Countless hours in the pool.
That’s what swimmers usually do to increase the odds of seeing a great time pop up next to their name on the scoreboard.
But some Frederick County swimmers are going to even greater lengths to see such a sight — they’ll be volunteering at running events.
Swimmers from five Frederick County high schools will man stations at the Frederick Running Festival on May 4 and May 5 so they can raise money for a new swimming scoreboard at Walkersville High School, which hosts the Central Maryland Conference championships.
Walkersville’s current scoreboard doesn’t have the capability of displaying six lanes or the swimmers’ names and schools. So, when Frederick County swim coaches discussed improving facilities in the county, they zeroed in on such an upgrade.
The county purchased new timing consoles for the Walkersville pool. But a Daktronics scoreboard capable of listing six lanes and the swimmers’ names and schools would cost about $12,000.
“We knew that would be tough for the county to handle, and no individual school could take it on,” Walkersville coach Kevin Conley said. “So we looked at some fundraising options.”
Tuscarora swim coach Matt Ginalick knew some people at Corrigan Sports Enterprises, which owns the Frederick Running Festival, so he presented county coaches with this fundraising opportunity.
Members of swim teams from Tuscarora, Middletown, Frederick, Linganore and Walkersville High Schools will volunteer at the Twilight 5K on May 4 and the Frederick Half Marathon on May 5. Coaches and other adults associated with those programs will also volunteer.
“Each team is providing somewhere between 15 to 25 volunteers,” said Ginalick, who is spearheading the fundraiser. “And we’re doing various tasks out there between water stops, bag checks and bib pass-outs.”
For such volunteer efforts, Corrigan Sports Enterprises will donate money that can be used to help pay for a new swimming scoreboard.
“This won’t get us all the way there, but it’s something to help us get to that goal,” Ginalick said.
Usually, local swimmers have to wait until they compete in regional or state meets to have scoreboards capable of displaying their names and schools. Not this year. And the athletes won’t be the only beneficiaries.
“It does make it a lot easier for the spectators to be able to see that,” Conley said.
And aside from helping secure a new scoreboard that displays their times, swimmers might get some other benefits.
“The other really cool part about it is, the kids, for community service hours, will get credit for working [the Frederick Running Festival] as well,” Ginalick said. “So for some of the kids who have National Honor Society requirements, they can fulfill those by volunteering at these events.”