Garnite Hills to host national AAU swim meet
When it comes to training in swimming there’s in reality two choices — the summer recreational route or for those who want to be involved on the most elite level, the more cost prohibitive USA Swimming programs.
Both choices serve a purpose and are outstanding in their own right, but Granite Hills High swim coach Mike Chapman wants to develop a year-round program that combines the best of both alternatives.
Chapman also runs the Porterville Aquatics Club designed to be more of a year-round program that’s less cost prohibitive than a USA Swimming club. PAC is affiliated with the Amateur Athletic Union, which is trying to become more involved again in swimming.
Chapman’s goal of PAC becoming a more feasible program and AAU’s goal of becoming more feasible again in swimming received a big boost when Granite Hills was chosen to host the inaugural AAU National High School Swimming and Diving Championships to be held May 26 and 27.
As a forerunner to the meet, PAC will also host its spring swimming, diving and water polo invitational to be held on April 21 at Granite Hills. “The whole goal is to get the Central Valley kids,” said Chapman about the April 21 event.
Swimming and diving events will begin at 9:30 a.m. with water polo to begin at 1 p.m. There will be boys and girls 16 and under and a co-ed 14 and under division in water polo. There will be boys and girls 8 and under 9-10, 11-12 and 13 and over divisions for swimming and novice and Junior Olympic divisions for all age groups in diving.
Chapman said he has 45 members in PAC now. A few are adults while the vast majority are students who are all 14 and under. Chapman said his goal is for PAC to become a feeder program for the local high schools “regardless of where they go.”
While Monache and PHS have summer water polo programs and they do a great job, Chapman said, he also began a 14 and under water polo program last summer with PAC and will continue that program this summer. Chapman noted the Clovis schools have middle school water polo feeder programs.
Granite Hills hosted an AAU swimming and diving meet last October and Chapman said the success of that event helped lead AAU to decide to hold a national championships at Granite. Chapman said he hopes that Granite will host the national event at least next year as well.
There’s also a chance that Granite could host an AAU National High School Water Polo Championships this fall. “I see it as a very great possibility,” Chapman said.
He said interest is building for the upcoming national event. “We’ve had a lot of inquiries,” Chapman said.
While it’s a national event, Chapman said he knows that realistically the vast majority of swimmers will be from California. “We realize it’s predominantly going to be California,” he said.
In the future, it’s hoped that the event could sanctioned as the national high school championships by the National High School Federation, which governs national high school sports. Chapman said for this year’s event, he’s hoping for 400-500 swimmers.
Chapman said any organization who would like to is more than welcome to provide support for the event.
For information on swimming and water polo for the April 21 and national events, contact Chapman, (559) 333-0919 or email@example.com and for information on diving for both events, contact Rick Foell, (559) 269-7072 or firstname.lastname@example.org.