Far West swim meet to return to MH

After rave reviews from Pacific Swimming officials, the Far
Western Championship swim meet will officially return to the Morgan
Hill Aquatics Center next spring, bringing with it thousands of
swimmers and fans from the Western United States and elsewhere.
Morgan Hill – After rave reviews from Pacific Swimming officials, the Far Western Championship swim meet will officially return to the Morgan Hill Aquatics Center next spring, bringing with it thousands of swimmers and fans from the Western United States and elsewhere.

According to the Morgan Hill Swim Club’s John Rick, the huge event’s return came as little surprise after a key Pacific Swimming official filed a highly complimentary Referee’s Report regarding this year’s Far Western Championships at the Aquatics Center.

“We though it was going to be ours to lose and it turns out they wanted us to keep it,” Rick said. “We’re very pleased and we think this is a very positive thing for the city.”:

Also, traditionally, a site is allowed to host the Far Western Championships two years in a row.

New acting City Recreation and Community Services Manager Melissa Dial said the four-day event was the only one of two swim meets to actually turn a profit during the Aquatics Center’s inaugural year.

Rick estimated that the event earned about $18,000-$20,000. City officials also expressed pleasure about the impact on surrounding businesses, including motels and restaurants, from the influx of people.

Visitors in town for the event also said they were impressed by how it was run.

The event did create some parking congestion, especially because it was held during the same weekend as a Northern California State Cup soccer tournament held at the adjacent soccer complex and the Haru Matsuri Japanese spring festival, also located nearby. But the swim center underwent a $600,000 renovation this spring that included 126 new parking spaces.

This year’s Far Western Championships were held Thursday, March 31 through Sunday, April 3. Next year’s event will be held Thursday, March 30 through Sunday, April 2.

The Aquatics Center will also host the Coast Valley Aquatic League finals Aug. 5-7. That event also draws hundreds of swimmers and fans to Morgan Hill.

Long-term, there are plans in the works to host at least one large regional or national swim meet per year, Rick said.

He added that the Summer Far Western Championships could be held at the Aquatics Center if city officials agree to it.

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