Making Every Stroke Count Naperville Classic Meet Gives Summer Swimmers a Chance to Compete

By Lemon, John | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), July 28, 1999 | Go to article overview

Making Every Stroke Count Naperville Classic Meet Gives Summer Swimmers a Chance to Compete


Lemon, John, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: John Lemon Daily Herald Sports Writer

No official results are kept, but at the Naperville Park District Swim Conference's Classic Meet, there's a different way of keeping score.

You won't see anything like Cress Creek 417, Naper Carriage Hill 405 and Huntington Estates 380.

Instead, the numbers that count are as big as 1,600 and as small as :00.01 with lots of firsts, seconds and thirds in between.

Roughly 1,600 swimmers took part in the annual Classic Meet Saturday at Naperville North and Waubonsie Valley high schools.

The Classic gives swimmers who don't post qualifying times during the regular season a chance to compete in a championship meet, just like their faster teammates will do this weekend at the season-ending City Meet.

"It's a wonderful philosophy," Classic Director Mike Handley said. "It's not a meet for also-rans. It's a meet that gives summer swimmers a chance to see what it feels like to be in a competitive invitational. It gives those swimmers a chance to win medals and ribbons."

Handley and the 19 subdivision coaches say they care most that the 1,600 kids have fun and improve their times, even if it's by as little as 100th of a second.

They also like giving these swimmers a chance to finish first, second or third in an event and win a ribbon. That doesn't happen often during the regular-season meets when the summer swimmers go up against others who make swimming their year-round sport.

"We have a lot of winter (year-round) swimmers here. They are the cream of the crop at the City," Handley said. "But the Classic gives the summer swimmers a chance to be competitive, win medals and feel good about themselves. …

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