Spartans Aquatic Club Hosts Post-Coronavirus USA Swimming Sanctioned Meet

Spartans Aquatic Club Red vs. Gold Meet

  • July 10-July 12, 2020
  • SCY (25y)
  • Freeman Aquatic Center, Norcross, Georgia
  • Day 1 results (PDF)

The seal on the new world of competitive swimming in the United States has been broken. On Friday morning, Spartans Aquatics, based out of the Greater Atlanta Christian School in suburban Atlanta, Georgia, held what is believed to the first USA Swimming sanctioned meet in the Eastern US since the nation began reopening from the coronavirus pandemic.

USA swimming announced last month that they would sanction meets in July, but that times swum at those meets would not be allowed as qualifying standards beyond the LSC level.

The Spartans Aquatic Club, led by 11-time NCAA All-American Karl Krug, are taking advantage of the newly-loosened restrictions to run a sanctioned intrasquad meet this weekend.

Krug says that he received information from the Southern Zone that this was the first USA Swimming sanctioned meet in the Zone, and that the Eastern Zone has confirmed that it has also not had any other meets. Another scheduled to begin in nearby Macon, Georgia on Saturday.

Update: There was, however, a small sanctioned time trial held in Las Vegas by the Sandpipers swim team on Monday of this week. The Sandpipers are the home of US National Teamer Erica Sullivan, who didn’t participate in the time trial. Results for that meet are here.

Utah Valley Aquatics also hosted an intrasquad meet in Provo, Utah on Wednesday and Thursday of this week. Results for that event are on Meet Mobile under “BYUVRays July Intrasquad.”

Safety Protocols

Beginning on Friday, swimmers have been broken up into different sessions that follow limits of 50 people in the building at a time.

The club has been back in the water training since May 14, when restrictions in Georgia were eased allowing pools to reopen.

  • No more than 50 people in the building
  • No spectators allowed at this time, we are live streaming the meet for our families to watch.
  • We encourage all our athletes to wear a mask
  • Each person will be screened and their temperature will be taken at the door before they enter
  • Each swimmer is assigned a number around the pool that is 6 feet or more from others.
  • Swimmers stay at their numbers until given further instructions
  • 4 people per lane with at least 6 feet of distance
  • When a swimmer completes an event they wait until the last person finishes and then the entire heat will do 3 laps easy and exit the pool at the other end and report back to their number and designated area.
  • Once they have completed their events they will clean up their area and exit the building from the exit door located just off the pool deck.
  • Restrooms are limited to 1 person at a time with locker rooms closed until further notice.
  • All coaches, officials, and timers will wear a mask at all times while in the building.
  • After the session has been completed the staff will do a deep clean of the pool area and disinfect all frequently touched surfaces.

Results

Among the highlight swims of the first day of the meet was a 45.65 in the 100 yard free from Kamal Muhammad. Muhammad, who is entering his senior year of high school, announced 2 weeks ago that he would be taking a gap year and enrolling at Virginia in the fall of 2022 as their first commit in that class.

He swam a 45.65 in the 100 yard free on Friday morning, which is about a second short of his lifetime best of 44.58 in the event. His 45.65 is also the fastest he’s been outside of a championship meet (his previous non-championship best was in November of 2018 at 46.28).

He also swam 51.05 in the 100 back for 2nd place, which is a new lifetime best for him, undercutting his previous best of 51.38.

The winner of that 100 back was Peter Sacca in 50.47, which is a lifetime best for him as well. His previous best time of 51.75 was done at the Georgia Open in early February. Sacca is an uncommitted rising high school senior.

Other Highlights from Friday’s Swims:

  • Rising sophomore at Auburn Aidan Stoffle, who is back training in Georgia during the quarantine, swam 46.46 in the 100 free and 53.68 in the 100 back.
  • 12-year old Rakel Becraft improved her best time in the 100 free from a 1:08.04, done in January of 2019, to a 59.60 on Friday.
  • 16-year old Colton Mcgrady finished 3rd in the 100 free behind Muhammad and Stoffle in 46.99. That was two-tenths short of his lifetime best.

 

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Spartans Parent
2 years ago

My child swam this meet, and I was a timer as well. Not enough can be said about the thoroughness of the safety protocols and their execution. We have not taken our child to grocery stores, etc since this all started, but I’ve had complete comfort sending her to practices and this meet.

