No swimming! Ugh.

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A friend from long ago, B, swam the fastest 400 IM in the NCAA Division 2 -- in prelims. Then the meet was called off. He couldn't swim in finals. He posted a great summary and some verses that I've replayed at the Facebook group, Pittsburgh Schenley Swimming.

Our PIAA swim meet for class AAA had its day 2 finals called off too. At least everyone got wet there, as the 2A meet didn't even begin -- yet. 

With the ending of sports for now, how does one sum up the frustrations?

More sports are calling from the future. For our high school swimmers who saw their seasons end, then it is College Club swimming that calls. Sure, most won't be NCAA athletes, but, there is still life in the pool to come. Life is long. 

Lucky for us, swimmers and coaches, we are in a life-long sport and aquatics opens up plenty of doors. Water polo, Lifeguard competitions. Open water, Coaching, being a swim instructor and even being an on-deck official. This bitter time -- let it be a seed of motivation to help to make sure none of the other youngsters yet to come to these ages are denied opportunities.

Turns in life are often full of surprises. Here is mine: My son didn't swim as a HS senior. I was his coach. Now as a college senior, he is signed up for a 10K swim in Miami and a 12.5 mile swim in FL Keys. These events, may or may not happen too. Who knows? But, take the long view. Plus, my son's college water polo club team (co-ed) goes to Texas A&M for a tournament in a couple of weeks. That won't happen either I expect.

We hope to see all of those kids in open-water swims for the decades to come.

To the athletes of other sports, coaching, being an official, playing in master games and rec leagues is often a blast. Pick up the triathlon, and do it with some friends.

Peace. Stay healthy.

No painted on wall

About the author 

Mark Rauterkus

Swim, SKWIM and Water Polo coach and publisher in Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Executive Director of SKWIM USA, a nonprofit advocate organization and webmaster to the International Swim Coaches Association. Head varsity and middle-school swim coach for The Ellis School. Former candidate for public office on multiple occasions.

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