The Season: Practice, Meets and Social Events
The Team offers daily, weekday practices throughout the season. After Memorial Day, afternoon practices are held, Monday through Friday. Daily morning practices start after the last day of public school. Practices continue through the Friday before Divisionals in late July. Evening make-up practices are offered Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Evening practices are intended for those swimmers who are participating in day care, summer school, camps, or work.
The first swim meet of the year is Time Trials, typically held on the third Saturday morning in June, one week prior to the first Dual Meet. The goal of Time Trials is to get as many times, in as many strokes, for as many swimmers as possible. However, due to time constraints it may be necessary to limit participation somewhat, mainly among the youngest swimmers. This meet is unscored and consists of only individual events. The Gators hold Time Trials with neighboring Hollin Hills alternating host pool year to year.
There are four to five Monday evening, Open Meets (aka“B meets”). At these meets, the goal is to have as many swimmers participate in as many events as possible. All Gators are eligible to participate. The primary consideration for a swimmer’s entry in an event is the likelihood of the swimmer completing the event legally. These Meets are unscored and consist of only individual events. Since the Gators can choose their competition, any AWAY meet will be at a nearby pool: Stratford, Hollin Meadows, Virginia Hills, Highland Park.
More details here.
There are five Saturday morning, NVSL Dual Meets (aka “A meets”). The six teams within each division compete head to head over the course of five weeks. The team with the best win-loss-tie record at the end of the season is crowned the Division Champion and receives a trophy. In the case of a tie multiple trophies are awarded. By rule, the number of competitors is limited. About 60 Gator swimmers are selected to participate in each of these meets. Swimmer selection is decided by the Head Coach and is based on maximizing the probability of LHP victory. These meets are scored and consist of both individual and relay events. AWAY meets could be anywhere in Fairfax County.
More details here
The NVSL Divisional Relay Carnival, or “Relay Carnival” takes place on the Wednesday following the third Dual Meet. All six teams in each division converge on one pool for an evening of relay races. The team with the most points is crowned the Divisional Relay Carnival Champion and receives a trophy. Each age group/gender swims both a freestyle and medley relay. Fewer than 50 Gator swimmers are typically selected to participate in this meet. Swimmer selection is made by the Head Coach and is based on maximizing the probability of LHP victory. Swimmers who regularly swim on their age group relay in Dual Meets are typically selected for this meet. Relay Carnival is scored and consists of only relay events. Like dual meets, AWAY meets could be anywhere in Fairfax County.
All-Star Relay Carnival
One week after Divisional Relay Carnivals, NVSL All-Star Relay Carnival is held among the fastest 18 relay teams throughout the league (for each event, age group, gender) based on times posted at Divisional Relay Carnivals.
On the Saturday following the last (fifth) Dual Meet, each Division holds its NVSL Divisional meet. All six teams in each division converge on one pool for a chance for individual swimmers to qualify for the All Star Championship meet. Each team is allowed to enter two swimmers in each event, and a swimmer can enter no more than two events. If a team does not have two swimmers for an event, the other teams can bid in other swimmers to fill the empty lanes. Swimmer selection is decided by the Head Coach and is based on swimmer preference and qualification as one of the fastest two swimmers available for each event, age group and gender. Divisionals is unscored and consists of only individual events, including the 100 meter Individual Medley. Like dual meets, AWAY meets could be anywhere in Fairfax County.
On the first Saturday in August, one week after Divisionals, the NVSL All-Star Championship meet is held. Swimmers posting the eighteen (18) fastest times, league-wide, at Divisionals qualify for All Stars in each event, age group and gender. All Stars can be overwhelming for a first-time swimmer, as approximately 600 swimmers plus parents, coaches, and officials converge on a pool for a meet that takes about six hours. The Gators typically have one or two swimmers qualify for All Stars.
There are three invitational meets in which LHP swimmers have traditionally participated. Click on the names to find out more about each meet.
All LHP families are invited to join in potluck, pasta dinners on Friday nights at the pool. Families bring pasta, salad, bread, dessert or drinks, and there is often a pep activity for the swimmers to do in preparation for the next day’s meet. Ribbons from previous meets may be distributed and Swimmers of the Week are recognized.
The entire Team gathers poolside for the annual team photo.
Other social events
Parents are encouraged to organize and chaperone fun, teambuilding events and outings throughout the season. Examples have included movies, waterslide parties, mini golf outings, laser tag etc.
Each season, a Home Dual Meet is chosen as “spirit day”. On this day, swimmers are encouraged to dress up wildly in Gator Green. Prior to the meet, the swimmers parade and cheer in dramatic fashion. Spirit day coincides with Senior Day when graduating senior swimmers are honored and recognized.
The culminating event of every Gator year is the end-of-season Swim and Tennis Teams Banquet. Usually the Saturday night of Divisionals, all Gator families are encouraged to attend. The banquet features a buffet dinner and an awards ceremony in which every swimmer is recognized, and there is usually swimming and dancing afterwards.