PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 7/16/19
The Opelika SportsPlex and Aquatics Center is hosting the Alabama Recreation and Parks Association (ARPA) State Swimming and Diving Championship on July 25-27. This three-day meet will feature more than 1,300 of the top swimmers from around the state of Alabama.
The swim meet will begin Thursday at 9 a.m. with a dive meet at Samford Pool in Auburn. Friday and Saturday’s events will be held at the Opelika Sportsplex and Aquatics Center, utilizing the center’s 25-yard indoor pool and 8 short course competition lanes. Automatic timing will be provided by Colorado Timing System with HYTEK interface, the same technology used at the Olympic Team Trials.
The swim meet offers divisions from 6U to 18U and includes all of the competitive swimming styles including freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, individual medley and relays.
All the attending swimmers must compete at the district level in order to qualify to swim at State. The Opelika SportsPlex hosted the District V Swim Meet July 14-15 and had more than 300 swimmers representing seven cities. Of Opelika’s 53 athletes that competed in district, 43 will advance to the state championship. Opelika placed 3rdoverall, winning 23 of 86 events.
“We had a great district meet,” said Tyler McGill, head swim coach. “We had over 100 best times, and we are looking forward to swimming fast at State.”
According to Mandy Johnson, special events coordinator, when you add up the number of swimmers along with their families, there could be an influx of more than 5,000 people in Opelika during the state championship. Those are big numbers when you’re considering economic impact.
The last time Opelika hosted this event was 2017. According to calculations from the Auburn-Opelika Tourism Bureau, during this event revenue from lodging, transportation, retail, food and beverage, recreation and business services generated more than $1.9 million in economic impact that year.
Admission to the swim meet is free to the public, but there will be a $5 charge for swim meet parking. On-site food vendors will provide food and concessions throughout the meet. Space will also be provided for outdoor tents and tailgating.
Opelika Sportsplex members and guests are asked to note that due to the swim meet the Aquatics Center and Basketball Gym will be closed Thursday-Saturday, and all facility activities are canceled during that time.
For more information about the 2019 ARPA State Swim Meet, please contact the Opelika Sportsplex at (334) 705-5560.