Given the absence of a USMS Short Course Meters (SCM) National Championship, several regional meets have arisen to fill this void, blossoming into large events stacked deep with serious competition and lots of fast swimming. Unfortunately, in the Pacific Northwest a void still exists for a large SCM event. However, the Puget Sound Masters (PSM) SCM Championship meet has the right qualities to grow into just such a larger premier event.
The PSM SCM Championship is hosted at the impressive King County Aquatic Center (KCAC) in Federal Way, Washington. The competition pool at this facility is widely regarded as one of the fastest pools in the nation, offering a great opportunity for swimmers to post very fast times. Each year, numerous world and national records have been set during the PSM SCM Championships at this facility. This meet has taken place for two years running, and is conducted very smoothly and efficiently.
The PSM SCM Championship takes place the week before Thanksgiving, and was well-attended this year, with nearly 150 swimmers registered. Unfortunately however, attendance at the meet was slightly down this year, possibly due in part to two other SCM meets being held within a week of the PSM SCM meet. The NW Zone Championship meet was held in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, the previous weekend, and Columbia Gorge Masters hosted their SCM meet in Hood River, Oregon, on the same day as the PSM SCM meet. Last year, there were 22 Oregon swimmers registered for the PSM SCM meet. This year, just 10 swimmers made the trip to KCAC, as some chose to attend the Hood River meet.
Among the 10 Oregon masters swimmers in attendance was Sarah Rogers (LaCamasHeadHunters), who is relatively new to Oregon Masters Swimming and is already making a name for herself! Sarah swam the trio of breaststroke events at the meet and in doing so set two Northwest Zone records and three Oregon records in the women’s 40-44 age group. The two zone records were achieved in the 50 breast (38.07) and 100 breast (1:22.31) events, while the Oregon record was set in the 200 breast (2:58.88) event, narrowly missing the NW Zone record by just a few seconds.
In addition to Sarah’s great swims, there were 12 world records set at the PSM SCM event (by my count), as well as numerous national and Northwest Zone records.
All of the high point winners in each age group were awarded custom-made chamois towels, with background art from a local artist and text that read “High Point Winner Puget Sound Masters Swimming SCM Championship.” Oregon swimmers Ava Williams, Matt Miller, and David Radcliff swam well enough to take home one of these custom towels!
The PSM SCM Championship meet is again scheduled to take place next year at KCAC, on November 18-19, 2017. This meet has the potential to become the premier annual SCM meet in the Northwestern U.S. – let’s help this superb meet grow! Put this first-rate meet on your calendar for next year, fellow swimmers. See you at the PSM SCM Championship meet in 2017!