By Justin Whitaker
— When it comes to swimming, the only thing bigger than USA Swimming National Championships is the Olympics. And now county athletes and the Avon Community Swim Team (ACST) are directly involved with the prestigious event.
After winning a statewide bid between other Indiana swim teams, the ACST will share co-host duties of the 2013 Phillips 66 USA Swimming National Championships and World Championship Trials with Indiana Swimming from June 25-29, 2013 at the Indiana University Natatorium at IUPUI.
The event serves as the selection meet for Team USA and their teams for the 15th FINA World Swimming Championships in July in Barcelona, Spain.
“It’s a huge deal for the community of Avon and the Avon Community Swim Team,” said Kerry Kiefer, president of the ACST.
Kiefer is expecting fan favorites of the 2012 Summer Olympics such as Missy Franklin and Ryan Lochte to be competing at the event plus competition from Japan and China as well.
Exposure to the top competition in the world in swimming for his team is exciting for Kiefer.
“They are not going to get this opportunity every year and we are excited about it, just ecstatic,” he said.
Ranging from five years old and up, the ACST consists of nearly 200 swimmers including those from Plainfield, Brownsburg and Avon high schools.
Serving as co-hosts will require the ACST to facilitate these areas during the competition: marshalling, ushering, meet sales, meet operations, hospitality, meet and greets at the Indianapolis International Airport and providing some officials.
In order to fully staff the event, the ACST will be looking for nearly 500 volunteers along with their own members participating.
“Some of those will obviously be coming from the club but we are going to look to pull from the community of Avon, Hendricks County, surrounding areas,” Kiefer said.
For those interested in volunteering or corporate sponsorships, Kiefer says to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The benefits of serving as club co-host are two-fold for the ACST. Jon Karr serves as the head coach for both the ACST and Avon High School swim team and Kiefer believes this helps everyone involved.
“It will solidify Avon’s position in Indiana swimming as one of the top 10 teams in the state,” he said.
Kiefer then added about Karr, “I think it will further enhance his credibility as a solid coach for both Avon High School and the club.”
The event brochures and programs will have reference to the ACST and the USA Swimming National Championships will be televised. The exposure for Avon will certainly be noteworthy.
“This is going to put Avon on the map,” Kiefer said.