A note from Badger Parent Advocate, Mike Conaton:
The Senior Metropolitan Championships are the short course regional championships sanctioned by the Metropolitan Swimming division of US Swimming. Teams from Long Island, NYC, Westchester and surrounding counties compete at Lehman College this weekend. Only those swimmers who have made the difficult time standards may compete in the meet. The psych sheet (preliminary heat sheet) just came out and “Sr. Mets” as they’re known, looks to be another fast meet.
At last year’s meet there were over 10 former Olympic swimmers from several different countries in addition to the US. These swimmers happen to now live and train locally. This year looks to be no different . It is a very fast meet and fun to watch. Badger age groupers and their parents who want to learn from the best and watch fast swimming might consider going to the meet to watch.
Many professional and “post (college) graduate” swimmers will be competing at the meet. The New York Athletic Club will make their annual appearance with a team comprised entirely of professional and post grad swimmers aged in their 20s and 30s. I’ll never forget the kids’ first reaction to swimming against the “hairy men” with Olympic Rings tattooed on various parts of their bodies.
Badger will have its own contingent of post grad and professional swimmers. These are swimmers who represent Badger at local and national competitions and would not have an opportunity to train for the 2016 Olympics without Badger’s support – the Road to Rio! The Badger kids benefit greatly from the post grad swimmers’ tutelage and camaraderie at meets and special clinics held from time to time. The post grad swimmers add an invaluable dimension of experience and quality to the team that is a special feature of swimming at Badger.
As a parent, I’ll be honest that my first reaction was that these pros were taking spots away from the kids who deserved to make finals at Sr Mets. To Metro Swimming’s credit, in fact the consolation final at Sr. mets cannot include swimmers over a certain age to make sure more younger kids can have a chance to swim at night.
But I will tell you that I learned to admire the fact that so much high quality talent is swimming in a championship meet in our own backyard. You don’t have to travel to a Grand Prix or even make senior nationals to have that high of a level of competition for your kids to experience. I actually think we should embrace it and be proud of the level of swimming in our area.
Congratulations to the Badger swimmers who made Senior Mets cuts. Help your kids appreciate how special and beneficial it is to compete against the best of the best.