Twenty swimmers from around the province traveled to Tucson, AZ, for the 2016 Southwest Classic, hosted by Ford Dealers Aquatics at the University of Arizona. Our group of swimmers represented very well, finishing in second place in team standings, after the host club.
The meet was significantly smaller than in past years, given that it was moved a few weeks earlier so it wouldn’t be in close proximity to US Olympic Trials. With the meet being on our Victoria Day weekend, it fell right on top of US high school finals and grad weekends, and thus, particularly on Thursday - Friday, there wasn’t a whole lot of depth in some events.
With that said, though, there were some events (particularly the shorter events) that did have some top-notch competition, with the University of Arizona varsity swimmers and the professional Ford Aquatics squad representing well in those events.
The feedback from the swimmers was very positive - many had attended last year and had been looking forward to it again this year; even though the competition wasn’t as deep, they certainly appeared to relish the competition as well as the social element of this experience.
With the other coaches - Rod Barratt (UVPCS) and Brian Metcalfe (LOSC) - we had set a target for the swimmer to have them be somewhere around 2% of their PBs in prelims swims and seeing if they can move that forward in finals. While not everyone hit on every swim, the effort put forward and performance levels in a significant majority of the swims was on-target.
In debriefing with the coaches after the meet, we all agreed that the meet served a very useful and beneficial purpose for these swimmers, whether for the experience of racing in uncomfortable climate (sunshine, outdoors, heat, near-zero humidity), working with a new coach, or simply to have been a motivational goal for the swimmer through the winter.
The meet results are in Meet Mobile (search for 2016 SW Classic) and also available here.