07-26-12 FR low - Fluvanna Review
Chris VanSlooten, FUMA aquatics director. Photo by O.T. Holen. BY RUTHANN CARR CORRESPONDENT More than 2,000 swimmers and their families are coming to Fork Union for two days of racing this weekend. Fork Union Military Academy is opening its doors to the Jefferson Swim League for its annual swim championship July 27 and 28, said Chris VanSlooten, FUMA aquatics director. The League’s championship meet is usually held at the University of Virginia, but repairs to the facility meant they had to fi nd another venue, said Jan Balmer, JSL’s Champs consultant. When Balmer found out in January she needed to fi nd another pool, she looked everywhere. The venue needed to be accessible, inside, within an hour’s drive and have adequate parking. FUMA fi t the bill, she said. Even though VanSlooten has only been at FUMA one year, he was happy to put on the meet. “I’ve never been one to ease into anything,” he said. “I jump in with both feet. I was excited to do it. It’s a great opportunity.” This is the fi rst event of this size VanSlooten has been responsible for, but he helped run several while coaching in San Antonio. 10 | FLUVANNA REVIEW | July 26, 2012 He called colleagues there for insights on how to stage such a large meet. VanSlooten said he’s had a lot of help from FUMA and JSL staff. “It’s great to learn,” he said. “You can’t be afraid of learning. We’ll be busy and yes, I am nervous. But I’m ready to go.” Because FUMA’s pool has only eight lanes as opposed to UVa.’s 10, they’ve had to add one more session. Heats will run all day both Friday and Saturday. “That way no one has to drive home in the dark,” Balmer said. There are 17 teams in the JSL from all around Central Virginia. Many are in Charlottesville and Albemarle County, but other come from Fluvanna, Greene and Louisa counties. Much goes into planning the event. Each team will rent a commercial tent for swimmers to cool off and rest in, Balmer said. The FUMA staff will provide concessions. Both VanSlooten and Balmer contacted area restaurants and stores along the route into Fork Union and in the town to prepare them for the event. “We’ve been working with businesses en route to the pool, giving them special opportunities to advertise,” Balmer said. “We really tried hard to make sure to look at businesses on the way to let them know there will be a big infl ux of families.” There could be as many as 4,000 attending, Balmer said. Owners of the Cadet Diner in Fork Union are excited about the event. FUMA students and faculty already know The Cadet Diner is the place to go for home-cooked meals on the cheap. It’s the place where four people can eat for $25, and co-owner Jennifer Hawk said the football team are regulars who take advantage of that price. She hopes hundreds more fi nd out about the good food at a great price when the JSL swim championships come to town. She and her co-owner, Jessica Williams, are stocking up on supplies to feed the infl ux of coaches, swimmers and family members. They are adding outside seating and are baking plenty of their popular pecan-chocolate-chip pie, brownies, cookies and cakes. “We’ll be here ready to take care of everybody’s wants and needs,” Hawk said. The town and academy keep the place busy with regular business, but Hawk is ready for the infl ux come Friday and Saturday. Every worker she has will be on duty. “We’re bringing in all the extras we have,” she said. Hawk said the diner will open early to accomodate the coaches and staff. One exciting aspect of having the meet at FUMA, Balmer said, is FUMA’s Jeff erson Swim League teams Atlantic Coast Athletic Club Boar’s Head Sports Club Crozet Gators Swim Team City of Chatlottesville Elks Fairview Farmington County Club Fluvanna Aquatics Sports Team Forest Lakes Swim Team Fry’s Spring Beach Club Glenmore Country Club Gordonsville Orcas Greene Hills Gators Hollymead Key West Club Louisa Gators Lake Monticello Swim Team Thousands of swimmers to compete in Fork Union AAs s mmany a n y as a s 4,000 4 , 0 0 0 could c o u l d attend a t t e n d pool is a meter pool. The UVa. pool’s distances are in yards. That means that every fi rst place at the meet will hold a permanent meter record. “That’s a really big deal,” Balmer said. “Each fi rst place will get special recognition for meters’ records – a whole new set of records that have never been in JSL existence.” For more information, go to the Jefferson Swim League website: http:// www.jsl.org/championship-information.htm. Jeff erson Swim League Championship meet Friday and Saturday July 27 and 28 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Fork Union Military Academy 4744 James Madison Highway Tentative schedule: Friday Session I – 9-10 boys and girls 9 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Session II – 6 and under and 7-8 boys and girls 1:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday Session III – 11-12 boys and girls 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Session IV – 13-18 boys and girls 12:15 p.m. to 7 p.m.
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