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View Full Version : Slower swimmers at Nationals



michael martin
May 22nd, 2002, 09:58 PM
I've noticed over the last 10 years that the slower swimmers (around my speed or slower) seem to be sitting out Nationals. Each year, at least in the breaststroke events, it seems to be only the super fast attend the meet. When I first started going to nationals, back in 1989, there seemed to be more of a mix of abilities. Now at least since 1997 it seems that only the big guns seem to compete on the National level. Pretty discouraging for us slower swimmers.

Matt S
May 30th, 2002, 02:28 PM
Michael,

I think it's a factor of people in our boat feeling intimidated by all the talent. I still chose to go to Nationals because I review all the reasons to go which are unrelated to where I place. First, I like to travel to new places and experience a meet there. Second, I like to see how fast the elite swimmers go, and it makes me feel more like a serious athlete to be in the same pool with them. (I still suffer from "Nationals envy" from my younger days when I could not make the qualifying time.) Third, Nationals are one of the few meets where having a good swim or bad swim will make a difference in where I place. Until recently, it was the ONLY meet where there were enough people in my age group and close enough to my ability to make that kind of a difference.

Having said that, I still find myself going to LC Nationals rather than SC. I am unusual in that I much prefer meter events to yards. Most USMS members feel differently, and the turn-out for SC Nationals is significantly higher. That typically means I have to swim my heart out to finish 38th out of 41 entrants. I know myself well enough to know that where I place in SC Nationals is not a fair measure of my ability. You have to have that attitude if you are going to attend without making an NQT. But, I still acknowledge that knowing I have no shot at even the top 30 may make a difference how often I attend Nationals and which one.

Matt

Ion Beza
June 13th, 2002, 09:18 PM
My motivation when being a slower competitor at Nationals in men ages 40 to 44, is to experience as a late starter in the sport, the exposure to qualities.

cinc3100
June 22nd, 2002, 11:56 AM
At least masters lets you compete if you are not that good of a swimmer at nationals. Regular USA Swimming you have to be very good to make either the Jr Nationals or Senior Nationals. Granted probably the better swimmers in masters who were good age group swimmers or made senior qualifying times when they were younger in either AAU or USA swimming have a been advantaged over competitiors who started later. But masters let's those that start later have a chance. Anyways, people are doing it because they want too. Sometimes, in regular USA swimming kids are pushed by their parents. I was pushed to do competitive swimming as a teengaer over 25 years ago. Now I have my own choice whether I want to compete or not.

Ion Beza
June 22nd, 2002, 07:30 PM
Originally posted by cinc310

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Granted probably the better swimmers in masters who were good age group swimmers or made senior qualifying times when they were younger in either AAU or USA swimming have a been advantaged over competitiors who started later.
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I agree.