Clovis was my first, and so far, only, USMS Nats. Plenty of warm up and cool down space, even with Genadijus occupying a lane or two with his swim metrics testing. This was also the meet where FloSwimming videotaped every heat of every event.
“I love the smell of neoprene in the morning!”
I agree with the posts about locals driving attendance (generally), but the Arizona meets (unless you consider Southern Pacific "local") don't seem to match that trend. I wonder how much the 'vacation' / locale attractiveness drive attendance?
If I think back to my reasons for going to Clovis, for example, it was primarily to vacation in Yosemite.
The other interesting thing I note in the list is that, with all the swimming prowess at the USA swimming level in the mid-Atlantic, we have had no SCY Nationals in the DC to NYC area. I know there have been LCM nats in Baltimore and Rutgers, but wonder why an NYC area team/pool has never bid on an SCY Nationals? I imagine the Greensboro 'relative proximity' to the mid-Atlantic and northeast also drove those numbers higher.
Looking ahead to 2014, we have LCM Nationals back in the Mid-Atlantic, but they'll be 'competing' with Worlds in Montreal. I imagine Maryland Nationals will be more lightly attended, but Santa Clara for SCY should be large again (despite the pool being shallow and dated, IMHO ... storied and famous and I'll still be there, but there are better choices of pools in the SF area).
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Forgot to mention the amazing Gold Medal Sponsor spread at Clovis. One of the best!
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It might be the $$$ for hotels- gas & fees in this down economy. Other than that , it seems in line with other Indy meets. I'm gong, not that it makes much difference.
I've been to the NE SCM Zone meet twice, and I have to say that it is by far my best overall meet experience. Events have enough people that it is possible to do back-to-back and have some rest, yet you aren't stuck sitting around all day either (we wrapped up around 4-5pm). There are restaurants within 5 min walk from the pool, and if those aren't good enough you have 2 T stops about 5 min walk either direction from the pool (which also helps for getting from your hotel to pool, or like me getting from pool directly to Logan when you leave).
From the sounds of it, the Colonies Zone puts on similar fantastic meets that attract swimmers from that region.
I've only gone to 1 nationals, and I definitely did NOT like the mosh-pit warm-up conditions (the odd thing was the ASU Rec Center pool was wide open and just a 10 min walk away from the comp pool), nor did I like sitting outside baking in the sun waiting for what seemed like hours between events, that were running very behind. It also was a bit of a PITA to go until 7-8pm.
While I do like my team's meets, and try to do them if I'm in town, it is really tough to do well in multiple events when so few swimmers show up. They're more like timed workouts than meets; with the advantage you can show up at 7am and be home by 11am.
For me, it is more like a Goldilocks scenario...some are too big (and/or inconvenient where I'd need a car), some are too small, and others are just right
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