The Mission Viejo Nadadores, under the watch of head coach Mark Schubert, made a return to practice on Friday after a month and a half out of the water due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Schubert and the club were given the go-ahead to practice by the city of Mission Viejo and USA Swimming as long as they adhere to strict social distancing guidelines.
USA Swimming says that they “do not prohibit practice at this time, but if teams conduct practice, they must follow all local, state, and federal public health guidelines.”
Schubert, who has coached at seven Olympic Games and returned to coach at Mission Viejo in 2016 (after serving from 1972-1985), provided SwimSwam with all of the rules and guidelines the Nadadores are following in their return to practice at the Marguerite Aquatics Complex.
Mission Viejo’s return comes in conjunction with USA Swimming releasing a set of guidelines for reopening facilities.
MISSION VIEJO RULES AND GUIDELINES
- Swimmers arrive 15 minutes early for practice (2:45 pm or 4:45 pm).
- After leaving their respective cars, athletes walk in separately, 10 feet apart.
- Parents stay in their cars, and do not enter the pool gate. Athletes only.
- Athletes arrive at the pool prepared to swim. No locker-rooms, showering or deck changing. Athletes are to wear their suit to the pool.
- Athletes enter the 50m pool deck at the swim school end, depart at the dive pool end.
- Athletes immediately report to their assigned lanes and put their belongings at the end of the lane near the fence.
- One swimmer per lane. Swimmers must stay and swim in the center of the lane (six feet apart)
- Locker rooms will remain locked. If swimmers use the swim school toilets they must clean it thoroughly following use.
- Depart the practice immediately before the next group arrives.
- Athletes cannot loiter in the parking lot at MAC.
- Parents must be ready to pick athletes up as soon as practice finishes.
- Athletes must exit ten feet apart.
- Swimmers that do not follow these rules will be removed from the group.
They’re swimming in the pool short course, so they can swim 18 at a time with 1-per-lane. So far, the program’s elite athletes are the ones back in the water.
With the release of the USA Swimming document, we will likely see clubs across the United States slowly make a return to the pool over the coming weeks while adhering to all applicable guidelines.
The Nadadores are one of the most historic swimming clubs in the United States and the world. Formed in 1968, the Nadadores have 47 team national championships, 12 Olympic gold medals, 7 Olympic silver medals, and 1 Olympic bronze medal. Its swimmers have broken 91 American Records and 22 World Records.
In 1976, the Nadadores sent 6 swimmers to the Olympic Games in Montreal: Shirley Babashoff, Brian Goodell, Maryanne Graham, Nicole Kramer, Casey Converse, and Marcia Morley.
Goodell, who won the 400 and 1500 freestyles at those 1976 Olympic Games, is crucial in this story: Goodell is the mayor of Mission Viejo. In March, as the country was shutting down while coronavirus spread, Goodell activated city staff to help the Nadadores and the newly-renovated Marguerite Aquatic Center take over hosting duties of a Junior Olympics meet. That meet was eventually cancelled.