More than 1,500 swimmers are getting ready to compete in SPY Swimming’s 11th Annual Maryland Winterfest Invitational. This year’s event will be held Jan. 11-13 at the University of Maryland.
“Winterfest is the largest age group YMCA meet in the country,” said Meet Director Carole Parker. “We have 45 teams coming, and we have 1,531 swimmers. It’s a huge event.”
SPY swimming hosts the event in College Park every year and 197 swimmers from Anne Arundel County will compete against participants from eight states.
The invitational will feature swimmers ages 9-18 from New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland and Virginia.
“It’s a great opportunity for our kids to swim in that kind of venue,” Parker said. “It’s a college campus, and it’s a beautiful pool facility. It gives kids the chance to swim in a fast meet. It’s a cut meet, so you have to meet a cut time in order to swim."
Parker’s daughter, , which had about 900 swimmers compared to Winterfest’s 1,531.
Winterfest is entirely organized and run by volunteers. “It’s a huge undertaking,” Parker said. “The volunteers do such a good job. To watch that many kids roll through and see how excited they are—it’s a well-oiled machine, and it is amazing to watch.”
More information on Winterfest can be found here.