On May 25-28 Katie Rauch and I had the opportunity to attend the Southern Zone Select Camp. USA Swimming hosts 4 Zone Select Camps (Central, Eastern, Southern and Western) to begin to introduce age group swimmers to the USA Swimming culture, give them an opportunity to work with new coaches, meet swimmers from around the country and learn from USA Swimming staff. 28 male and 28 female athletes are selected in each of the four Zones. Selected girls must be age 12-13 at the time of performance. Selected boys must be age 13-14 at the time of performance. 14 athletes of each sex are selected based on 2016 Long Course Meters (LCM) IMX point scores according to the following:
Seven girls age 12 and seven boys age 13
Seven girls age 13 and seven boys age 14
Then, the fastest swimmer in each Zone in each Long Course Meters (LCM) Olympic event (including the 800 and 1500 for both sexes) is invited for a total of 14 additional male and 14 additional female athletes. If a swimmer was already selected based on IMX score, the next fastest swimmer is selected in that event.
Katie was selected to the camp based on her IMX scores as a 13 year old from the 2016 Long Course Season. We hope that other athletes on ATOM will have the opportunity to attend the camp as well. You can read about Katie’s experience below:
I had an amazing experience at Southern Zone Select Camp. I learned so much about the sport not only through the practices, but from the group meetings and the coaches that I had a chance to work with. The camp taught me that nutrition, attitude and goal setting are all very important to becoming a high level athlete. I learned that there are many different paths a swimmer can take to reach their dream of going to the Olympics to represent team USA. Everyone at the camp was very understanding of my shoulder problems and made sure to adjust the workouts to fit my needs.
One of my favorite parts about the camp was meeting so many new friends. Before going to camp I didn’t know many swimmers outside of my small team. Now I know swimmers from all around the southern region of the united states. There were so many fun team building activities that the camp had to bring us closer together. It is great knowing that some of my competitors are now friends that I can go up and talk to a meets. Over all the camp was a great experience that I was very lucky to be a part of and learn from.