YMCA Short Course Nationals Cancelled For First Time Since 1947

Photo Courtesy: Cathleen Pruden

The YMCA Short Course National Championships have been cancelled for the first time since 1947. Scheduled for March 30-April 3 at the Greensboro Aquatic Center, the meet is the latest in a long list of swim events to be hot by the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and containment measures around the globe. The YMCA meet staff were informed by email that all meets hosted under the brand were cancelled until the end of next month. Chief human resources officer Kate Wollensak wrote:

“Out of an abundance of caution, the Executive leadership has decided to implement policies to reduce the risk to our staff and their families. Regardless of the concern level, it is our social responsibility to help protect vulnerable populations and keep communities strong.”

More Swimming World Coverage Of The Impact Of The Coronavirus


    • Dave Johnson

      Bill Strömberg why smart? Why then aren’t airports closed? 162,000 people go through JFK every day. Why Aren’t major retail centers closed? 44,000 people shop at Columbus circle in nyc every day. Those two places have more traffic flow than a relatively small event like this.

    • Bill Strömberg

      Dave.. because there are people less smart as well.

    • Bill Strömberg

      Robbie… we are lucky that the people at YMCA know what to do in tmes like this. Rest of the US do not.. yet.

    • Robbie Miller

      Bill Strömberg I don’t swim at the Y private club!

  1. Nicole Josephs


    • Emily Paradis

      Nicole Josephs I know…. the kids are devastated 😔

    • Nicole Josephs

      Will it be rescheduled? Such a bummer.. will they do the same to WI Y State? 🙁

      • avatar
        Mekenzie Hammer

        That’s what I’m wondering… have kids who are going to Y sectionals this weekend to qualify for y state and kids who are still training just for y state… wish we could know sooner than later

      • avatar
        Mekenzie Hammer

        That’s what I’m wondering… have kids who are going to Y sectionals this weekend to qualify for y state and kids who are still training just for y state… wish we could know sooner than later

  2. Tracy Fulton Vance

    This is absolutely ridiculous. Chlorine kills everything. 😔😒

    • Heather York DiFulvio

      Tracy Fulton Vance So spectators can go for a dip? And coaches? And all the people who come in contact while traveling?

    • Robbie Miller

      Tracy Fulton Vance Just went swimming yesterday and will be going tomorrow! Get a life!

    • Tracy Fulton Vance

      Heather York DiFulvio lighten up, it was meant as a joke. I’m a healthcare provider. I have been working with coronavirus patients for 3 weeks. Chill out.

    • Tracy Fulton Vance

      Heather York DiFulvio BUT…to answer your question, everyone else can stay where they’re supposed to be safe. Let the swimmers swim.

    • Tracy Fulton Vance

      Robbie Miller you clearly didn’t get what I was saying. You pretty much agreed with me. I was a swimmer all of my life from kindergarten through college. I never got sick. Chlorine kills everything…AS IN GERMS 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️

    • Robbie Miller

      Tracy Fulton Vance I have taught swimming and coached for over 40 years,I know that! My kids swam all the way thru like you! Son swam at Purdue,daughter swam at Kenyon!

    • Tracy Fulton Vance

      Robbie Miller then what was the point of your comment for me to get a life? If you know that, then you should have known where I was coming from. SMH.

    • Robbie Miller

      Tracy Fulton Vance Was referring to everyone else!

    • Jenn Handy

      Lyncee Kowalcik Bowman I know, we got the email last night.😔 I did hear that they were looking for options to reschedule it. Idk if this is the final nail.

  3. Kristen Shore

    Most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard! It’s a darn virus. The regular flu kills more people. People are being stupid!

    • David Sutton

      But the virus is….new…and just beginning. No one has immunity. No vaccines. No treatment plan. A lot of uncertainty. Whose to say this won’t be worse than the flu. And if you read experts from both sides, there are credible experts saying this will be worse than the flu. I’m not saying they should’ve cancelled the meet. I actually think they should still run the meet at this point. But, “most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard”?

