THORNTON -- The annual Boulder County swimming invitational may have found a new home. It doesn't even matter that it's not actually within Boulder County.

Last Friday, the 2012-13 girls edition of the BoCo Invite was held for the first time at the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center in Thornton. The move was necessitated after the Boulder fire marshal declared that the invite's normal home, the South Boulder Recreational Center, was unfit to host a gathering of that size.

Organizers scrambled to find a suitable locale this year, moving the date up two weeks in order to secure the VMAC. While the event has been held at CU in the past -- including last spring for the boys' edition of the meet -- the current rec center renovation underway at CU limited this year's choices. Despite its location in east Thornton, no local venue appears more suited to the task than the VMAC.

"(The VMAC) is the premiere swimming venue in Colorado," Fairview coach Bob Smartt said. "It's fast. Has 10 lanes. Great scoreboard. Great for the parents. We don't have to have the kids in a gym somewhere. This is wonderful.

"The only problem is that because it's the best venue in Colorado, everybody is ahead of us in line in getting the dates we'd like to get. But now we're on the list and we're hoping to keep asking and move later (in January) for when it is more ideal."

Smartt also reiterated there is no resistance to having the BoCo Invite outside of Boulder County.

"A lot of our kids live in Lafayette, Erie...they can get (to the VMAC) quickly," Smartt said. "It is the place to swim."


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