Seminole Pool and Tennis Club will welcome 1,990 Madison area swimmers, including those from the Monona Swim Club, and their friends and families for the 55th annual All-City Swim Meet today through Saturday.
The All-City Swim Meet is one of the largest outdoor amateur swim meets in the country. At its inception in 1962, the All-City Swim Meet consisted of five teams. Today, 13 teams participate with male and female swimmers from ages 4-18.
“All-City Week represents a chance, once a year, to celebrate what is a unique Madison area tradition,” said Jane Feller, co-chairwoman of the All-City Swim Meet. “It’s been my favorite week of the year for the 10 years my own kids have been a part of it.”
Seminole Pool will have seating for 1,000 spectators. Admission is free, and street parking is available in the Seminole pool neighborhood. Swimming begins each day at 8 a.m.
Katy Culver, who co-chairs the meet with Feller, said what sets All-City apart is it embraces swimmers of all skill levels.
“You see swimmers who swim only for summer recreation and those who have Olympic ambitions,’’ Culver said. “It makes for a great mix and a fun event for swimmers and spectators.”
The All-City Swim Meet is more than just swimming. Each pool also competes throughout the summer to raise money for Second Harvest Food Bank. Support of Second Harvest also brings out the competitive spirit. Teams compete to raise the most meals per swimmer, and the winning team earns a traveling trophy.
The food drive embodies the community spirit of All-City, a tight-knit family that supports swimmers of all ages and abilities. The league also works with the Shelley Glover foundation to raise funds to support swim lessons for kids in need.
Preliminary heats in freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and individual medley for girls and boys ages 11-18 take place today. On Friday, boys and girls 10 and younger participate in their preliminary heats. Also on Friday are the freestyle and medley relays for boys and girls 8 and younger.
Individual finals for all age groups are Saturday. Medley relays and freestyle relays for ages 9 and older are also Saturday.
Last year, the Monona Swim and Dive Club finished in fifth place with 1,629.5 points. Ridgewood, winner of 19 of the last 21 All-City competitions, was first with 2,615.5.