LONG BEACH, California, September 23. THE closure of the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool and the subsequent renovation will not affect the Southern Pacific Masters short course meters championships, regarded as one of the fastest and largest non-national championship Masters meets in the United States.
The meet has long been held at the Belmont pool and annually features dozens of world records set in the historic pool. This year, the meet moves 22 miles north to Commerce and the Brenda Villa Aquatic Center.
Though the meet is heavy on participants from southern California, athletes from as far as Canada travel to the meet. Laura Val, a perennial fixture on the Swimming World Magazine World Masters Swimmers of the Year list, attends the meet every year, breaking multiple world records there.
The Brenda Villa Aquatic Center was named for the Olympic water polo legend who competed in four Olympic Games, winning silver in 2000 and 2008, bronze in 2004 and gold in 2012. The pool features a 25-by-39-yard pool and a separate therapy pool. The competition pool is 15 feet deep.
The Long Beach Grunions host this meet every year, and you can register for the meet on their website. The Grunions also have produced a promotional video: