A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE
2000, the Westchester County Swimming Association, in cooperation with the
Westchester County Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation, hosted
the 75th Annual Westchester County Swimming and Diving Championships at
Playland Pool in Rye, and at the Sprain Ridge Pool in Yonkers, respectively.
The championships were begun in 1926 and the W.C.S.A. was organized in 1929.
This was the only countywide championships that included both competitors
who swim as members of a club as well as individuals who had no club
affiliation. We believe that it is the oldest swimming and diving
championship to be held continuously in the eastern United States.
the past decade, this event has had a resurgence. The number of member teams
has increased from 40 to a high of 53 in 2003 and the number of entries has
increased 25%. There are currently over 1800 swimmers and divers from all
over Westchester County who are registered with the W.C.S.A. In 1999,
approximately 950 individuals competed, of which 159 received an award for
their individual achievements.
have been few changes in the events swum in the meet. This is a unique meet
that is swum in a 50-yard pool, which dictates the length of several of the
swimming races. Individual Medley events must be 200 yards in length and the
shortest event can be 50 yards. Therefore, the youngest age group for the
swimming events is 10 and under. However, there are several seven and eight
year-old swimmers who compete within that age group. 10 and under relays
were introduced within the past decade. These relay events and the 200 yard
Individual Medley events are swum as timed finals, which means that the
competitors only need to swim the event once and the results are based on
that one official time. In all other swimming events, competitors vie in the
trials for eight slots in a final that is swum later in the evening.
Competitors from past championships include Olympic Medalists Bobby Hackett
(who won the boys individual high point in 1970), Rick Carey, Lea Loveless
Maurer, and Cristina Teuscher.
special awards are handed out which commemorate the volunteers that help
this meet to run. Trophies named for local individuals renowned for swimming
or diving expertise include Stephen E. Johnston, Al & Dot Buncher, Willis
Cooling, Barbara Cunningham Leichtweis, Leo J. Butler, Jack Ryan, and Ed
Playland pool has hosted the meet for over 50 years. In 1994, the pool was
repainted using W.C.S.A. funding to change the configuration to eight lanes.
Now we are able to award medals to the top eight competitors rather than the
six finalists of the past.
meet is run by a large group of volunteers with the assistance of the County
staff members at each pool. Several of the officials and scorekeepers have
volunteered for over 20 years each. Timers are generally parents of the
competitors and the diving judges are member team coaches.
meet has always been held with the competitors in mind. As the Donald
McGeachin Founder's Trophy description reads, "the most important aspect of
the Association was the participation and enjoyment of the children".