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Weekend meet in Lemont to draw adult swimmers to CORE

LEMONT – The Lemont Park District’s CORE will host its first Tri Smart Masters Swim Meet on Sunday.

Swimmers ages 18 and older will compete in individual events, grouped by age. There will be 50 and 100 yard races for all strokes and 200 and 500 yard freestyle races for more advanced swimmers.

Tri Smart Coaching owner MJ Gasik organized the meet. She started a Masters Swimming team in 2010 that practices at the CORE.

The group has participated in Masters Swimming meets before, but this will be their first chance to host one in their home pool, Gasik said.

“We wanted to have one last spring but couldn’t get things together in time,” she said.

The competitive swimming season runs from December to April, Gasik said, so she had to wait to schedule the event.

Gasik said the CORE pool is attractive to competitive swimmers in the region because of its proximity to I-355, adequate locker room and spectator seating space, and the cleanness of the pool.

She did not want to name specific pools but said that some will contain debris such as bandages, hair and pony tail holders.

Lemont Park District Aquatics Supervisor Jason Khuen said the event should be a good showcase for the relatively new pool.

“We’re looking to expand our programs,” he said.

The CORE pool already hosts swim meets for Lemont High School and the Lemont Dolphins Swim Team.

Khuen said having Masters swim meets will bring in an adult crowd interested in fitness.

It will also be a future opportunity for young swimmers who want to continue after they age out of their team.

The event is not just for former competitive swimmers. Gasik said she organized the meet to be beginner-friendly.

“This is going to be a low-key meet,” she said. “A lot of people are scared that they won’t be able to compete in a meet.”

She said she estimates about 50 people will participate and at least a dozen of them have never swam in a meet before.

Coaches will be on hand to answer questions about how to participate, she said.

If the event is successful, Gasik said she may try organizing one or two meets a year at the CORE.

Because Masters Swimming wants only one meet a day, groups must schedule them far in advance, she said.

The registration deadline was Dec. 11, but Gasik said people who want to compete can still register by calling 708-466-2379.

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