SCARSDALE, N.Y. – The first day of qualifying for the Westchester County Swim Conference Championships went off without a storm or a hitch Monday, as youngsters 12 to 14 years old competed in heats at the Scarsdale Municipal Pool for places in Thursday's final rounds.
"It can be nerve-wracking," Bronxville Field Club swimmer Catherine Sullivan said before taking her place in the pool for the 100-yard backstroke. "When you have to wait, you start to think about everything. And when you are not doing your best stroke, it's tougher."
With dozens of heats in the 12-Under and 14-Under age groups, the meet began promptly at 9 a.m. in humid and warm weather that seemed to be fine with the swimmers. Being in the pool was a pleasure compared to waiting between heats, when swimmers are lined up on bleacher-style benches according to places in upcoming heats.
"It can be boring," Larchmont Yacht Club swimmer Caitlin Webers said after her 100-yard backstroke heat. "I guess I got a little sleepy just sitting there. I play field hockey, so that's a little more action."
Swimmers waited, listened to music, met new friends from other swim clubs, snacked and waited to swim their next heats.
"We play cards and listen to music, like hip-hop, to keep us awake and alert," Pelham Country Club swimmer Tanner McFarland said. "The waiting isn't too bad if you have people to talk to."
The Westchester County Swim Conference Championships continue Wednesday at 9 a.m. at the Coveleigh Country Club in Rye with qualifying for 6- through 8-year-old swimmers and Wednesday at Orienta Beach Club for swimmers 17 and under.
"Waiting is part of swimming," Hastings swimmer Katie Siebert said. "These are the last meets of the season. The county swim championships are harder, because it's stricter and there are lots more swimmers. This meet is fun."