View Full Version : Distance events at state

January 14th, 2004, 10:54 PM
Iím not sure if people have seen or noticed the changes that have been made for the distance events (1000/1650) at the state meet. Here is the text from the entry form:

The 1000 will be swum 2 per lane Ö Swimmers requesting to swim the 1000 in a lane alone will be accommodated at the end of Fridayís heats as time permits and in the order that entries were received.

It seems to me that this represents more than just a procedural change. I think it also represents a change in philosophy (quantity of swims vs. quality of swims). Iím sure that you could guess how I feel about this change, but before I weigh in I wanted to see what other people think.

January 15th, 2004, 10:46 AM
I am really upset with the change. And, I can not stand to swim two to a lane. I may just skip it this year!

The problem is that people will not swim their entry times - some people will be minutes ahead of what they entered - and that is a lot of passing if the other lane mate does swim close to his/her entry time. Talk about a frustrating swim for either person.

There was a lot of complaining last year when people did not get into the 1650 at state. A lot of people were asking if they could swim two per lane (teammates who "didn't care" would offer) but the meet director left it as is - one person per lane and most of the standbys did not make it into heats. This sent some people into an uproar. They were outraged that they came early to sign up as an alternate, sat around all evening, and still could not swim. I did not see the problem in this - as it is an alternate list for a reason.

I am already giving Barrington a thumbs down and we still have two and a half months until the meet.

Matt S
January 15th, 2004, 01:51 PM
I agree with you that two to a lane is not optimal, but if the alternative is not letting some people swim the event at all, I would vote for 2 to a lane. I find the phrasing quantity vs. quality swims interesting. This strikes me a less threatening way for a faster swimmer to claim "I have a superior right to swim in this meet than a slower swimmer, and that the other person should not be allowed to swim because their presence bothers me." Without trying to reignite the NQT debate, I [ahem] disagree with that sentiment.

I do think that there is a broader issue here. Why if the meet becomes a victim of its own success and has more swimmers than anticipated, do the distance swimmers have to bear all the burden of keeping things within a timeline? Would reducing the number of events a swimmer can enter by one cut down on the splashes, and get things back on track? Has the meet grown to the point that it needs to be a two pool meet or it needs to add a half day to the proceedings? There are better ways to handle this than telling some distance people they can't swim their favorite event because it takes too long.

Having said all that, we all need to bear in mind that organizing a meet, especially one as good as Illinois State Masters, is a lot of hard work, and the organizers will have to make choices that will displease someone no matter what they do. Please give 'em the benefit of the doubt, bear with the choices they have made, and say thank you at the end. After all, they are volunteering their time so we can experience self-fulfillment through competition.


January 15th, 2004, 03:14 PM
What am i supposed to do? i enjoy swimming the longer distances and i am improving, yet i am slow. i do not want other swimmers to think that i am wasting their time. The reason i swim is that i like it and that i try to improve my times. i am never going to set a state recond. Should i forgo an event with limited entries so that no one can say that i took away a slot from a better swimmer? or should i just submit my entry and if the meet director thinks that my seed time is too slow he can contact me and tell me to forgetaboutit?

January 15th, 2004, 03:22 PM

Enter, of course. Speed is not relevant. If you want to swim the distance events at State, then you are just as much entitled to enter as Nadine Day would be (not picking on you Nadine, just using you as an example of someone who is just freaking fast in the water).

I don't look forward to swimming with another person in my lane as my stroke gets sloppy when I get tired and I could potentially hit the other person in crossing. USMS no longer allows more than 1 swimmer per lane at National events because of the potential for injury to the swimmer, but as far as I know, this is only a rule for National events and not local events.

I say enter away if you want to swim it!


January 15th, 2004, 08:19 PM
Let me start out by saying that I donít think that this has anything to do with fast swimmers vs. slow swimmers and Iím sorry if people took my comments that way. I think that it has everything to do with providing distance swimmers the same pool conditions and opportunities for their events that everyone else gets.

When you swim two to a lane you effectively are halving the lane size and taking out a lane line between swimmers. There is a reason that the best pools have wide lanes (7-8 ft.) and non-turbulent lane lines Ė to reduce the waves produced by one swimmer from interfering with the swimmer in the next lane. Also, there is the factor of the increased chance of hitting arms, either with the swimmer in your lane or the one in the lane next to you (who is also now hugging the lane line).

Shouldnít the distance swimmers who feel that these conditions may affect their race be given an equal opportunity to swim under the same pool conditions that everyone else gets for their race?

January 16th, 2004, 11:37 AM
I did not mean for my comments to be taken as slow vs. fast swimmers also. I think whoever signs up first should get to swim regardless of speed.

I do however hope that people will be more concious of entry times when we swim two per lane like this (i.e don't enter with a time of 18:30 when you will probably swim more like 14:30). And, I really encourage faster people not to enter with a NT - it is not very fair to a slower swimmer who will get lapped numerous times throughout the event. That is a lot of potential arm/hand slapping if you tend to have a sloppy stroke when you get tired! If people are unsure of their times, the best thing to do is to have someone time you in the event prior to entering. Obviously you will improve your time from now until the meet if you are training so some discrepancy cannot be helped.

I think a better idea - is to start the meet two hours earlier on Friday and accomodate more swimmers in the distance events.

January 17th, 2004, 04:00 PM
I'm one of those evil ;) people who always signs up early for the state meet. The only thing I can think of, maybe make people choose 1650/1000 *or* the 500, but not both. (I have gotten in both events the last three years.)

I can understand Matt K's point, from the other side. :) At my first state meet, I was the 9th fastest person for the early session. They seeded by heats, so I was in the same lane as the fastest person (Andy S.), who ended up lapping me about 5 times. If we have 2 to a lane, we should have people of similar speed in each lane (so they don't overlap), rather than combining two heats.

Robert Zeitner
January 21st, 2004, 10:01 AM
Any swimmer sho works out with a team probably does 90% of the workout swimming alongside other swimmers, without too many problems. Our team averages only about one hit every other week (6 workouts, 10 hours), and none serious.

I realize there are exceptions, as for example, swimming in a lane with another swimmer who has a wide-sweeping freestyle. But in practice, we work with these swimmers to develop a narrower and more efficient stroke.

I swam the one hour postal championship this month alongside another swimmer - who I should note, was substantially faster than I was - without a problem.

I actually believe that the 2 swimmers per lane works better with disparate swimmers, since the swimmers would not be doing flip turns or open turns at the wall at the same time.

Elizabeth, I don't think you should give up one of your favorite swims for this reason. I think you should sign up for the event, and also request a chance to swim one per lane. I am sure that the meet director should be able to accommodate some of you who prefer to swim one per lane.

January 21st, 2004, 10:43 AM
See, the thing is, 20 odd years ago I preferred to be 2nd in line when I was training for the reasons stated below.
This weekend I am taking part in the ASA 1/2 hour postal http://www.britishswimming.org/sports/masters/postal_03.pdf @ my local pool during regular club hours and because of the constraints of time we shall be swimming several to a lane.

This works fine for me because,
1) I get someone to chase,
2) I get to work harder.

Just because the majority prefer to be solitary does not mean we all do.


January 25th, 2004, 10:36 PM
I think that you guys have helped clarify for me what really bothers me about this change. To me a quality swim is not defined as swimming fast relative to other swimmers, but rather, swimming fast relative to your own potential on the day of the meet. There are a lot of things that you can do to maximize your chances of swimming up to your potential: eat right, get enough sleep, and be mentally and physically prepared for your races. The conditions of the pool are another factor in your chances of swimming up to your potential: deep pool, wide lanes, good lighting, good temperature, effective lane lines, etc. Swimming with two people in a lane affects the pool conditions as well as your mental focus during the race.

By making this change we are in effect saying that for the distance swimmers the opportunity to swim up to their potential is a secondary concern. This seems counter to what I feel is one of the tenets of masters swimming: to perform up to your own personal expectations and potential (regardless of how "fast" you are).

So what to do? The unfortunate reality is that due to time limitations, not everyone can be accommodated in the distance events. We should continue to encourage people who donít mind swimming two to a lane to double up in order to accommodate as many people as possible. However, I think that the fairest way to determine who can swim is the order that entries are received - regardless of lane preference, and, of course, regardless of entry time. There have been other good suggestions presented here (such as starting the meet earlier on Friday). I am hoping that the CMSA state meet committee will reevaluate their decision for future state meets.

January 27th, 2004, 06:36 PM
An option to consider is how New England Masters handles their championship meet (700+ swimmers). They run the 1000 and 1650 on Saturday the week prior to the remainder of the meet. (Swimmers are permitted to swim either the 1000 or the 1650, but not both) Additionally, swimmers who volunteer to swim the 1000 or 1650 freestyle in the shallow end of the pool with an in-water start receive a $2 entry fee credit. The Meet Director or Meet Referee also reserves the right to change seed times that are obviously incorrect and would result in grossly non-competitive heats. Entries without seed times are not accepted. As for the remainder of the meet that is spread over 3 days the following weekend (Friday - Sunday) with the 400 IM or the 500 free as the first event of each day.

The 400 IM is another issue... why are the 400 IMers forced to sit around all day (sometimes until 3 or 4 in the afternoon) in order to swim this event when the 500 free is always the first event on Sunday with the remainder of the events starting at 10? For those of you that know me, you know this is a huge pet peeve of mine. I've stopped swimming the event primarily because of it.