More than 11,000 boys and girls between the ages of 6 and 18 will competing in three leagues when Northern Virginia club swimming gets under way this weekend.
Most club pools have a team that will compete Saturday mornings in June and July.
The Northern Virginia Swimming League (NVSL), the largest in the area, has 93 teams in 16 divisions with 10,000 members.
On July 10 the NVSL will hold a relay carnival in each division. The 12 fastest in each event of each age group advance to the all-star relay carnival, which will be held at Mansion House on July 17.
The divisional meets follows on July 27. The 12 best finishes in each stroke, in each age group, are eligible to compete in the all-star meet, on Aug. 3 at Old Keene Mill Pool.
Kristi Patterson, the record holder in the 25-meter butterfly in the 9-10 age group, returns to Old Keene Mill. In the 15-18 age category, Mary Quinn, who set the 50-meter butterfly record, returns to Fox Hollow. Steve Gibney, the 50-meter breaststroke record holder, returns to Somerset Old Creek and Andrew Marino, the 50-meter butterfly record holder, returns to Dowden Terrace.
Overlee has held the Division I title for the past five years and is expected to repeat. Overlee has close to 70 members and a large developmental team.
"We have so many activities that we plan, it keeps the kids together. The older kids look out for the younger ones," Overlee Coach Bob York said. "It's really a family-oriented team. No one goes on vaction during the summer swimming season. To the kids, the team is the most important thing."
Erica Bledsoe, who broke records in the 50-meter freestyle and the 50-meter breaststroke last year at the all-star meet, leads Overlee.
The Colonial League has three divisions, the Red, White and Blue, which are organized according to their teams' strengths. Red is the strongest.
There will be a relay carnival on July 14 and each team will send its top members as representatives. Divisionals will be July 27 and Fort Myer will host an all-star meet on Aug. 3.
Leading the Red Division and the Lake Barcroft team is Michelle Griglione, who placed fourth in the U.S. Olympic trials last year.
Devon Hyde, who placed 15th in the 200 individual medley at the senior nationals, and Charlie Cline, who won at the junior nationals in the 50-meter freestyle, return to lead Arlington Aquatics in the White Division.
The Dominion League consists of nine country club teams. They are divided into the A and B divisions, the A division being the stronger.
All-star qualifications are held on July 27 at Springfield. The all-star meet is the next day at Westwood.
International, the defending league champions, fields a team with more than 100 swimmers. Chantilly should prove to be the biggest challange to International. Mount Vernon is competing in the A division for the first time this year.