The Other Daughter

A blog by Lara Jackson’s sister

Swim Season – never ends

Posted by Carly Rose Jackson on March 12, 2009

Aside: an article about Lara.  The writer focussed on Lara’s unique pasttime: horseback riding.  Lara & Calypso.jpgNotice the inaccuracy?  I just want to say for the record: a) I have never belonged to a swim team and b) I would never join any sort of team for a cute boy, because I am a liberated woman.

Okay, back to the blog:

I mentioned in an earlier post that once the swimming phenom invaded the Jackson family, we never went camping again.  It’s true.  Also, any vacations to visit family had to be scheduled around swim season.

Since this is a blog about swimming, I’ll explain a little about swim seasons.

From September to March, U.S. college and high school swimmers compete in short course pools.  Below is a picture of the pool where Lara just competed in the Pacific 10 Conference.

The divider in the middle allows for short-course competition on one side and warm-up lanes on the other side of the pool.  During the long-course season, the divider is removed.  The two strings of flags are for backstrokers.  When they see the flags, they know to turn over, because they’ve reached the end of the pool.

pac 10 Seattle 2009 pool length.jpg

Lara holds the American Record in the 50-yard freestyle.  Since only crazy Americans swim in 25-yard pools, technically she’s the world record holder, according to my dad.

The rest of the world swims a short course season in a 25-meter length pool.

If you have watched Olympic swimming, you may have noticed the races in 50-meter length pools.  This is called long-course.  The long-course season runs from April to August, and is usually run by USA Swimming

These seasons are basically the same from age 6 to age 42.  When Lara was in high school, she swam the short-course season with her high school team, though she still trained with her USA Swimming team.  That’s right, Lara trained on two swim teams; but so did every other swimmer.

During summer vacation, Lara trained with her USA Swimming “club” team, the Barracudas.  Now that she is in college, she stays in Tucson over the summer to train with the Ford Aquatic Team.  With Christmas training and summer training, I never get to see her.


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