New Normal? What a Sanctioned Meet Looked Like During COVID-19

Schroeder Aquatic Center

New Normal? What a Sanctioned Meet Looked Like During COVID-19

By Kiah Francis, Swimming World Intern

The Schroeder YMCA Swim Team hosted the Speedo Schroeder Summer LCM Invite on August 7–8, making it the first sanctioned competition for Wisconsin Swimming since the COVID-19 pandemic hit.


Sanctioned Meet

Photo Courtesy: Kiah Francis

The meet information provided outlined all policies and guidelines necessary to have a legally sanctioned competition. All participants were required to follow the meet marshal’s instructions. Lined up along the outside of the facility were tents and chairs with athletes, parents, and coaches who would normally be situated poolside or in the bleachers.


Masks were worn at all times and people were encouraged to maintain six feet of social distancing. No spectators were allowed in the building, but coaches could enter when they had athletes racing. Families outside were able to view the meet via YouTube Live.
Swimmers were staged outside and brought indoors while maintaining six feet of distance. When it was the next heat’s turn to move behind the blocks, they were able to take their masks off. After racing, the swimmers would put their masks back on and walk toward a designated exit near the starter. Only five lanes were used for competition. Two lanes were open for warmup and cooldown.

Sanctioned Meet

Photo Courtesy: Kiah Francis

“The biggest difference was probably having an empty pool deck with only a few heats of swimmers in the building at a time and some coaches here and there,” said Malia Francis of the Mid-Wisconsin Wave Makers. “The hardest part was probably the short amount of time in between each event because the meet was really small. Also having to wear masks the entire time. Putting a wet mask on after a race while out of breath is not that easy and makes it hard to recover. I loved getting the chance to race again and having things somewhat closer to normal.”


Schroeder Aquatic Center

Photo Courtesy: Melissa Wolf

Entry to the meet required AAA time standards and was limited to athletes from the Wisconsin Swimming, Inc. LSC, with the 10 competing teams consisting of more than 140 swimmers. Sanctioning the meet required many changes, but the host team enforced all health and safety guidelines of USA Swimming, Wisconsin Swimming, Inc., the State of Wisconsin and the North Shore Health Department.


Ziyad Saleem, a 17-year-old from the Schroeder YMCA Swim Team, achieved a personal best and qualified for the 2021 Olympic Trials in the 200 back with a time of 2:02.01. Two 14-year-olds from Elmbrook Swim Club posted impressive times, both under the Olympic Trials time standard. Lucy Thomas reached a best time in the 100 breast with a 1:09.35 while her teammate Maggie Wanazek raced to a 1:01.78 in the 100 back.


  1. David Moreno

    Let’s get back to dual or tri meets for this certain time.

  2. Gail Peterson Frey

    Envious-Portland metro area in Oregon hasn’t even been able to open pools for PRACTICE yet! We’ve been out since mid-March. 😢

    • Jennifer Rinesmith

      Gail Peterson Frey I am sorry. I feel for you. We thought we were late getting back in July 1. Some teams in our LSC still aren’t able to use a pool because the college where they train won’t allow it until Jan 2021. Our team probably won’t have any type of meet until. September/October. I hope y’all are able to get back in soon.

    • Jennifer McCord Nolan

      That is tough. 🙁 We have been swimming practices for a couple of months now, but limited groups and outdoors. Our college hasn’t let us back yet either, so we are bouncing around between various outdoor pools that will rent our team lanes.

    • Gail Peterson Frey

      Jennifer McCord Nolan worst part for us is that our main pool we practice in IS outdoors. 😔 Hope you are able to get back to your “home” pool soon!

    • Gail Peterson Frey

      Jennifer Rinesmith thank you-I’m definitely doing everything I can to repeatedly reach out to the powers that be and try to open our pool for practice! 🤞🏼

    • Jenny Smith Commins

      Sending you so much love and support. It’s really tough when you’re the program out while others are back in.

    • Christina Corine

      Colleen Hazlett this is showing kids waiting until their heat. The starting end is not seen in the picture.

  3. Nicole Josephs

    Our son swam this meet! It was crazy that we were sitting outside watching him on Youtube. There was no noise coming from the pool – no cheering, no coaches whistling. Crazy!

  4. Liz Hudson

    Super glad they could do this. Going to be difficult to replicate this come October anywhere but in the farthest south states.

  5. Elena Nannoshi

    Its beyond me that people ( coaches and parents ) are complying to this. We are killing our children.

    • Elena Nannoshi

      Jennifer Pearson-Hardin they are athletes. Oxygen is what they need the most. Stop being consent to new world order

    • Jennifer Pearson-Hardin

      Elena Nannoshi and how do virtual meets affect their oxygen intake? I’m genuinely curious.

    • Elena Nannoshi

      Jennifer Pearson-Hardin Masks wearing? No support, no human emotion and interaction?????

    • Jennifer Pearson-Hardin

      Elena Nannoshi masks do not reduce oxygen. If so, surgeons who wear them 12+ hours a day would be dropping like flies.

      My son is participating in socially distanced swim practices. He has support, human emotion, and interaction.

      What is *actually killing kids and their families is the pandemic.

    • Elena Nannoshi

      Jennifer Pearson-Hardin there is no virus. You been duped. And you destroying your children over this fakery.

    • Jennifer Pearson-Hardin

      Elena Nannoshi there is no virus? Are you serious? Then why have 140k + Americans died? That’s insane that you believe there is no virus. My children are not being destroyed. I’m making sure my son can do the things he loves to do in the future by not compromising his health in the present. Hard to swim with reduced lung capacity.

    • Elena Nannoshi

      Jennifer Pearson-Hardin there is no virus. Check cdc website. 99.6% outcome you will be fine if you will catch anything. But freedom of breathing and living will be gone.

  6. Tanya Birch

    Many teams in Colorado are having meets. There is one late Aug with 4 teams. Very controlled environment. It can be done! Although our team hasn’t participated in a meet 😢 I feel bad for any jr/senior swimmers.

  7. Roger S. Stark

    as long as we have the meets we can adjust to these things

  8. Kyle Cowan

    YouTube and Facebook LIVE will be the new norm for swim parents.

  9. Jennifer Brurok

    Saddest thing ever. Happy kids get to swim but this is insane.

  10. Simon Edwards

    How can you do this in the middle of Winter when you can’t use outside to sit and wait

  11. Ray Farrell

    PLEASE stop regurgitating the media’s brainwashing “NEW NORMAL” This is not normal. This is ridiculous.

  12. Zoe Moran

    Kelly Stubbins this is what it’s come to 🤯

  13. Cami Platek

    YES. Let the swim. I don’t have to watch. Get them in the pool!!! YAY!!

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