For those swimmers who want to compete, there are a variety of options to choose from. Any Masters swimmer can compete in any event in their age group – and (with one exception*) there are no qualifying times.
Check the calendar on this site for local events and the USMS calendar for events here and in other parts of the country.
Generally there are three “seasons” for pool competitions:
- January to May – Short Course Yards (SCY) Season. SCY meets are held in 25 yard pools. One such meet is the Montana Masters SCY Championships generally held in March.
- June to August – Long Course Meters (LCM) Season. LCM events are held in 50 meter pools.
- September to December – Short Course Meters (SCM) Season. SCM events are held in 25 meter pools. There are generally fewer SCM events as there are fewer pools of this length.
Traditional swim meets held in one location over a period of one to three days are at the heart of pool competition.
In Montana, several events are dual-sanctioned by the Montana LMSC and an LSC (USA-Swimming) meet host.
Participants swim the event in a pool of their choice and submit their time to the meet host.
The Flathead Lake Open Water club (FLOWS) hosts the Postal Swimtathlon League each year. See information here for the 2017 event.
National championship events are the 1-Hour ePostal Nationals completed in January of each year, the 5K/10K Nationals (50 meter pools only), 3000/6000 Yard ePostal Nationals (25 yards or 25 meter pools only).
Open Water Events
The Kalispell Aquatic Team Swim club (KATS) hosts the Flathead Lake Swim Series in Big Arm bay on Flathead Lake each summer starting in 2014. Four events are contested at distances of 5k, 10k, 1 mile and 1/2 mile. For more information see their FaceBook page. FLSS is a charity event and all proceeds go to the Enduring Waves Foundation.
We post other area open water swim events, sanctioned or not, that we know of to the calendar on this site.
*At National Championship pool meets only, a swimmer must meet the National Qualifying Time (NQT) for three of six events in their age group. In other words, the first three events are “free” – you can swim whether or not you meet the NQT. To swim events 4, 5 and 6 you must meet the NQTs. NQTs are recalculated each year.