I've been sifting through data but I'm kind of lazy and would like some anecdata to help me out.
Setting: 1996, small-town Maine, USA
Situation: I put two of my characters on the swim team! That was silly, since I've never been on a swim team or been to a swim meet. Sadly I am now trying to write a swim meet with no first-hand experience. Help and/or being pointed at resources would be great!
Googled: maine swimming, high school swim meet, maine high school swimming records
I've found lots of good info about swimming times, meet results, and lots of videos on YouTube that are clearly catering to pervs and weirdos (fair enough), but I still have some questions:
1. About how many people would you expect to be on a high school swim team? (Co-ed team) I know it would depend on the size of the school, but, like, basketball teams start cutting people after 10-12 guys; do swim teams do that?
2. How many events would it be reasonable for one strong (but not insanely good) swimmer to compete in? Would swimmers generally stick to one stroke, or would they have a primary stroke and a "backup"? Would they be likely to do the same distance in two strokes (i.e. 100 free and 100 breast) or the same stroke for two lengths (50 fly and 100 fly)?
4. Are there particular strokes that are "harder" or more impressive? More prestigious?
5. Would a new member of the team get to race in any event he was good in, or would he be stuck doing the crap nobody likes for a while?
6. Are events always done in a particular order, and if so, what?
7. What kind of hilarious swimmer slang could I expect?
8. I know teams weight-train and do cardio; would that be during a morning practice? A separate practice in the afternoon?
9. Are times announced right away after a heat or are they announced later on, like at a track meet? I'm wanting J to swim, and know he won the heat, then go to greet a fan, and find out while talking to her what his exact time was (it's a personal best, so he is excited and hugs her! She is flustered by the speedo factor! UST ensues!). Is that reasonable?
10. Are there any great High School Movies with swim teams that I should check out for tips? The only book I can think of is Chris Crutcher's (extremely excellent) Whale Talk, but that features a swim team from a school without a pool, and also my copy is missing.