MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Club Mountaineer, a youth swim team, hosted the first day of its first-ever virtual competition at the Aquatic Center at Mylan Park Saturday.
According to a press release from the team, the virtual meet format is an adaptation of the competitive rules of USA Swimming to allow teams to race in different locations, yet still, have valid times and scores. This format reduces the number of athletes, coaches, and officials on one pool deck, thereby creating a more socially distant competitive environment. Head Coach of Club Mountaineer, Renee Riggs, said she was glad to have her team back in competition after a forced hiatus due to COVID-19.
“It feels really good,” Riggs said. “It’s not normal, but it’s still really good. And the kids were excited when they got here this morning and the enthusiasm built over the course of the last few hours. Despite the situation not being normal and not being ideal, we still had a lot of best times today and we had fun.”
Riggs said her team is competing against Parkersburg YMCA Sharks who will also host its events during the weekend in its home pool. They are also competing against the Kraken YMCA Swim Team who will be having their meet the following weekend in its home pool.
When all the times and results are tallied, Riggs said, there will be a virtual awards event for the kids in the top positions.
The head coach said she sees virtual events being the best and only way forward for the foreseeable future. However, she can’t wait until other teams are allowed to come to compete in person.
“As soon as we can go back to hosting teams we will do that,” Riggs said. “We have this fantastic facility and we would like to have everybody coming and participating in meets here. It’s a very fast pool and so we’ll back to that when we can.”
The virtual meet will continue on Sunday, Oct. 25 at the Aquatic Center. Warm-ups begin at 9:30 a.m., with competition beginning at 10:30 a.m.