Winter Inspiration: The 4th Annual Germantown Masters Solstice Meet
By Julia Galan
This year’s Germantown Masters Solstice Meet, which took place on Saturday, December 3rd at the Germantown Indoor Swim Center in Germantown, Maryland, was a winter swimming inspiration in several ways.
With the participation of over 172 swimmers, a near record number in the competition’s four year existence, this short course meters event allowed swimmers of all abilities from ages 18 to 86 the opportunity to compete in a friendly atmosphere with fellow athletes who share the same passion for our sport.
The 8-lane, 25 meter aquatic venue in Germantown proved to be as fast as it was promoted, yielding a 100 breaststroke national record in the women’s 70-74 age category by Margo Pettijohn, with a time of 1:36.93. Equally impressive was the fact that over 100 meet records also fell this year, setting a newer and higher standard for competitors next year.
The Solstice Meet is also distinguished among Masters meets for its famous Crescendo Relay, a gender and age-neutral relay that allows teammates who would not normally compete together the chance to race for an eye-catching trophy and bragging rights for the year. Although the past years have seen host team Germantown Masters wearing the crown, the 2016 champions were the University of Maryland Aquatic Club (Terrapin) Masters team.
The Solstice Meet has also gone above and beyond the average swim meet in their partnerships with organizations advocating for pressing societal issues, such as post-traumatic stress disorder in veterans, or, this year, the fight to find a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The ALS Association is 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 Association had a booth set up 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 triathlons.
And yet, no meet would be a success without a competent organizing team, a welcoming host club, and a set of supporting sponsors. In addition to the many volunteers from the Germantown Masters and other masters clubs in the area, the competition was led by meet manager Steve Wright, meet director Dave Robinson and Entries Director Terri Postma. Together, they worked to ensure a smooth and efficiently running meet, for which they received many compliments from participants at this year’s event. Among the sponsors for this year’s event were Platinum sponsors NFP Golden & Cohen, LLC and Jacques Financial, Gold Sponsors Farol L. Tomson and Swimspire, and Bronze sponsors Carlos Auto Service and Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.
The Germantown Masters are already looking forward to next year’s competition. In the meantime, relive the experience with our high-quality photo gallery.
See you next year!