CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – The high school State Championship Swim Meet has been changed to a one-day championship event, according to WVSSAC Executive Director, Bernie Dolan.
The state’s premier high school swim event will now take place only on April 20 at the Aquatic Center at Mylan Park in Morgantown.
It was originally scheduled to be a two-day event, as it normally is, on the 20th and 21st.
“It’s going to be a timed finals only,” said Dolan. “The reason for that is it cuts down on the possibility of an outbreak. Somebody gets sick, and goes and gets tested sometime after they’ve participated in the state qualifying round, and then it puts everybody on hold on the championship day.”
Dolan also cited that multiple surrounding states have made similar changes to their state swim meets for this year, in order to ensure the championship round takes place.
“We know that multiple-day events are really challenging,” said Dolan. “When you have not one team competing against another, but a lot of individuals and they would be in multiple events, certainly if somebody was sick there would be a lot of cross contamination.”
High school swimmers will compete in the Regional round of the postseason on Saturday, April 10, across the state.
This change now puts even more weight on the shoulders of swimmers to have their best day in the pool in order to ensure their spot in the championship round.
The website, swimwv.com, has started a petition in hopes of getting the State Championship Swim Meet changed back to a two-day event. More than 1,500 people have signed the petition at the time of publication.
The State Championship Swim Meet championship round will now take place on the same day as the championship round of the Class AAA portion of the state wrestling tournament.
This year’s state wrestling tournament has been split into four days, with Class AAA competing on April 19 and 20, and Classes AA and A competing on April 21 and 22. This is due not only to the virus, but to rules on the number of matches a high school wrestler can compete in on one day, according to Dolan.