    • Debbie Terry

      Kristen Shore it is NOT the flu. It is a pandemic. Please don’t cavalierly brush it off like your medical degree is somehow superior than the World Health Organization!

    • Kristen Shore

      David Sutton You are all feeding into the media! Every election year there is something that pops up! Believe what you want to believe. Don’t go to the meet if it’s a big deal to you, but don’t cancel because you might catch something. Stay home from work, keep your kids home from school if its something to fear!

    • Kristen Shore

      Debbie Terry It’s only a pandemic because people like you believe what the media is saying. I never said I had a medical degree!

    • Debbie Terry

      Kristen Shore check back next week….

    • David Sutton

      Kristen Shore I just said I agree that they shouldn’t cancel. You’re so determined to dismiss this virus as nothing that you are losing your sensibility. And now you have people yelling fear-monger for trying to she’d light on a different perspective 👏

    • Kristen Shore

      Kelli Hobbs Schmidt FYI…no one has immunity to colds and flus!

    • Kelli Hobbs Schmidt

      Kristen Shore actually we have antibodies that over time evolve- Basic biology from college! This virus is new so no immunity has been built. I am sure through all your research you have concluded that the 2 week period before signs show one is contagious. Which you should know is not the case with a cold or flu, where one is only contagious for up to 3 days before. Knowledge is key to being prepared! If you don’t do your research your as “bad” as the media IMO ☺️

    • Debbie Terry

      Kristen Shore the World Health Organization is NOT the media.

    • Katie McNerney

      Kristen Shore actually WHO (world health organization) is calling it a pandemic. You know the real smart people who actually have medical degrees. 🤷‍♀️🤦‍♀️

    • Kristen Shore

      Katie McNerney Again, I never said I had a medical degree. You don’t need a medical degree to be smart. Canceling a big swim meet for something that isn’t even an issue, is stupid. Let’s go ahead and close down our whole country because we MIGHT get sick, is stupid. That’s all I was saying!!!

    • Katie McNerney

      Kristen Shore well what you are stating is not showing a high level of understanding to this situation. Other Countries are shut down, testing every citizen, and trying to reduce the impact of the virus. I’ve been a Coach for over 20 years, one swim meet in the grand scheme of things is Not the end of the World. I’m glad higher ups are doing what they can to keep our swimmers safe. You don’t have to agree with it, but please don’t spread information that isn’t actually supported by our health departments.

    • Irene Barber Kinsey

      Katie McNerney thank you!! So true. This is a SWIM MEET. I just wonder if people are not wanting to face what’s coming? Denial is not where you want to be. Maybe your kids will be disappointed. I would rather overreact than risk peoples lives

  4. avatar
    Edwin p

    Too stupid…too gullible…..you’ve got
    no memory….sars? Swine flu? No..the 1918
    flu is not the template….bad nutrition,
    bad water, bad sanitation … China lies…
    Wuhan deaths are from pneumonia…in the world’s
    most polluted and now 5g microwaved city. This is
    control testing…problem / reaction/ solution$$$…opps…CNN is on…excuse me…more news…

  5. Robin Kite

    Feel so sorry for the kids. There are so many other options they could have tried before deciding to cancel.

    • Robin Kite

      Debbie Terry Golden State Warriors just announced that they would continue playing their games but without spectators. The same idea could have taken place in this case and televised or streamed it live.

    • Robin Kite

      Lisa Borja Harrington I listed one option above that the NBA approved for the Golden State Warriors. Another option is to look at what just took place in Santa Clarita with the Junior Olympics. The Junior Olympics was forced to cancel at the Rose Bowl and the adults involved got together and have moved the event to Mission Viejo. It just takes adults pulling together and thinking outside the box. The bottom line is to find a workable solution that will allow youth to participate in an event that they have trained hard for.

    • Debbie Terry

      Robin Kite – I realize what a disappointment canceling the meet is. There still would be a lot of people on deck and the excitement of the meet sure wouldn’t be there. I don’t know. Would they have time to set up streaming or tv coverage? So little is know about transmission at this point….

