Local natatorium to host second world class meet

State of the art facility located in Westmont hosts Olympians


The 2022 TYR Pro Series Westmont took place at FMC from March 2-5 (Forebaugh/LION).

Lindsay Forebaugh, Freelance Writer

For My Community Natatorium [FMC] will host its second TYR Pro Series meet, bringing professional swimming to Illinois, which exposes local athletes to elite competitions.

“Our goal is to host high level events,” head coach and Director of Programming and Events at FMC Dave Krotiak said. “We feel we have a responsibility to broaden Illinois swimmers’ ideas of excellence.” 

TYR Pro Series meets serve as practice meets for larger competitions such as Nationals. There are four Pro Series meets scheduled for 2023. FMC’s Pro Series will take place April 12-15, with preliminaries starting at 9 a.m. and finals starting at 5 p.m., Krotiak said. On April 12, only a finals session will be held. The meet will be conducted in a 50 meter course. The facility, housed at 275 Plaza Drive in Westmont, is state of the art. FMC was funded by Athletico Physical Therapy Founder Mary Ann Kaufman.

“We were fortunate enough to start a local business and do well,” Kaufman said. “We wanted to do something for the community, and we thought building FMC was perfect

because there was a lack of facilities of this quality.”

Last year, 110 athletes competed, Krotiak said. Many athletes were members of the USA Swimming National Team, composed of the top 6 swimmers in each event. This year, 400 athletes are going to compete, with many national team members returning.

“We had three athletes [from FMC] compete last year,” Krotiak said. “This year we have more who are going to compete, which is going to inspire the younger athletes.” 

Current Rolling Meadows High School freshman and Palatine Park District team member Vera Conic competed in the Pro Series last year. She competed in the 50, 100, and 200 meter backstroke against professional athletes such as 2016 Olympic gold medalist Olivia Smoliga. 

“[The Olympians] were all so modest and nice to me,” Conic said. “Smoliga actually came up to me and talked to me before my race. It really showed me how they are all such great swimmers and people.”

Conic was one of the youngest swimmers in the meet at 14 years old. She was able to witness things like new warm up techniques such as jump roping and foam rolling. 

“Being on deck with Olympians was a different experience,” Conic said. “I didn’t feel a lot of pressure racing them, especially since they were so approachable. It was so inspiring.”