The dates and schedules are all set, the teams have been realigned throughout the 17 divisions and the water in the 102 pools across the area is slowly being filtered and prepared for the upcoming 2022 summertime Northern Virginia Swimming League season.
When the popular outdoor campaign begins with 9 a.m. Saturday morning meets June 18, two of the four Arlington teams in the league – the Overlee Flying Fish and Donaldson Run Thunderbolts – will be in Division 1 for the second-straight summer.
Overlee has been a mainstay in Division 1, perched there every year dating back to 1962. This summer marks the first time Donaldson Run will be in Division 1 in back-to-back seasons since the 1969 and ’70 seasons. Overlee beat Donaldson Run, 236-184, last summer.
Overall, Overlee finished third in that division last summer with a 3-2 record. The Thunderbolts were fourth at 2-3. The teams meet in an all-Arlington showdown this summer, Saturday, July 16 at Donaldson Run in one of the five regular-season dual matches.
The teams open their seasons June 18, with Donaldson Run at defending Division 1 champion Tuckahoe and Overlee hosting the Langley Wildthings, who move up one spot this summer after winning Division 2 in 2021 with a 5-0 record.
Langley is the lone new addition to Division 1, with McLean pools Chesterbrook and Highlands Swim the other two teams.
Arlington’s Dominion Hills Warriors move up to Division 7 after finishing second with a 4-1 mark in Division 8 last year. The Warriors’ first meet is June 18 at Ravensworth Farm in Springfield, a team that was 3-2 in Division 7 last summer.
The Arlington Forest Tigers remain in Division 9 after going 1-4 there last summer. The Tigers swim at Poplar Heights in Falls Church in their season opener. Poplar Heights finished 3-2 in Division 11 last summer.
The 2022 season will be the first NVSL campaign since 2019 that will not be altered or have restrictions in some way because of the pandemic. That means the league-wide all-star relay carnival will be held for the first time since 2019, this summer on Wednesday, July 13 at Hamlet Swim Club in McLean.
“We are so really excited about this season and finally getting the relay carnival back,” league president Jen Sayasithsena said. “We have the same 102 teams ready to go, we will publish a handbook again this summer for the first time since 2019, and everything is on target. Fingers crossed.”
The one item not yet determined is the site of the league-wide individual all-star competition, which will be held Saturday, July 30. Sayasithsena said a final site will be decided in the next two or three weeks.
Springboard pool in Springfield hosted the past two all-star meets.
Divisional relays are scheduled for Wednesday, July 6 at 17 different sites througout the league, with Overlee hosting Division 1.
The divisions and five-week regular-season schedules also are set for the NVSL diving season, set to open with meets Tuesday evening, June 21.
Overlee will be in Division I, Donaldson Run in Division III, Dominion Hill in Division IV and Arlington Forest in Division V. Overlee is the defending Division I champion. Donaldson Run was 3-2 and tied for second in Division III last summer, Dominion Hills was 2-3 in Division IV and Arlington Forest 0-5 in Division III.
Divisional dive meets are scheduled for all day on Sunday, July 24, with the season-ending league-wide all-star meet Sunday all day, July 31 at Fairfax Station.
NOTE: Many NVSL swimming teams move up and down in divisions from season to season based on win-loss records. The team making the biggest jump from last summer to 2022 is Cottontail of Springfield, jumping five spots from winning Division 13 to Division 8. The team falling the most divisions is Fox Mill Woods of Reston, dropping six spots from Division 8 to 14.