Swim Season Starts with Overcast Time Trials

Heather Jauquet

A Perfect Way to Celebrate Swim Leagues Reopening for the Summer

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Pool before a swim meetHeather Jauquet/Author

Parents and swimmers dragged themselves out of bed on an early Saturday morning and made their way to the pool deck. Underneath an overcast day, hundreds of swimmers around Montgomery County began their warm-ups as their coaches yelled, “Go!” Reps handed out stopwatches, parents put up backstroke flags, clerks began running through their rosters and meet lineup. Over the buzz and flash of the starter, it can mean only one thing…the beginning of Montgomery County’s Swim League’s summer season.

After missing last season due to the pandemic and COVID-19 restrictions, swimmers gathered on the pool deck on Saturday morning adorned in their swimsuits, goggles, and calls for, “Can you cap me?”  

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Flower Hill swimmer swimming backstrokeHeather Jauquet/Author

You could feel a hum of excitement as families, friends, and friendly competitors met for the start of the MCSL swim season. Upon walking onto the deck for the first time with outstretched arms and a wide smile, Gisela Morales-Colón, a Flower Hill Dolphins Swim Team mom asks, “Doesn’t it feel great to be back to normal?” This is what it feels like to reopen for the season. 

While summer swim teams begin practicing on the day after Memorial Day, the season starts much earlier in the year for team reps and board members. This year was in flux as proposals were made to keep swimmers and their families safe during practices and competitions. Individual teams made plans to limit swimmers, spectators, and forgoing concessions. 

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Sign greeting swimmers at the entrance of the poolHeather Jauquet/Author

However, that changed when the Montgomery County Swim League lifted all of the COVID-19 protocols that were previously in place for the 2021 swim season just mere days before swimmers and coaches met for their first practice. When Montgomery County entered Phase 3, MCSL could relax some of the safety provisions put in place for outdoor sporting events. 

After much deliberation, the MCSL Board has removed all of our COVID-19 protocols for the 2021 swim season. We took into consideration the current CDC guidelines, Maryland state COVID policy, and the fact that Montgomery County will be entering Phase 3 of the COVID policy on May 28th which removes all restrictions on outdoor sporting events. We have confirmed with county officials that we no longer need the COVID waiver.—MCSL Board 

While there are no longer COVID-19 protocols in place, teams are asked to work together with safety in mind as “pools and HOAs may have their own capacity restrictions.” This year while “A” meets will run as they have in the past, teams can opt for a virtual meet. 

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Swimmers swimming breaststroke during a dual meetHeather Jauquet/Author

Last year MCSL canceled the season in light of the pandemic. In a concession to seniors who missed the 2020 season, a change in the order of events is allowing 19 years old to swim this year in their own event.  

Keeping in mind that many of the younger swimmers will not be vaccinated, anyone who is coming in close contact with any swimmer is encouraged to wear a mask and practice social distancing as much as possible. 

While the season is modified with no Relay Carnivals or All-Star relays, and Divisionals will run as a trio of dual meets for each division, swimmers and families are happy to be back on the pool deck and a sense of normalcy to their summer routines. 

A normal swim season is the best way to spend my summer after this long pandemic. It's great to see how much the kids have grown in almost 2 years, and it's clear that everyone is excited to be back. --Anna Mayer, Assistant Coach for the Flower Hill Dolphins

Time Trials bring the official start of the swim season and is the perfect reopening for a summer spent on the pool deck with goggle outlines, tan lines, and personal best ribbons as souvenirs of a time well spent.  

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Rep and Coach observing an event in 2018Valerie Mayer/Flower Hill Swim Team Photographer

Assistant Coach for the Flower Hill Dolphins, Anna Mayer reflects on the reopening of the summer swim teams, “A normal swim season is the best way to spend my summer after this long pandemic. It’s great to see how much the kids have grown in almost 2 years, and it’s clear that everyone is excited to be back.”

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Swim meets signs cheering on swimmersHeather Jauquet/Author

No swim season is complete without the plethora of volunteers who help keep things running through sunny days and cold overcast days while their swimmers compete to place in the meet or to drop the most time in their event.  

Dual meets this Saturday mark the official start of the competitive swim season.  

It’s good to be back. Hello, Summer Swim Team, we’ve missed you.

#reopening

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Certified educator K-12 and Reading Specialist with a focus on the adolescent brain. I write about how educational decisions affect parents, students, and staff. As an educator and parent I also focus on community events for the whole family.

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