Gators host Long Course Kickoff

Friday, April 30, 2004

Swimmers will take the first step in making the adjustment from little indoor pools to larger outdoor venues this weekend at Central Municipal Pool.

The Gators Swim Team will host the annual Long Course Kickoff Meet with 14 clubs expected to bring about 225 swimmers to town.

The event begins 5:30 p.m. today. Sessions are scheduled for 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday.

Competition will take place using the 50-meter length of the pool, a switch from winter events that use smaller indoor pools or the 25-yard width of the Central pool. The extra 30 yards results in fewer turns utilizing the walls and more swimming over the same distances.

"It's a different kind of training," Gators first-year coach Steve Franklin said. "There's not as much rest and you can't use the walls as much to increase your speed. You're left on your own to increase speed.

"We haven't made the change yet" in training, Franklin added. "Some of the older kids swim long course twice a week during the winter."

He said the event is the first long-course competition in the state this season.

It will draw swimmers from throughout the Ozark Swimming region as well as clubs from Illinois and Kentucky.

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