    • Race Swami

      Robin Kite NBA cancelled their schedule for the foreseeable future… Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell have tested positive to CV. Sad as it is, it was the right decision to cancel this meet.

  6. Lisa Borja Harrington

    So much training, and hard work these kids put into this sport! Hours and hours- I feel for them

    • Debbie Terry

      the Italians have cancelled their Olympic Trials.

  7. Danilo Trias

    Yet March Madness continues. Last week, LA Lakers and LA Clippers played to a sold out arena and Steph Curry’s return was at a packed arena.

    • Robert Fisher

      GSW just announced their home games will be played without spectators.

    • Danilo Trias

      Robert Fisher yea for 2 weeks. Yet March Madness is upon us. The SEC, ACC, PAC12 , A10 , Big East … is still playing their conference championship. Only the IVY league cancelled

    • Robert Fisher

      Danilo Trias as of right now yes, things may change quickly as new data becomes available.

    • Danilo Trias

      Robert Fisher it started today and 1st rd games are playing as we speak. Kinda late to cancel?

    • Robert Fisher

      Danilo Trias I realize that, but these are unique times.

    • Danilo Trias

      Robert Fisher you were right. NCAA announced no fans at its March Madness.

    • Robert Fisher

      Danilo Trias ya saw that, thanks for posting. Unique times

  8. Joel Gitlin

    Sad, correct decision 🏊‍♂️☹️

  9. Debbie Terry

    Alan Mayfield thx for the post

    Notes from the front lines:

    I attended the Infectious Disease Association of California (IDAC) Northern California Winter Symposium on Saturday 3/7. In attendance were physicians from Santa Clara, San Francisco and Orange Counties who had all seen and cared for COVID-19 patients, both returning travelers and community-acquired cases. Also present was the Chief of ID for Providence hospitals, who has 2 affected Seattle hospitals under his jurisdiction. Erin Epson, CDPH director of Hospital Acquired Infections, was also there to give updates on how CDPH and CDC are handling exposed health care workers, among other things. Below are some of the key take-aways from their experiences.

    1. The most common presentation was one week prodrome of myaglias, malaise, cough, low grade fevers gradually leading to more severe trouble breathing in the second week of illness. It is an average of 8 days to development of dyspnea and average 9 days to onset of pneumonia/pneumonitis. It is not like Influenza, which has a classically sudden onset. Fever was not very prominent in several cases. The most consistently present lab finding was lymphopenia (with either leukocytosis or leukopenia). The most consistent radiographic finding was bilateral interstitial/ground glass infiltrates. Aside from that, the other markers (CRP, PCT) were not as consistent.

    2. Co-infection rate with other respiratory viruses like Influenza or RSV is 24 hours apart.

    10. All suggested ramping up alternatives to face-to-face visits, tetemedicine, “car visits”, telephone consultation hotlines.

    11. Some larger hospital systems are using a variety of alternative respiratory triage at the Emergency Departments.

    12. Health Departments state the Airborne Infection Isolation Room (AIIR) is the least important of all the suggested measures to reduce exposure. Contact and droplet isolation in a regular room is likely to be just as effective. One heavily affected hospital in the area is placing all “undifferentiated pneumonia” patients not meeting criteria for COVID testing in contact+droplet isolation for 2-3 days while seeing how they respond to empiric treatment and awaiting additional results.

    Feel free to share. All PUIs in the county so far have been negative.


    Martha L. Blum, MD, PhD

  10. Doug Schack

    Psychology majors will be able to write their thesis on mass hysteria from the outcome of this virus.

  11. Doug Schack

    Serious question: does chlorinated pool water kill the virus? I’m going to be very irritated when my YMCA closes over this.

  12. Irene Barber Kinsey

    This is an age group meet. It’s not the Olympics – although those may get cancelled too. THAT is incredibly sad – another age group meet? Not so much.

    • Tracy Flynn

      Very sad for the kids who worked hard to get there. Might be pretty boring & tedious for parents, but the meet is about showcasing the kids and the hours they’ve put in to reach this goal.

