CINCINNATI – This year marks the 34th anniversary for the Southwest Classic, which remains the largest invitational of its kind in the United States.
Thirty-four years ago the preliminaries and finals took place at one location, Keating Natatorium at St. Xavier High School. This meet has now grown so large there are nine preliminary sites.
Approximately 112 schools entering more than 2,650 swimmers and 150 divers – including Arcanum, Greenville and Versailles – are expected to participate in this year’s Classic.
The Classic is unusual because the swimmers compete not only in high school events but also the longer NCAA and USA Swimming events.
The Southwest Ohio Swimming Officials Association continues to sponsor this meet through the Southwest Classic Swim Meet, LLC. Through meet proceeds, donations and sponsor advertising, SWOSOA has established an athlete scholarship fund and for the 16th year will be offering six $750 scholarships to three senior boys and three senior girls this year. Cameron Nichols (La Salle), Drew Suffoletta (Roger Bacon), Joseph North (Valley View), Bonnie LaGrange (Oak Hills), Julia Germann (Finneytown) and Liz Monnin (Mason) were last year’s recipients.
The Southwest Classic is scheduled for Jan. 14 and 15. Swimming preliminaries will be held at Countryside YMCA, Dayton Raider Aquatic Center (DRAC), Miami University (A & B), Mason High School, Milford High School, Princeton High School, Trotwood-Madison High School and West Carrolton YMCA with the finals to be contested at Keating Natatorium at St. Xavier High School. Prelims will start at 8 a.m. both days, and finals will begin at 6:30 p.m.
Versailles’ Heather Albers will be one of the swimmers to watch, according to a list of notable names from the event organizers.
The meet draws many college coaches who come to look over the area swimmers. It will be taped for cablecast as has been done in past years. A video feed is available from the Waycross Community Media. Also, check out the Classic’s website at www.swimmeet.com for real-time information about the meet, swimmers, entry times and results of preliminaries and finals.