Courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner.
The Madison Aquatic Club hosted the 2021 18 & Under Virtual Spring Championship at the Rec Plex in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, March 19-21, 2021.
MAC hosted the 18&U Spring Virtual Championships as a part of USA Swimming’s Spring 18&U Junior Virtual Meet initiative. MAC felt it was crucial to provide a long course prelim and final meet opportunity for swimmers coming off of Championship tapers and for those who didn’t get a chance to participate in meets this season due to the pandemic. For many of the teams participating in the meet, it was their first time competing in a meet in over a year.
The meet had 181 swimmers with a wide range of ability. MAC decided to loosen the original time standards to give more swimmers the opportunity to compete. It ended up being a very exciting event with four swimmers qualifying for Olympic Trials and others just narrowly missing the qualifying times. Not to be overlooked, there were multiple Futures cuts and many personal best times achieved over the weekend as well.
On day one of the meet, Maggie Papanicholas (PX3-WI) qualified for Olympic Trials in the 100 Breaststroke in prelims going 1:10.25 and bettered her time in finals going 1:10.08. Ellie Gewalt (PX3-WI) just missed qualifying for the Olympic Trials going 1:11.14. On the men’s side Max Iida (GSC-IL) also just missed qualifying for trials in the 100 Breast going 1:03.36.
On day two, Anna Boemer (SOLO-NE) qualified for Olympic Trials in the 100 Fly finishing in 1:00.64. Sophie Fiske (MAC-WI), Olympic Trials qualifier in the women’s 50 free, finished first in the event, just missing her best time and the trials qualifying standard, finishing in a 26.10. Max Iida (GSC-IL) went for his 100 Breast trial cut again in the first half of his 200 Breast and qualified with a time of 1:03.03.
On the final day of the meet, Sophie Fiske (MAC- WI) went for the 100 Freestyle trial cut going 56.79 – a lifetime best that just missed the trials standard by .50.
SOLO-NE took home the team championship at the end of the weekend. Overall the meet was a huge success! James Balcer from EventMCs.com provided announcing and DJ services including race-action commentary, which played a significant part in keeping the meet high-energy and exciting. The meet was streamed over PX3’s YouTube Channel and video services were provided by PX3. The spectator capacity was limited due to COVID restrictions, but thanks to the livestream and James’ commentary, viewers had a great experience watching the meet, even from outside the pool.
Just two weeks prior, Madison Aquatic Club came off of co-hosting the Wisconsin 13 & Over State Meet with the Pleasant Prairie Patriots, March 4-7, 2021. The Wisconsin 13 & Over State Meet had nearly 700 swimmers competing and was the largest meet run in the State since the pandemic. To accommodate everyone adequately, they divided the meet and teams into three prelim sessions and one combined final session, capped at 225 swimmers per session. The meet ran almost entirely paperless utilizing a online virtual scratch table and coaches app for continuous communication and results. In all, with over 17 sessions including time trials, the swimmers of Wisconsin were provided a great season-ending opportunity!
Madison Aquatic Club plans to make the Spring Long Course Championship an annual meet with a similar format open to all ages that qualify. College athletes will also be invited to attend. The meet will be sponsored by A3 Performance and is planned to be called the A3 Midwest Senior Championships.
A3 Performance is a SwimSwam partner.