Chris Accetta was a fan of the City Swim Meet even before he became president of the Coastal Carolina Aquatic Association.
“I’ve always said, the City Swim Meet is the singular greatest youth sporting event in the Lowcountry,” said Accetta.
As almost 1,000 swimmers gather for the 52nd edition of the City Swim Meet this weekend at the Goose Creek Community Pool, changes are afoot for both the CCAA and its season-ending championship event.
Accetta said this week that he is retiring as CCAA president after 16 years in that role and 19 years on the CCAA board.
At the same time, the City Swim Meet is likely headed for a new home next year as the new North Charleston aquatics center, near Fort Dorchester High School, is slated to open next spring.
“Ideally, that’s where we are going to be,” said Accetta. “And right now, it looks good.”
Meanwhile, the CCAA will choose a new president to oversee a summer swim league that has grown to 20 neighborhood teams around the Charleston area, with about 2,500 children and teens involved each year.
“I still love it and I want to stay involved with the City Meet,” said Accetta, who is 60 and has practiced as an obstetrician/gynecologist in the Lowcountry for 31 years. “But I just don’t feel I can serve the league the way I used to, and it’s time for new blood to take over.”
The new president will likely oversee the City Swim Meet’s move from the Goose Creek Community Pool, located at Crowfield Golf and Country Club, to the new aquatics center. Goose Creek agreed to host the meet after the CCAA had to move from the Jewish Community Center in 2014.
“Thankfully, the City of Goose Creek allowed us to do it there, without a lot of prodding,” Accetta said. “Without a doubt, it was the best option for us and they’ve been very cooperative with us.”
But the new North Charleston aquatics center, a state-of-the-art facility pegged to cost about $20 million, will bring the City Meet indoors for the first time, and into a new era. Heat, mud and iffy weather have always been a part of the City Meet.
“This weekend and next are usually the hottest two weekends of the year in Charleston,” Accetta said. “Instead of being out there baking in the sun for three or four hours, the opportunity to go to an indoor facility is too great to pass up.”
Holding the City Meet at the aquatics center may even cut the meet from three days to two.
“We are limited to six swimmers in a heat right now,” Accetta said. “This facility will have at least 10 lanes. The meet time could be cut in half, and we might be able to do it in two days instead of three.”
This weekend, Snee Farm of Mount Pleasant will be aiming for its sixth straight City Meet championship.
Snee Farm went 8-0 in dual meets during the season to top the CCAA’s Red League, followed by Daniel Island, Coosaw Creek and Hobcaw Yacht Club at 4-3 and Northbridge Terrace at 3-4.
Newington topped the White League, Sha-Mel-Lon led the Blue League and Summerville Y was first in the Yellow League.
The City Swim Meet will begin at 5:40 p.m. Friday with 11-12 boys and girls events. Swimming begins at 9:10 a.m. Saturday for 7-8 and 9-10 boys and girls. The final day begins at 9:30 a.m. Sunday with 13-14 and 15-18 boys and girls events.
Parking is available at Stratford High School with shuttle buses running to the pool.