INTENT TO PARTICIPATE WILL BE DUE BY SUNDAY, JANUARY 13TH, 2013 FOR THOSE THAT HAVE MADE A QUALIFYING TIME IN AT LEAST ONE EVENT. THERE ARE ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES TO MAKE A QUALIFYING TIME IN JANUARY AFTER THE COMMITMENT DATE, UP TO THE START OF NATIONAL TEAM PRACTICES.
The Sunkissed Invitational swim meet should ultimately be every swimmer's long or short term goal. This meet is usually held in late March or early April at a site that is determined the previous year. The meet is held at the Mecklenberg County Aquatic Center in Charlotte, NC. Raritan Valley is very proud of the fact that our participation on the National Team has historically involved approximately 30% or more of our swimmers in a given season.
This meet is designed to give the opportunity to compete in a national meet to many more swimmers than comparable meets in other organizations (USS, YMCA, etc). In other words, this meet gives swimmers, who otherwise may never encounter this experience, the opportunity to travel to, and compete in, a big four-day meet. The qualifying times are attainable goals for most junior swimmers (at least 10 years of age) as they approach the age of 13, and for senior swimmers from 14 years of age.
If going to Nationals is one of a swimmer's goals this season, then it is imperative that the swimmer takes the appropriate steps on his/her way toward making the qualifying times. Initially, each swimmer must make the commitment to attend practices and work hard. After making this commitment, swimmers must give themselves every opportunity, over the course of the season, to swim the events in which they are trying to qualify. This means attending as many extra meets as possible. This is especially important for swimmers in the 10-12 age group, for they are only swimming 50 yard stroke events in dual meets, as opposed to the 100 yard stroke events, 200 IM and 500 free style which are swum at Nationals. Seniors also must give themselves the opportunity to swim in events they may not normally swim in dual meets, such as 200 yard stroke events, 400 IM and 500/1000 yard free styles.
After an intense six week training program from late February to early April, the team travels together and attends the meet sessions together as a team. Parents, meanwhile, are assigned to chaperone duties for meals, afternoon and evening patrols, as well as timing and officiating duties at the meet. All of these responsibilities are divided evenly among the parents, most of which usually attend the meet.
This year the annual Sunkissed Junior/Senior Championship will again be held in Charlotte, North Carolina. The dates are April 4, 2013 - April 7, 2013.
The qualifying times are listed here. A swimmer needs only to qualify in one event to participate in the meet, however, once there, he/she may swim up to 6 events plus relays (coaches decide who swims relays). For further information on the team sponsoring this meet you can go to the Team Charlotte website.
We need to know if you are planning to attend this year's event. It is important for you to complete this online form by Sunday, Jan 13, 2013, so we can begin coordinating the logistics of our trip.
The Blake Hotel is where the team will be staying, as we have done in previous years. It is conveniently located directly across the street from the Natatorium.
While the coaches, many parents and swimmers fly to Nationals, just as many drive. Flight arrangements must be made on your own. We have found we can get good rates online and parents tend to keep each other informed of those rates. Whether you fly or drive, the most important thing to remember is that all swimmers must be at the hotel and ready to swim by 3 PM on Thursday, April 4. At the conclusion of the meet on Sunday, April 7, our annual National Team Banquet will be held. The banquet is open to all swimmers, parents and siblings. For this reason, most of us will not be leaving for home until Monday morning (April 8).
This is a true group effort. Please note that all parents will be given assignments both before and once down in Charlotte. All parents will time, work as hall monitors, both during the day and evenings, as well as saving seats in the Natatorium.
More information on team suit will be forthcoming. You are NOT required to purchase any suits but these types of swimsuits are an upgrade from our regular team suits.
The following are some average costs so that you can plan for the 2013 trip. Expenses will change from year to year and these should only be used as ball park estimates.
