Fifty years after Texas hosted the first USMS national championship, more than 2,000 swimmers are expected to compete at Spring Nationals in April 2020
U.S. Masters Swimming held its first national championship in 1970 in Amarillo, Texas. The organization will make a historic return to the state in two years.
The 2020 USMS Spring National Championship will be April 23-26 in San Antonio, Texas, taking USMS back to the state where it began for its 50th anniversary, the organization announced at its annual meeting this week in Jacksonville, Fla.
“We couldn’t be more excited to have this historic meet in San Antonio,” says Dawson Hughes, CEO of USMS. “The city has been a wonderful host in the past, and the attractions make San Antonio an excellent place for the Masters Swimming community to spend a long weekend while celebrating this milestone in our history.”
Among the top attractions in San Antonio, which draws more than 32 million visitors each year, include the River Walk, the Alamo, Six Flags Fiesta Texas, SeaWorld San Antonio, and a burgeoning culinary scene.
The first USMS meet happened after Capt. Ransom J. Arthur, then a doctor in the Navy, persuaded John Spannuth, then president of the Coaches Association, to host the first National Masters Swimming Championships on May 2-3, 1970. Arthur believed the meet would give adults a goal to keep physically fit through swimming. The meet drew 46 swimmers, a number that more than doubled when held again in Amarillo in 1971.
More than 2,000 swimmers ranging in age from 18 to 100 are expected to compete in the 2020 meet, one of two pool national championships USMS contests each year.
The meet will take place at the Northside ISD Swim Center, which will host a USMS national championship for the second time in five years. There were 49 USMS individual records and eight USMS relay records broken there in April 2015.
USMS is partnering with San Antonio Sports and the Northside Independent School District to contest the short course yards meet.“San Antonio is excited to host the 2020 USMS Spring National Championship, especially during U.S. Masters Swimming’s 50th anniversary,” says Russ Bookbinder, President and CEO of San Antonio Sports. “We last hosted the thousands of USMS swimmers and their families in 2015 and have been eager to return this prestigious event to the world-class Northside Swim Center. In San Antonio, we know how to throw a fiesta and promise a competition and celebration worthy of the USMS 50th!”