Long Course Season

This last weekend we attended a Long Course swim meet in Fayetteville, Arkansas . . .

What was that? You want to know what Long Course is?

Oh, of course, I can explain . . . I think.

Swimming has no 'official' season, unlike football, basketball, soccer, baseball, etc. Swimming is all year round with a week break between long course and short course. That's it, only a couple of weeks off each year for swimmers.

So, long course is basically the longer pools of 50 meters, whereas short course takes place on pools of 25 meters distant. Olympic pools are 50 meters and most school pools are shorter at 25 meters. I won't get into the 25 yards vs 25 meters thing because I really don't understand it myself other than some pools are measured in yards instead of meters. It isn't much, but here's the conversion:

25 meters = 27.3 yards 

When kids go from short course to long course, they are used to relatively short swimming distances before they hit the wall to turn. It doesn't seem to take as much out of them. When they start long course, there is double the length they are used to swimming before they turn.

In other words, it messes with their minds. Rightfully so, it looks intimidating.

Anyhoo, we drove the two hours to Fayetteville, and I must say that I would NOT have a problem with my kidlet attending college there. It's a beautiful campus in the middle of rolling hills, not far from some state parks and the mountains.

FYI: We're talking Oklahoma/Arkansas mountains, not the Colorado Rockies.

This was the University of Arkansas's pool.

--in fact, her old swim teacher graduated from UA and I texted her with updates after each swim.

We sat up in the upper deck of the bleachers, so the view was wonderful. Right about where it drops off for the high dive and turns deeper blue. The only problem was that the second timer board wasn't working, so we timed the kidlet with our Ipad.

Her coach signed her up for:

100 m freestyle
200 m IM (individual medley)
100 m breast stroke
50 m butterfly

Since she had never swum this length before, she was untimed (NT). Considering it was her first time to do this distance, she did pretty well for her age. She didn't quite make the 'B' standards for any of these events, but she was only a few seconds off that criteria which would put her in the middle of the pack when she's seeded for her next event.

As her old coach said, "Good position to improve time with future races and keep motivated."

So . . . we signed her up for another meet in two weeks. We would have waited longer until the meet here in Tulsa, but she's camping that weekend.

Later, Peeps!


Jody Werner said...

I can't believe you didn't just buy her a pony :)

M. A. Golla said...

Well, Jods, there is that alternative,I suppose.

Margaret (another swim mom/horse owner) and I laugh about the other swim parents complaining how expensive swim meets are.

Let's do a little of the math.

Swim suit = $60
swim cap = $10
entries = $3.50 (max. 4 for <12 year olds per 4 hour period-USAS rules)
USAS dues = $53/year
coach fees = split btwn ALL swim team competitors = varies

I think that's it. I just checked the bill for this meet-- $45.

This isn't counting the gasoline for the drive or added food expense, but we would have probably eaten out anyway.

It's been too long since I did a schooling show, but I'd guess it would cost AT LEAST 10x that amount.

Jody Werner said...

A one-week A rated show is easily $2000 and up. That's if you stay in town. Add longer distance hauling, hotels for and your share of your trainer's expenses, gas, food, etc and you're up near $3k.

Yeah, swim moms got no idea!

Jody Werner said...

Oh, and my biggest expense for a single-week horse show ever? $5,000.

M. A. Golla said...

Yep, that's about what I expected. Horse shows haven't gotten any cheaper!

Jody Werner said...

And all the surrounding expenses have gotten inflated as well - $500 for a helmet, $300 for breeches, $600 for a coat, $1,000 for boots.....!!!

Let's not even talk about board, lessons and vet bills!

Twisted Sister said...

Awesome for the kidlet!

M. A. Golla said...

Yeah, Jods, swimming is supremely cheap when compared to horses.

Thanks, Meg! Though I am wondering if the competitor in her will awaken in the near future.