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Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine

07/19/14: Baystate Games Day 1

Rating: 3 votes, 5.00 average.
Just back from Springfield College in Massachusetts for the first day of the 2014 Baystate Games , my first LCM meet! I swam lcm once or twice last year with Brent and then the year before that with Tom in the Philly area; otherwise, I have never been in lcm. The meet is set up with the kids swimming the in the morning to make finals, but the masters (19-34, 35-49, 50+) swam timed finals of mixed events after the kids heats. 6 lanes with no separate warmup lanes. GregJS decided (after some arm turning by his coach) to give the meet a try, so I met up at his place and we carpooled down.

Noon warmups and a 12:30 start for the 400 Free; I got in 1000m. Greg did not want to do this, but since there was a flat registration fee entitling one to swim up to 4 events on the weekend, he did it and held a comfortable pace throughout. I was in the final heat and missed the opportunity to warmup, feeling stiff through the first 200. I was pleased with a 5:15 final time.

Then there was a break in the action and we wandered around to the basketball area and concession stand before relaxing on a bench outside the pool. We headed in to evening warmups about 20 minutes after the 3:30 opening before the 4:30 start (did 700m). 400 IM for masters was first, and I finished at 5:57. With no easy swimming, I took Greg's advice of some easy stretching under a hot shower.

I watched Greg swim an inspiring 100 breast, which I will let him describe. I then splashed in for the 100 back and cranked out a 1:09.42 I felt like I had a great start and 10 sdk's before settling into a strong first half; then 10 skd's before motoring back.

The last event of the night was the 50 free, and I watched Greg sneak under :30 in a beautiful swim. I was in the last heat and flubbed the start a bit but ended up with a 28.31, a great swim for me. I wanted to take just one breath, but after all of that swimming on the day I ended up taking three. I then did an easy 150 warmdown, totaling 2800 meters on the day.

Here is a shot of the pool (Art Linkletter Natatorium):

Great swag for swimmers: tee-shirt and latex cap for all, and medals for placing 1-3 as well as a windbreaker (per person) if you finish 1-4. I ended the day with two golds and two silvers, and Greg brought home two three bronzes! We decided to just swim the one day, so tomorrow the competetion continues without us. It was a neat format with the kids and masters swimming together, and as always it was fun to connect with my swim buddies in the area as well as make some new connections.

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Updated July 8th, 2015 at 09:22 AM by rxleakem

Tags: baystate, lcm
Masters Swim Meets / Events


  1. aztimm's Avatar
    Great job with that meet!
    Certainly sounds like some great swimming.
    That pool doesn't sound too nice though, only 6 lanes? doesn't look like much space on the sides either. well I'm used to convertible pools, where they can go from LCM to SCY.
  2. GregJS's Avatar
    Correction: I held an intensely UNcomfortable pace throughout the 400. (Hmm, maybe my soreness and stiffness was due to all that arm twisting?)

    As for the 100 breast, I have great news for all frogs out there. Never mind Cameron Van Der Burgh's extra SDKs that he sneaked in at the start of his WR Olympic race, I took an entire extra stroke in my pullout off the blocks and didn't get DQ'd. Apparently that's legal now - at least if you do it because you're fixing the goggles that slid down your face on the dive, and if you then swim the rest of the race blind because your goggles are full of water. (Take home lesson of the day: putting goggles back on face = not a good choice of how to spend time during a race.)

    Still, in spite of some physical challenges and equipment malfunctions, it was a very fun day and I really enjoyed watching the many excellent swims, not the least of which were your 400IM (very smart swimming, the way you conserved energy with the long glides on the fly while still keeping up a great pace) and the blazing but smooth-as-ever 100 back. Congrats on a great day of racing.

    And yes, they were quite generous with the swag. This jacket is already coming in handy with the cooler nights we've been having.

    FYI aztimm, the Springfield College pool is also convertible, having a moving bulkhead. It's where (back in the 70's-80's) we had our end of season age-group SCY championships every year. Haven't been back since. But you're right about not much space on the sides - although I remembered it being way bigger, so it was a real surprise to see how small it looked 30 years later.