1. There are already 100s of individual strokes, why not all four:
When you turned 9, there were no more 25s to race. When you turned 13, there were no more 50s (besides the 50 free) and no more 100 IM to race. As swimmers age up, they can no longer compete at these extremely short distances, it is what it is. However, all swimmers at all ages can swim 100s of stroke. Why take away the 100 IM? It is an exciting race for all ages and levels of swimmer, in addition to the fact that it gives beginners and non-IM’ers an opportunity to develop their IM skills at race pace.
2. Eliminates stroke advantage:
Unlike the other Individual Medley races, you only get 100 yards/meters to race. IM’ers have race strategies which reduce their exposure on their weakest stroke and maximize their opportunities on their main stroke. The 100 IM is a quick event that is over in the blink of an eye. There is no time to hide your weaknesses or maximize your strengths in the 100 IM. There is enough time in the 200 and 400 IM to pace yourself, to set yourself up, to make a move on your main stroke, but that is all taken away in the 100 IM. The race is too short to put strategy in to it; there is only enough time to focus on a fast tempo for 100 yards/meters. It’s an even playing field for the ultimate sprinters to duke it out!
3. The ultimate sprint event:
The sprinters we are all very familiar with are hardcore 50 and 100 freestylers, with occasional excellence in a 100 of stroke. Those are all excellent sprint events, testing speed, tempo, starts, turns, and natural talent and skill of a singular stroke. That’s just it though…those 100s are only one stroke. The 100 IM is the ultimate sprint event! It not only requires speed, but it also requires versatility and the ability to transition strokes. It requires everything that 100s of stroke require, but it tests them in quick transitions between all 4 strokes.
4. Underwaters and walls:
Sprint events don’t allow time for mistakes. They require excellent starts, turns, and under-waters. One slip could cost you the race. In sprint events, the start, turns, and under-waters play a more noticeably critical role than in longer events. The 100 IM provides another event that gives swimmers an opportunity to emphasize and focus on unique skill sets such as under-waters and walls, more so than many other, longer events. It’s another event that offers unique racing opportunities, why not add it to the line-up?
The 100 IM is a fun and unique event that should be added to official meet line-ups everywhere. It’s obvious that the 100 IM cannot be an Olympic event, but that’s okay! It has multiple purposes and benefits: it provides a fun, low-pressure racing opportunity for swimmers looking to mix it up; it provides the ultimate test of speed, versatility, and technique; and it would create more enthusiasm for the sport we love. The 100 IM is for the nostalgic swimmers looking back on their 12 & under selves. It’s for the sprinters who want to work on their other strokes. It’s for the IM’ers who need to work on tempo. It’s another opportunity to race that many swimmers would love to have!
Alright swimmers I have made my points, now it’s your turn…Discuss!
Contributor Elle Meinholz fell in love with swimming at an early age. Born and raised a Wisconsin girl, she pursued her lifelong dream of swimming as a Wisconsin Badger from 2009-2013. She graduated from Wisconsin with degrees in English and Communications. A year out of college and out of swimming, she is now a full-time Admission Counselor at the Milwaukee School of Engineering in Milwaukee, WI. She continues to fulfill her passion for swimming through high school coaching, writing, living vicariously through her younger sister, and getting in a couple thousand yards when time allows. (Twitter: @ElleMeinholz)