I always check the pool records board at local swim clubs when I photograph a meet.
This past July I was at North Creek Swim Club in Montgomery Village and saw a pool record from 1994. It was still standing 22 years later as swum by Katie Brown from Flower Valley for the Girls 11-12 50M Breaststroke (@ 38.24 sec), she also owns the 13-14 50 M Breaststroke at that pool too. I know Katie and recently saw her and met her fiancé in Charleston, SC this past March at the Patrick Jennings wedding. I sent the photo of the pool record board to her dad Lannie, living in West Chester, PA who wrote back and said that Katie would be glad to know that her times are still out there somewhere and that “the Haas girl erased everything Katie had at Flower Valley and Good Counsel”. Good times.
Why bring this up now you might ask?
Good times could be Auld Lang syne, as in farewell to those good summer memories. Nah! It’s all about the reality of dreams.
Blame it on Katie Brown’s record. It got me thinking of records and good times. Broken. Standing.
Sunday, July 31st at the start of the Montgomery County Swim League (MCSL) All Star meet the overflow crowd at the outdoor Rockville Swim Center was reminded how special this event, that pool and the league was – because two of MoCo’s best were in the 2016 Olympics, they started in MCSL league competition and set records at this pool. Of course those two are Katie Ledecky and Jack Conger.
The Olympics begin this week. The craziness that surrounds swimming and our local talent which is on display.
But wait! Before you buy all that stuff – there is more.
I look at meet/pool records. So fact checkers get ready to check me out. Currently Ledecky and Conger hold only nine MCSL All Star/Pool records between them: three for Ledecky and six for Conger out of a possible 45 individual swim events. This includes both Individual All Stars and the Long Course Meet held at Rockville Swim Center. There must be a lot of good swimmers out there in MoCo to fill in the other 36 events.
Ledecky’s name only appeared once as a record holder in this years MCSL All Star individual program – in the Women’s 15-18 100 Meter Individual Medley (IM) set in 2014, two years after her Olympic gold. Now, on the MCSL horizon, there is an upstart by the name of Phoebe Bacon who is setting records (read that as breaking records) as she passes through all the age groups. At last count she has nine individual MCSL All Star records. She swam this past season in the 13-14 age group and will shortly age up.
Apples and Oranges you say.
Bacon looks to be a sprinter, Ledecky a distance swimmer who also holds two long course records from 2011 in that 15-18 age group.
However, I say it’s neither apples nor oranges. Because it is too soon to tell what the future holds for the upstart – but oh my, she is rewriting records – breaking all that lies before her while setting sights on the ones to be measured by in the 15-18 age group.
Conger. He now holds three MCSL individual all star records and three long course records. The upstart for MCSL’s boy/men’s category is Brett Feyerick who currently holds five individual all star records and he like Phoebe Bacon is in the 13-14 age group. Same story line applies – it’s way too soon to make predictions but records here are meant to be broken.
Oh, by the way those are but two of the up and coming swimmers in the county – there are others such as Caroline McTaggart, Eli Fouts, David Fitch, Guilia Baroldi, and Olivia French just to name a few.
Swimming is a life sport. Meaning that it does not end at the Olympics or high school or in the neighborhood pool. Master swimmers for example practice everywhere as do the coaches who teach older participants and newcomers alike how to be healthy and maybe even help to improve a stroke or turn and drop their time. Good times.
For the lucky few youth it might mean a university scholarship or an invite to the Olympic trials. Underneath all is the time expended to perfect a stroke, to improve, to dedicate oneself or endure practice and then to even dream of what it would be like, if.
More impressive though is the give back by the older club swimmers as big brothers and sisters to those who are just starting out in the pool. Seeing first hand an Olympian up close and for them to touch, talk or just be around someone who made records can be the stuff that dreams are made of.
Years ago in the mid 90’s gold medal Olympian (1992) Mike Barrowman from Montgomery Square/Copenhaver Swim Club, a MCSL team club, visited the Quince Orchard Swim Club to talk (inspire) to the local club. The scene was electric – from the youngest to the oldest amongst them and the parents too listened as Mike talked swimming – not about his records, or medal, but about team. In their eyes they could envision someday the same.
So during the upcoming Olympic swimming events pay attention to our local Olympians, cheer them on, forget their records and dare I say to MCSL swim parents, pay more attention to what dreams are inspired in your children.
Today, Barrowman has but one MCSL record left standing. It is the 8 and Under 50 M Freestyle (Long Course) as set in 1986. I am sure his name remains on Montgomery Square’s club board, or on other club boards as records that may not long matter.
Good times eventually get broken.