GREENSBORO, N.C.– Some of the best young swimmers from across the country are in Greensboro this week for the YMCA Short Course National Championship.
Swimmers and their families came from 27 different states for the big event. All 1,500 swimmers had to have qualifying times to make it to the event.
“This is definitely the biggest meet I’ve ever been to in my life,” said Sarah Lingenbrink, an 16-year-old swimmer from Washington.
The four-day event is expected to have a $6.5 million impact on the city of Greensboro.
This is the second year the event has been held at the Greensboro Aquatic Center. The YMCA has a three-year contract with Greensboro, but Jim Weaton, YMCA’s Events Director, says Greensboro has a good chance at hosting the championship after the contract expires.
“We’ve been very, very pleased with Greensboro, great hospitality, beautiful venue, fast water, which our coaches and athletes love, so it’s been a great experience,” Weaton said.
No matter the event, swimmers have put in long hours to shape-up for the competition.
“I usually swim up to four to five hours some days. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday I do two practices, one before school and one after school,” says Lingenbrink.
More than 80 college recruiters will be in the stands during the championship, which will only add to the pressure.
“I really want to swim in college and there are a lot of college recruiters out there. I’m hoping I can pull out the best times and represent my team,” says Lingenbrink.
More than half of the swimmers competing in this event will swim at the college level.
Parents of the swimmers admit there isn’t a lot of free time to see the city during their stay.
“I mean there’s swimming, eating and resting. I know it kind of sounds boring. It’s kind of what they want to do, but I think we’re going to try to go to the mall though,” explains Stacy Slocomb, a swim mom from Delaware.
Preliminaries start Wednesday morning at 8:30.