We chose this club not just because they had a fast program, but more because of the character of the staff and the culture they have built. They care about the kids as whole persons, and have approached the pandemic as an opportunity to show how to make the best of a bad situation by creatively and carefully looking for ways to give the kids the… Read more »

Anna Sutter
2 years ago

Karl and his staff have been nothing but exemplary throughout this whole process of allowing the kids to get back into the pool. The communication and the processes that have been put in place are spot on and the meet this weekend is following those same standards. No one is trying to minimize the seriousness of the pandemic but at some point we need to be able to move forward in safe responsible ways. Karl and his staff are doing that!

Jamie Reinhold
2 years ago

So proud of our kids and coaches. They’ve worked so hard under difficult circumstances. This should be happening everywhere. These age groups should not be treated the same as older groups.

Igor Vazhenin
2 years ago

Bravo Karl!

Swim Shady
2 years ago

honestly very fast swims considering the circumstances

Anonymous
Reply to  Swim Shady
2 years ago

Also curious with no locker rooms – they were swimming lifetime or near lifetime bests. Are they suited up? If so, did they change in their cars? I’ve been to this pool and know some of the team, and so impressed by the way they run their club.

ThatSwimKid
2 years ago

I’m not sure I agree with starting backup competition so early, though they may have lower cases in their county than what we are seeing (though Georgia seems high in numbers everyday). Seems slightly irresponsible on the part of the coaching staff. I agree with challenging the kids to compete but putting families at risk for the sake of competition puts a lot of pressure on people who do not necessarily feel comfortable being back in competition. I am well aware that the argument can be made that those families do not have to return if they don’t feel comfortable.

Not necessarily a bad idea competition wise, I just worry about the small clubs who are not able to… Read more »

Swimdad2020
Reply to  ThatSwimKid
2 years ago

I could not agree more! We are in the midst of a pandemic it seems the rush to be first is more important than the safety of everyone. Georgia cases are at an all time high but congrats on the fast times. First is not always best in my opinion.

NEWTOSWIMSWAM
Reply to  ThatSwimKid
2 years ago

It’s not a matter of too early or late. It’s a matter of returning to competition SAFELY! Their safety protocols seem very complete and, I’m sure, in compliance of local guidance and USA Swimming Return to Competition guidelines. Good for the team to provide an opportunity for their swimmers to have safe, fun and meet experience. Their times, although official, would not be used for any regional or national recognitions/selections anyway. Congratulations to the coaches and swimmers!

Jamie Reinhold
Reply to  NEWTOSWIMSWAM
2 years ago

They are meticulous with the protocols. This is a model to follow not to criticize. I know personally what the coaches are doing everyday. They are heroes. It’s safer than any other sport.

ZeeDad
Reply to  ThatSwimKid
2 years ago

I was there as a volunteer for the entire first day… I am not a fan of many of the unsafe practices that I see happening around the country (and esp in GA) , BUT I must say that what observed today was executed to near perfection from a safety perspective. The coaches and staff had no toleration for any safety violation. They were obsessive about cleaning/sanitizing. I felt safer at the meet than I do stopping to get gas or groceries It would be hard to do a meet of a larger size IMO, but this for a smaller club this was a great way get the swimmers back into some competition.

SwimSwam19
Reply to  ZeeDad
2 years ago

Getting gas at an outdoor gas station compared to 50 kids being around each other isn’t a comparison. Soo many kids are asymptomatic it doesn’t seem responsible at this point in time.

NEWTOSWIMSWAM
Reply to  SwimSwam19
2 years ago

Did you actually read the article and their safety guidelines? Going to grocery store has higher risk because you could be directly or indirectly exposed to different people every time you go; but in the case of small intrasquad meets, these are basically the same swimmers and coaches, who have been in contact for months.

Jamie Reinhold
Reply to  SwimSwam19
2 years ago

The kids are 6 feet apart swimming in disinfectant. Good grief. They’ve suffered enough.

HISWIMCOACH
Reply to  SwimSwam19
2 years ago

Completely false statement:
“So many kids are asymptomatic”

Based on your feelings? Quit spreading lies.

Anonymous
Reply to  ZeeDad
2 years ago

That’s awesome! I know in my area we wouldn’t have enough officials to run a meet – and the couple that are around are adamant that you can’t make them wear a mask. So, not only is most of the country short on officials, now we’re going to be in worse shape with a large population in the high risk category-and we have the officials who won’t wear a mask…smh

Jamie Reinhold
Reply to  ThatSwimKid
2 years ago

It’s the protocols that make it possible. My kids are there so I know. Kids are not at risk. They’ve waited long enough, lost so many opportunities, and needlessly suffered. Let them swim.

FLMamaof3
2 years ago

We (CVST) are scheduled to host one on Friday, July 17th in Tampa, FL. The kids can not wait. Our kids have been in the pool since May 4th for practice.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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