USMS National Pool Distance Meet

It was a beautiful, sunny weekend on Feb. 19 and 20, centered between two storms. The SaddleBrooke Swim Club sponsored the National Pool Distance Meet at the Oro Valley Aquatic Center. It is a challenging meet, with a 1,650-yard swim Saturday morning followed by a 1,000-yard swim in the afternoon. The next morning, there was just one event, and it was a 1,500-meter swim after the lanes were changed into 50 meters.

This special meet was organized by Doug Springer, past coach of the SaddleBrooke Swim Club, and Jack Allison, a longtime member of the swim team. The first long distance meet was started in 2017 with only 38 swimmers, mainly local swimmers. The two following years, the meet attracted more interested swimmers. 2020 was all set to go until COVID hit just days before the event, and the event had to be canceled. 2021 was also put on hold due to COVID. This year, swimmers were ready for some fun as 83 swimmers, ranging in age from 28 to 81 years, competed hard in their age groups. They came from as far away as Pennsylvania, New York, Florida, Tennessee, California, and two from Michigan who flew in Friday night and out Sunday night. Comments included how lucky they were to get out of the cold and snow and come to sunny Arizona; what a beautiful pool to swim in right below the beautiful view of Pusch Ridge, and everyone is so friendly.

Everyone who swam was so impressed that the word will spread, and next year’s event will be all the more popular. We had 26 swimmers from the Arizona Masters group—12 were SaddleBrooke Swim Club members. They all demonstrated that serious training paid off. The support staff, including organizers, clock managers, starters, timers, lap counters, and food/drink servers—mostly all SaddleBrooke Swim Team members and spouses—made a generous contribution of their time that helped make the meet a big success!