A Tradition Continues:
4th Annual Germantown Masters Solstice Meet
By Julia Galan
The Germantown Maryland Masters are once again excited to host the 4th Annual Solstice Meet, a short course meters competition that takes place every December at the Germantown Indoor Swim Center. Taking place on Saturday, December 3rd with warmups beginning at 3 pm, this year’s competition will allow participants to get in some “last chance” short course meters times for 2016 while experiencing the traditionally fun and friendly atmosphere in Germantown.
A notably fast pool, the 8-lane aquatic facility is configured as a 25-meter course and has a depth ranging from 7 to 17 feet. A second lap pool will be available for continuous use during the meet, and ample spectator seating is available above the pool as well as on deck. The Indoor Swim Center has been the site of multiple national records by Olympians such as Katie Ledecky and has hosted several championship events including, most recently, the 2015 Washington Metro High School Swim and Diving Championships.
The Solstice Meet includes several aspects that add to the uniqueness of the event. Meet records have been updated each year and stand ready to be broken. The 800-meter freestyle relay and the 400-meter individual medley events are also on the menu, offering a relatively rare shot at a national top 10 short course meters rankings. If you’re on a team, you can also start gearing up for the 4th Annual (unofficial) Crescendo Relay, which pairs the 4 best swimmers of each team – any gender, any age – with each swimming 200, 150, 100 and 50 meters, in that order. An age and gender-weighted handicap system will encourage a level‐playing field competition among relays in any combination of men and women with both older and younger swimmers. The winning relay team will be awarded a special trophy and bragging rights for the year! Awards will also be given for 1st through 3rd places in individual and relay events and a special award will be given to the club with the highest total point score.
Traditionally, the Solstice Meet has explored ways to combine our shared passion for swimming with a desire to contribute to a good cause. In previous years, for example, the Germantown Masters partnered with 22 Too Many, a grassroots group that seeks to raise awareness of an important and often ignored issue: post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This year, the Solstice Meet will be partnering with the ALS Association, a national non-profit organization whose mission is “to lead the fight to treat and cure ALS through global research and nationwide advocacy, while also empowering people with Lou Gehrig’s Disease and their families to live fuller lives by providing them with compassionate care and support.” The ALS Association will be on deck during the competition, providing literature and information on how participants can donate to the Association or start individual fundraisers at open water events, meets or even triathlons.
The Solstice Meet has attracted a wide variety of participants over the past several years of its existence. Sanctioned by the Potomac Valley LMSC, the event has brought swimmers from the Maryland, DC, and Virginia area and beyond. This year is looking to be no exception. Join in the fun! Registration ends November 30th, 2016 and you can be part of the action by signing up HERE.