Bowdoin Pool

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    • #12495
      Swim6121
      Member

      Can anyone tell me about the Bowdoin pool?

      I know that it is 16 lanes, but is the pool 50m at all? Was it a nice and/or fast pool?

    • #37210
      polarbear
      Member

      I thought it was 18 lanes, but actually not 50 meters — theres a great story about how the coach and the athletic directior got in a fight about the pool when it was being designed — its actually 40 meters. Theres a pretty good picture here: http://www.bowdoin.edu/athletics/facilities.shtml# (click on tour the facilities).

      They train with 14 lanes, not including the two shallow lanes at the end. First two lanes are 5 feet deep, next 12 are 10 feet deep, and the last four are 12+ for the diving area.

      Its pretty fast, and great to swim in with really good light, although I don’t think its super fast for some reason. Locker rooms are nice, but a little small.

      Of the pools that hosted NE’s when I was there (Williams, Wesleyan, Bowdoin) I thought it was by far the best to watch a meet at, had the best deck space, etc, although I may be biased.

      I swam there for 4 years — what specifically did you want to know?

      I swam there for

    • #37211
      Swim6121
      Member

      @polarbear wrote:

      its actually 40 meters.

      Its pretty fast, and great to swim in with really good light, although I don’t think its super fast for some reason. Locker rooms are nice, but a little small.

      I knew Coach Butts and am originally from Maine. It seems like a nice pool and was just curious about how people felt about the pool….

      Not 50 meters?!? Big fight?!? Tell me more!

    • #37212

      just curious, but was the fight between coach and AD about making the pool 50 meters instead of 40 meters, or something else?

    • #37213

      I personally think it’s disconcerting that there’s no bulkhead to separate the pool into a 25 yard course — so that swimmers swim towards the bleachers and back, rather than across the entire 25 yard length in front of the spectators as at other (better, in my opinion) pools.

    • #37214
      MentalEdge
      Member

      littlethree fan wrote:
      so that swimmers swim towards the bleachers and back, rather than across the entire 25 yard length in front of the spectators as at other (better, in my opinion) pools.

      Do you mean better for the spectators or better for the fans? Most swimmers I talk to prefer swimming wall to wall (like we did at Kenyon) than bulkhead to bulkhead (like Houston). This especially applies in a pool that’s somewhat deep, because my eyes play tricks on me. Speaking of tricky walls, how about them having the crosses at the flags on the turn end of the pool in Houston? You had to make an effort to remember to look up for the wall and not to flip at the first cross or your race was over.

    • #37215

      Emory: swims across pool toward stands. No permanent bulkhead to separate the diving well from swimming course. A floating bulkhead is placed there for big meets.

    • #37216
      polarbear
      Member

      Actually, you do swim towards the stands, with the timing boards perpindicular so that you can check your time in distance events (the timing system is also configured for 10 lanes so when they hold big meets they can get through heats faster). A bulkhead can be inserted to swim meters (the bottom is lined properly) but you would swim parallel to the bleachers.

      The story is roughly that when they decided to build the field house they drew in a 6 lane pool and Charlie (Coach Butt) said not to build it — he was happier with the beautiful 1927 4 lane pool than a new 6 lane pool and I believe Williams had already broken ground on a new 50 meter pool (which took forever to build because it had to be shoehorned in between the post office and some campus buildings, requiring the pillars to be maneuvered into place with helicopters and explaining why their pool is 50 meters by 20 yards). The architects came back with an 8 lane pool with a bulkhead and diving beyond the bulkhead. Charlie complained, saying that configuration would only allow 8 lanes of swimming in a pool that was far bigger and redrew it into its current state of 16 or 18 or however many lanes. The architects approved it but realized the next day that it was a lot bigger and Charlie argued that they had already approved it.

      Heres where the fight came in — Charlie said he could raise the necessary money for a 50 meter pool in two weeks (which after being there for as long as he was shouldn’t have been a huge problem) but some of the powers that be were so angry over how he had turned a 6 lane pool into a 50 meter pool that they prevented him from doing the fundraising — including the school president whom the poolis now named after and the AD at the time.

      Maybe not a great story, but I think its pretty good if you know Charlie.

      By the way, Charlie retired from the head caoch position in 2000 (after being coach for 40 years) and they hired the UCLA assistant to replace him. Charlie now helps coach the squash team in the winter — he is a natioanlly ranked squash player and won nationals several times when I was there even though he played down an age group.

    • #37217

      similar situation with the new BU pool, not enough money or space even tho coach Bill Smyth fought for it wholeheartedly.

      i can think of a few pools that are pretty short like Assumption’s pool in Worcestor, not a big issue cause they dont have a swim team, but its about 3 inches short of 25 yards.

    • #37218
      oldswimnfool
      Member

      Assumption’s pool is short? How do you know that?

    • #37219

      My high school swam there practices at Assumption but couldnt host the meets there so we had them at Holy Cross. assumption’s pool was built for rec swimmers and they didnt want competition swimmers to take up the space or something.

      I know the same thing happened in Maine with a 50 meter pool, the guy who built it didnt want swim meets or something so he made it 47 meters.

    • #37220
      Swim6121
      Member

      @wickedfoolish wrote:

      I know the same thing happened in Maine with a 50 meter pool, the guy who built it didnt want swim meets or something so he made it 47 meters.

      Really? Where?


    • #37221
      h2ocoach13
      Member

      @wickedfoolish wrote:

      similar situation with the new BU pool, not enough money or space even tho coach Bill Smyth fought for it wholeheartedly.

      I believe Doc Whetmore designed that pool, well before he retired and before Smyth was hired.

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