Part of a month-long Orange Bowl training session held each year in the Florida Keys, the classic hosts some of the nation's finest competitors. The sprint-style meet features 20 fast-paced swimming events measured by a state-of-the-art timing system.
Of more than a dozen college teams scheduled to attend winter training, eight are slated to compete in the swimming classic including George Mason University from Fairfax, Va.; University of Michigan from Ann Arbor, Mich., and Dartmouth College from Hanover, N.H.
Some notable 2012 Olympians have either trained at the Jacobs Aquatic Center swimming facility or participated in the Orange Bowl Swim Classic. They include top women's swimming medalist Missy Franklin (four gold, one bronze), three-time swimming medalist Nathan Adrian and freestyle swimmers Kate Ziegler and George Bovell who represented Trinidad and Tobago at the London games.
Key Largo is quickly becoming a much sought-after place for training, said Dr. Jim Boilini, event chairman, who also serves on the board of directors of the Jacobs Aquatic Center. Key Largo's weather, a first-class training facility, the community's embrace and the lure of the Orange Bowl is a great combination, Boilini said.
Islamorada's aquatic center, 13 miles south, in Founders Park also features an Olympic-sized swimming pool with two diving boards beneath swaying palm trees. Both pools are open to the public on a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly fee basis.
The Orange Bowl competition is expected to start at 2 p.m. and continue until 4 p.m. Admission is free to watch.
A post-contest awards social and dinner are set to commence at the Jacobs Aquatic Center following the meet. Spectators who reserve ahead can attend the dinner and interact with the swimmers and coaches.
Event contact: jacobsaquaticcenter.org or 305-453-SWIM (305-453-7946)
Key Largo visitor information: www.fla-keys.com/keylargo or 1-800-822-1088
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