the time of the swim.
- The USA Swimming List is called the Top 10 but actually highlights the Top 20.
- Potomac Valley is the only organization of the three to highlight swimmers 10 and under (in a later article, we’ll explain why USA Swimming and the Eastern Zone does not recognize swimmers until they are 11 years old).
- The time frame for each year’s recognition is September 1st through August 31st of the following year. Lists are compiled and checked in the fall and the final list prepared and announced prior to the end of the year.
Note also that USA Swimming maintains an All-Time Top 100 list, which also includes a number of PVS swimmers.
These lists are part of USA Swimming’s National Age Group Recognition Program, which seeks to motivate and recognize top age group swimmers. All times submitted to USA Swimming from sanctioned, approved or observed competition are eligible for consideration in this program. The swimmer must have been a registered member of USA Swimming at the time of the swim to qualify under the program.
Swimmers who are in the Top 10 in an event at the end of the season will be awarded a certificate for their accomplishments. Certificates are distributed for both short course yard and long course meter events. Those who earned the top spot in their event will receive a special momento.
In addition to individual events, age group swimmers can qualify for the Top 10 list in relays using standard age group definitions (i.e., ages 11-12, 13-14, and 15-18). A club may only have one relay team listed in an event unless the other team or teams are composed only of swimmers not listed on the first.