The Newton Nitros participate in swim meets year around. Swim meets are usually on weekends, with the majority of the events held on Saturday and Sunday. Swimmers should plan to attend 2-3 meets per season, but could attend as many as 4-5 per season, in addition to championship meets.
The four competitive strokes are (1) freestyle, (2) backstroke, (3) breaststroke, and (4) butterfly. Events are held in all of the competitive strokes at varying distances depending on the age-group of the swimmer. In addition, there is a combination of the strokes swum by one swimmer called the individual medley. Other swimming events include relays, which are a group of four swimmers who either all swim freestyle (freestyle relay) or each swim one of the competitive strokes in the order of backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle (medley relay).
The swim year is divided into two seasons; Short Course (25 yard course) and Long Course (50 meter course). Our team utilizes 2 “short course”seasons for competitive purposes. The first one starts right after Labor Day and runs from early-September to mid-December. The second will start in January and run through early-March. The summer, or “long course”, season runs from April to mid-August. Summer meets are generally held outdoors and would be swum in an Olympic size pool.
Levels Of Achievement
There are seven different age group classifications recognized by United State Swimming (the governing body of the sport): 8-Under, 10-Under, 11-12, 13-14, 15-16, 17-18, and Senior. The Senior classification includes any age registered swimmer who has achieved the prescribed qualifying time for the event. Not all age group classifications are offered at every swim meet. The swimmers age on the first day of a meet will govern the swimmers age for the entire meet.
Within each age-group there are different nationally recognized levels of achievement based on times. All swimmers begin as “C” swimmers. As they improve, they advance from “C”, to “B”, “BB”, “A”, “AA”, “AAA”, and ultimately “AAAA”. The times required for each ability level are published each year by United States Swimming. This permits fair, yet challenging, competition on all levels.
In some cases, a swimmer may be in a different class in each stroke. An example: a “C” breaststroke time, a “B” freestyle time, and an “AA” backstroke time.
Some swim meets set certain qualification standards. In order to swim in a certain classification, a swimmer must have achieved the qualifying time for that particular classification.
Swim Meet Entries
Meet information is located on the Missouri Valley web site and on the team website under schedules. The coach will post meet entries prior to the meet, also on the website. Personal invitations will be sent to each family when a swimmer is invited to attend a certain meet. Talk to the coach about any concerns before the entries are due. The fees will be added to your bill.
Before the Meet Starts
Arrive at the pool at least 10 minutes before the scheduled warm-up time. The warm up times and pool location will be posted on the website when they are available to the coach.
Upon arrival, find a place to put your swimmer’s blankets, swim bags and/or sleeping bags. The team usually sits in one place together, so look for some familiar faces. Swim meets can get crowded, so make sure that you give your swimmer plenty of time to get situated and relaxed before the warm-ups start.
Swimmers need to check in with the coach upon arrival.
Psyche/heat sheets are available to review what events your swimmer is entered in. It is not necessary to purchase one but can be very helpful to a new swimmer and parents.
After warm-up, your swimmer will go back to the area where his/her towels are and sit there until the event is called. The meet will usually start about 10-15 minutes after warm-ups are over. This is a good time to make sure he/she goes to the bathroom if necessary, gets a drink, or just gets settled in.
Relax! Swim meets seem very unorganized at first but usually run very smoothly. There will be other Swim Newton parents available to answer any last minute questions you may have.
It is important for the swimmer to know what event numbers he/she is swimming. These events are listed on the meet entries. He/she may swim right away after warm-up or they may have to wait awhile.
Report to the coach prior to your event being called. Listen to any reminders or tips the coach may have for you before your race. The swimmer should know assigned heat and lane before leaving the coach.
A swimmer’s event number will be called, usually over the loudspeaker. The swimmers are to wait behind the lane paying attention to what event and heat is taking place. Swimmers should report with his/her cap and goggle.
When the heat arrives, there will be a broken whistle calling the heat to the block followed by a long unbroken whistle calling the heat to step up on the blocks. Listen for the starter’s command of “take your mark”. At this time, the swimmer needs to get set into his starting position and do not move until the “go” beep sounds.
The swimmer swims their race.
After each swim, the swimmer is to go directly to the coach and listen to the post-race evaluation.
When a swimmer has completed all of his/her events, he/she and their parents get to go home. Swimmers should check with the coach before leaving to make sure they are not needed for anything else.
What to Take To the Meet
Swim bag, goggles, towels, water bottle, Swim Newton team suit and cap, deck shoes, pillow, blanket, misc items for in-between events (books, cards, electronic games, homework, etc.). Swimmers may also bring a cooler of healthy snacks and sports drinks. Bring warm clothes such as sweat pants and sweat shirts for after the swim.
Bring your swimmer, money for heat sheets, snacks, lawn chairs, black permanent marker, cameras, books, magazine, or anything else you need to pass the time at the swim meet.