By Swimming World Intern Sam Finston
PISCATAWAY, New Jersey, January 11. THE greatest swim teams in and around New Jersey have gathered to participate in this weekend’s competition at the CeraVe Invitational, with many returning for a tenth time.
What brings some of the coaches back every year? Al Leddgin, coach of Morris County Swim Club, said the meet “is a good opportunity to swim long course during short course season.” The team last competde at the event three years ago. He made it clear that he has been attending the morning prelim session ever since, and the last two years did not get any of his swimmers qualified for finals. Ledgin also noted that his swimmers would have the great chance to swim “against the best.”
Tom Speedling, head coach of Scarlet Aquatics since 2002, agreed. He added that his team gets to face many teams from out-of-state while staying at the pool that he calls home.
Chuck Batchelor, head coach of Bluefish Swim Club, had the most to say about the invitational, having brought his Rhode Island-based team for at least 14 years. When asked why he keeps coming back, he provided an in-depth analysis of the benefits for his team. Adding on to the aforementioned great competition, Batchelor noted that it is an amazing learning experience for the swimmers. He went so far as to call the event “swimmer- and coach-friendly.” The coach complimented the great hospitality and close-to-home location as another reason he keeps the meet on his schedule.
As the well-practiced swimmers race to make their teams proud, there is little doubt that they will be attending once more in 2015. Their coaches agree that this is the only meet that combines long course swimming with great competition in a season dominated by short course meets. As for now, everyone is looking at a great start to the new year.