Competitive Swimming 101

During the winter season (September – mid-March), the Mexico YMCA Mid-MO Marlins Swim Team participates in competitive swim meets as a member of the Heartland Area Swimming Conference. This is a conference of YMCA Swim Teams in the eastern Missouri and western Illinois regions, and was “…formed in 2013 to provide a structured environment where YMCA swim teams may come together and enjoy equal opportunities and fair play in competitions.” There is an open invitation for all member teams to compete at any meet hosted by another member team during the ​w​inter ​swim ​season. All of the ​winter ​swim meets to which we have been invited are YMCA swim meets, and are listed in our Heartland Area Conference Meets section.

Swimmers must participate in at least two (2) of our Heartland Area Conference meets throughout the winter season, in order to be eligible to participate in the mandatory Heartland Area Conference West Regional meet, which is held on the weekend of the first Friday in March. Swimmers who have qualifying times may then compete in the Conference’s Area Championship meet two weeks following the Regional meet.

The Mexico YMCA Mid-MO Marlins Swim Team is also a Swim Club member of USA Swimming under their Missouri Valley Swimming LSC. Marlins swimmers are therefore required to register with USA Swimming as athlete members, enabling them to compete in several USA Swimming sanctioned meets throughout the year – even meets that are outside of the Heartland Area Conference schedule during the winter swim season, and the Mid-Mo Conference schedule during the summer swim season.

During the summer swim season (May – early July), the Mexico YMCA Mid-MO Marlins Swim Team participates in competitive swim meets as a member of the Mid-Mo Swim Conference. This is a conference of summer swim clubs that purpose to “…advance the enjoyment of swimming in our clubs and maintain a competitive swimming program in this area.”

Swimmers must participate in at least two (2) of the Mid-Mo Conference meets throughout the summer season in order to be eligible to participate in the mandatory Mid-Mo Conference Championship meet, which is usually held on the second Saturday in July. No qualifying times are required for the Mid-Mo Conference Championship meet.

Every summer, the Mexico YMCA Mid-MO Marlins Swim Team hosts two home meets – a short course, Mid-Mo Conference dual swim meet; and a long course, USA Swimming sanctioned invitational swim meet. The short course meet is usually held at the Missouri Military Academy swimming pool on the eastern side of town, while the long course meet is held at the Mexico Fairground Municipal Pool, located next door to the Mexico Area Family YMCA. All swim team parents are expected to work the volunteer jobs required to successfully run each of these hosted swim meets.