MCPS High School Swimming & Diving 101

By Reach for the Wall staff.

This article is the first in a series of posts covering basic information about various high school swimming and diving programs in the DMV, starting with the Montgomery County Public School (MCPS) system.  Reach for the Wall invites readers to send us similar articles about high school swimming and diving in other school systems in the DMV.


MCPS has 25 high schools with swimming and dive programs and divides them into the 4 divisions based on results from the prior year’s dual meets and divisional meet.  The 6-7 teams in each division compete in dual meets each Saturday between December 10 and January 28 and in a divisional championship meet on February 4.

The teams in each division this 2016-17 season are as follows:

Division I

  • Bethesda-Chevy Chase
  • Churchill
  • Walter Johnson
  • Richard Montgomery
  • Whitman
  • Wootton

Division II

  • Blair
  • Magruder
  • Northwest
  • Poolesville
  • Quince Orchard
  • Sherwood

Division III

  • Blake
  • Clarksburg
  • Damascus
  • Gaithersburg
  • Rockville
  • Watkins Mill

Division IV

  • Einstein
  • Kennedy
  • Northwood
  • Paint Branch
  • Seneca Valley
  • Springbrook
  • Wheaton

Here is a meet schedule for each MCPS high school this season (just select school name in box after clicking on link).

The MCPS high school swim season started this past Saturday (December 3) with scrimmage meets.  Given that these were unscored meets against non-Division rivals and many athletes were swimming at PVS-sponsored meets on Saturday (e.g., Turkey Claus at University of Maryland; Christmas Champs at Fairland; MAKO Holiday Invitational at George Mason University), many high school coaches used these scrimmages to evaluate new swimmers and give returning swimmers a chance to swim events that they don’t normally swim.

The order of events at each dual swim meet are as follows:

BOYS          EVENT          GIRLS
1            200 Medley Relay            2
3                    200 Free                    4
5                    200 I.M.                     6
7                     50 Free                      8
9              Diving (4 dives)            10
11                   100 Fly                     12
13                 100 Free                    14
15                 500 Free                   16
17                 100 Back                   18
19               100 Breast                  20
21           400 Free Relay              22

At dual meets, each swimmer may compete in a maximum of 2 individual events and 1 relay (or in 1 event and 2 relays).  At Divisional Championships, however, a swimmer may compete in up to 2 individual event and 2 relays (or 1 event and 3 relays).

Athletes swimming individual events at dual meets receive 6 points for 1st place, 4 points for 2nd place, 3 for 3rd, 2 for 4th, and 1 for 5th place.  Relays receive 8 points for 1st place, 4 points for 2nd place and 2 points for 3rd.  No team can score more than 2 relays in a single event (i.e., if a school has relays finishing 1 – 2 – 3, that school would be awarded points for 1 and 2 only, even if the other team entered no relays).

The diving portion of a dual meet consists of a total of 4 dives (2 by boys, 2 by girls) and must include 1 dive from 3 of the 5 dive groups (i.e., forward – back – inward – reverse – twist).  The first dive, regardless of difficulty, may not be given a degree of difficulty greater than 1.8.  The remaining dives may be from any group and can be done in any desired order.

At Divisionals, however, divers perform a total of 6 dives.  Like dual meets, the first dive must have a maximum degree of difficulty of 1.8.  But, each of the remaining 5 dives must be from a different category (i.e., 1 front dive, 1 back, 1 inward, 1 reverse, 1 twisting).

All dual meets must be completed within 2 hours (and coaches must cancel all events not swum within the 2-hour time limit). Meets start with a 10-minute warm-up, swimming events generally take approximately 1.5 hours, and diving events take about 20 minutes.  To swim at a Divisional Championships, an athlete must compete in all but one dual meet.

Coaches, at the end of each meet, please send meet results (Meet Manager format .cl2) to so we can quickly post them on our site.

Good luck this season, all MCPS swimmers, coaches and parents!

5 thoughts on “MCPS High School Swimming & Diving 101

  • Dec 6, 2016 at 12:41 am

    Check your divisions again. The info we were given has Magruder in div II and Damascas in div III

    • Dec 6, 2016 at 1:16 am

      Page 21 of the MCPS H.S. Swim Handbook indicates that Damascus is in Division II and Magruder is in Division III. Does anyone know if the Handbook is right? Wrong?

      • Dec 6, 2016 at 2:12 am

        Our QO schedule says Blair, Magruder, Northwest, Poolesville, QO and Sherwood are Division II

      • Dec 6, 2016 at 11:21 am

        The schedule in the handbook is wrong. Magruder moved up to Division II. The County Sportzone link in the article has the correct meet schedule for Magruder and Damascus.

        • Dec 6, 2016 at 3:21 pm

          The article is fixed now. Thanks for the head’s up.


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