Expenses for swimmers: $750 (estimated)
Expenses for parents: $300 per parent (single parents requesting a single room, $600) - parent rooms are booked under the Riptide block and assigned by the team (individual reservations should not be made)
The following are included in the above expenses for the swimmers:
Pool use fee
Swimmers' breakfast for Fri/Sat/Sun
Swimmers' lunch for Sunday
Swimmers' dinner for Thu/Fri/Sat
Banquet dinner on Sunday
We ask that parents who will not be coming down with a spouse try to and share a room with another parent since we are assigned a limited number of rooms. Requests will be taken on a first come first served basis for individual rooms. The fee also includes provisions for the Hospitality Suite. This is where parents will meet, relax, discuss the day's events, and pick up information on the following: timing assignments, seat saving schedule, team roster and room assignment list for the hall monitors, and any other info we need to get out to the parents.
Swimsuit and caps expenses:
Girls' swimsuits: $100 - $140
Boys' swimsuits: $100 - $125
Two Team Caps: $15-$23 (the team pays for one cap, additional caps may be purchased in sets of twos)
We are always looking for ways to help defray our costs. If anyone is interested in working on fundraising for Nationals, or if you know someone who would be interested in sponsoring our National Team please let us know.
Breakfast will be provided for all swimmers and coaches by a catering service each morning. It is not mandatory for swimmers to attend breakfast, they can bring food from home and eat in their rooms. The hotel does NOT provide refrigerators. Once the swimmers have left for the Natatorium, parents will be able to enjoy any food and coffee that is left over (parent meals are not included in the cost for Nationals).
Lunch: Swimmers are responsible for their own lunch. There are many restaurants and shops within walking distance. Parents may also take their children out but must have them back at the hotel at the time assigned by the coach (No exceptions!). We have added a team lunch for Sunday that will be provided for by the caterer.
Dinner will be provided by a catering service. Swimmers attend dinner together as a team every evening after each session.
Parents and swimmers will have the opportunity to order additional National Team apparel . In the past, items such as the following have been included: golf shirts, T-shirts, jackets, warm-up suits, shorts, swim bags, etc.
Please note that Nationals practices are more rigorous than regular season practices. Practice times vary. The practice schedule will be posted for exact times. The first day of National Team practice will be announced. Also, the most intensive and important week of training will be held from Sunday, March 17th - Saturday March 23rd. All of these practices are mandatory. The coaches have a very structured two month training program planned, and disruption to the practice cycle can hurt a swimmer's performance at Nationals. Only a limited number of absences will be accepted without jeopardizing one's place on the team.
If you decide to drive, there are two popular ways to get from NJ to Charlotte. Talk to other parents for their opinions. One is to take I-95 south into Virginia, then I-85 south to Charlotte. The other is to go west on I-76 (Pennsylvania Turnpike) into Harrisburg PA, then south on I-81 into Virginia, and finally I-77 south to Charlotte. Either way, be prepared for at least 12 hours of driving, depending on traffic. One option is to get an early afternoon start on Wednesday afternoon, take the second route mentioned above, and sleep over in Roanoke, VA or even Jonesville or Elkin, NC. There are a number of reasonably priced hotels right off the interstate highway.
If you decide to fly, and need transportation from the Charlotte Airport to the Blake Hotel, we recommend you call Queens Transportation ahead of time and schedule the drive with them. If you are traveling with others, call as a group - you may get a group discount. Queens Transportation can be reached at 704-752-9858.
A number of forms must be completed and brought to the mandatory parents meeting, which will be on a date yet to be determined. Please take the time to complete these forms ahead of time (before the actual meeting!), reading the directions carefully on each form (note that not all forms are currently available - this section will be updated as the forms become ready). Some forms also require checks to be submitted. Multiple checks are required for different expenses/fees. Any questions? Contact Leslie Thompson.
Parents' Meeting Packet (Forms to be filled out prior to, and handed in at, the Parents' Meeting)
Optional Apparel Order Form (Full Payment Required)
Swimsuit, Cap, Warmup Order Form (Full Payment Required)
GIRLS SUIT FORM; BOYS SUIT FORM; CAPS/EQUIPMENT FORM
Fly / Drive / Cell Phone List
Dilworth's Dinner Form (Full Payment Required)
Swimmer Entry Fees
Leslie Thompson: National Team Chairperson