    • Irene Barber Kinsey

      Tracy Flynn it’s not boring for parents. And I feel terrible for the kids. But this isnt like predicting the weather – all the drs and scientists are all saying this is gonna be bad. How bad? I think that’s up to you and me and the choices we make. None of them are going to be easy. But a little self sacrifice can go a long way to minimizing the mortality rate of this virus.

    • Nicole Josephs

      Cant get to the Olympics unless you work hard and achieve the “little” things like a YMCA Nationals win… to some the Y Nats are their current goal.

    • Irene Barber Kinsey

      Nicole Josephs true. But this could be life or death. Probably a little more important than Nat or even the olympics. Just this conversation is amazing to me because the choice seems so clear. My son dreams of the olympics in LA, but he’d like his grandparents there to watch him.

    • avatar
      Greg Christian

      It’s not an age group meet. It is the meet hundreds of high school athletes who also compete in the Y system start training for in August or September of the previous year. While cancelling Is certainly not the end of the world and is likely the prudent course of action, there are hundreds of very disappointed first time qualifiers, HS juniors in the recruiting process, and seniors who were about to attend their final meet -all who are exceedingly disappointed by the situation.

      • avatar
        Craig Lord - Swimming World Editor-in-Chief

        Absolutely – the trick is to teach them resilience and to be happy that their grandparents are alive at the other side of this.

    • Debbie Yeaney

      Kristen- this is not about you! It’s selfish if you don’t help protect people who are not as healthy as you! You could be killing someone’s grandparents or someone with compromised immune systems if you selfishly don’t follow the health dept restrictions. Please consider other people -that’s whats wrong with this country!

    • Irene Barber Kinsey

      Debbie Yeaney we would all like to look back in 3-4 weeks and say we did too much than too little.

  13. Sandra Grata Dunnigan

    So sad for the swimmers! I wouldn’t mind watching the meet from the comfort of my hotel room 😉

  14. Susan Henry Weaver

    Maybe they could have kept the “meet” but each region could have held timed races so the kids could still do it- like formalizing a time trial could concept.

    • Michael Hollowell

      They cancelled Regionals and Sectionals in WA this week as well

    • Errin Humbert

      They are seeking alternatives. Here’s hoping they can come up with a solution🤞

    • Deiaprucha Prucha

      I think they cancelled due to the virus that is going around right now that coronavirus that is making headlines in the news on television and they just wanted to play it safe for everyone

  15. Ray Smith

    My son is very disappointed that it has been canceled. So much hard work to get there .

  16. Our travel for work has been restricted by the insurance company. I’m sure insurance company recommendations(mandates) were in play with this event too.

    • Jennifer Moir Griffiths

      Candice Sullivan wow, it’s crazy! Hopefully they would let us know before it starts tomorrow!! 😳

  17. Chris Helps

    Adam Luscombe Paul Conroy… some YMCA meets perhaps ?

    • Paul Conroy

      Chris Helps this is something we will need to chat about tomorrow and Monday.

    • Christy Butrus Morgan

      Shelly Toland I was just talking about this with the Colgate swimmer group chat. So insane!

  18. Brittany Wilkins

    y’all swimming….is a dirty sport. I swam, did competitive, college swimming, USA swim coach. And let me tell you… This is a good thing. I can’t speak for other sports but swimmer; well from what I’ve seen and grown up with , share everything . Go to practice with a cold? Everyone has it!
    I know of many swimmer who have ailments that still push to be the best and something like this upper respiratory virus can, dare I say it, kill the kids. Yes, they trained hard for this, hell maybe even for years; and the training , tapering and all that will be lost. It’s a shit feeling, kids are trained to do things at certain times, so postponing it does mess up their entire workout focus physically and mentally.
    But if we care more about times and a sport then actual human safety, that’s awful .
    Pool decks and bathrooms….kids spit on the pool deck, or blow their noses in the water, share drinks and towels and what not. Yes there is chlorine but that doesn’t help from the fact that a pool deck can still REALLY EASILY spread like , any germs.
    This is sad and I hope it blows over

    • avatar
      Craig Lord - Swimming World Editor-in-Chief

      Insightful points, thanks BW

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