Story originally published at YakimaHerald.com by Rafael Guerrero.
Toppenish’s 50-yard community pool is the heart of the Lower Valley city this weekend. For the 26th year, as many as 400 swimmers ages 5-18 are challenging themselves at the AAU Central Washington Swim Invitational.
And for the 26th year, organizers are challenging themselves and making the event as enjoyable and efficient for competitors, families and spectators.
“We’re kind of experienced at it,” said Kara Supnet, one of the main organizers. “We know the procedure pretty well. Parents are involved year-round to get it going.”
What does it take to coordinate 54 events, about 400 races and hundreds of swimmers running around the facility? Months of planning and preparation.
In January, serious negotiations begin taking shape on how the invitational is laid out, said Chay Maltos, an organizer and president of the Toppenish Tarpons. The process of finding vendors begins and having the invitational sanctioned are a few examples of what transpires months before the summer event.
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