Event Spotlight: Peaks to Portland Swim to Benefit Kids

Contributed by Charlotte Brynn, NE LMSC Open Water Sanctions Chair

Event: Peaks to Portland Swim to Benefit Kids

Date: July 28, 2018

Distance 2.4 miles

Location: Casco Bay, Maine

Maine is right up there on my list of favorite places to swim. It has a lot to do with the vastness of the ocean, the variety of rugged coastline and sandy beaches, and the vibrant, friendly open water swimming community. Traveling to an open water swim event is a great way to experience another area, meet new people and discover new places to swim.

I was impressed to learn that the long running Peaks to Portland swim had a swimmer who has participated for 30 years! I wanted to learn more about the draw of this long running event and what keeps people coming back. Sarah Leighton, from the YMCA of Southern Maine, filled me in on all the things that make this swim so special and a must for your open water calendar!

Charlotte Brynn: Peaks to Portland is a 2.4 mile swim that has a wealth of history dating back to before WWII. Tell us about some of the early swims.

Sarah Leighton: Peaks to Portland started in the 1920s. At that time, there were no wetsuits so swimmers would grease their bodies in an effort to keep warm. Back then, the fastest swimmers finished the swim in one hour and fifteen minutes. Today swimmers finish in as little as 40 minutes. The swim was suspended at the start of World War II due to the fear of mines in the water. It wasn’t until 1981 that it was revived by the YMCA of Southern Maine, and we’ve hosted the event ever since.

CB: The Maine coastline is famous for its rugged good looks, and Maine swimmers are some of the most welcoming swimmers I’ve encountered around the world. What are some of the highlights of the swim that help make it an OW event not to miss? 

SL: There’s no better way to experience Maine than the Peaks to Portland Swim.  Swimmers take the Casco Bay Ferry in the early morning to picturesque Peaks Island where they begin their journey. Together with 500 other swimmers, they swim with the tide across Casco Bay. They pass the historic Fort Gorges, built in the 1850s. And at East End Beach, thousands of cheering spectators and volunteers welcome them across the finish line.

CB: You provide terrific support to swimmers before, during and after the swim, from training support, to what to bring and wear to park. What tips can you share for a swimmer new to Peaks to Portland?

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SL: When it’s cold, swimmers are forced to train in a pool, but it’s important that they transition their training to the ocean at least a couple weeks prior to the event. This helps swimmers acclimate to the cold water and reduces their chance of developing hypothermia on race day. Veteran swimmers also encourage new participants to practice in their wetsuits and with their kayaker (even if it’s in fresh water). That way, you’re used to the extra buoyancy provided by your suit and you and your kayaker have a chance to develop a good communication system. If you’re looking for additional support, consider signing up for one of the YMCA of Southern Maine’s Peaks to Portland training classes!

CB: Finally, please tell us about some of the inspirational swimmers that swim Peaks to Portland. 

SL: The Peaks to Portland Swim attracts a diverse group of swimmers. Last year, our oldest swimmer was 74 years old, and our youngest was 16. We welcome swimmers of all types as long as they’re able to swim one mile in 40 minutes or less. Last year, swimmer Merry Farnum completed her 30th Peaks to Portland Swim!  In fact, she completed all 30 swims without a wet suit – now that’s tough! As an advocate for the YMCA of Southern Maine, she also raised over $3,000 to benefit youth. Fundraising is an important part of this race – last year we raised over $180,000 all of which went to supporting kids in our youth development programs.

CB: Thanks Sarah, all the best another successful event this year!

NE-LMSC Scholarships for 2018 National Coaches Clinic

The National Coaches Clinic (NCC) is a USMS sponsored event bringing in some of the most experienced and knowledgeable swim coaching resources for a 3-day seminar geared towards Masters swimmers. The clinic provides traditional classroom presentations, opportunities to build community with other coaches and an in water session to further practice skills. This year's Clinic will be held in College Park, MD from October 19-21.

The NE-LMSC is committed to supporting the professional development of its coaches and we hope that many will be able to attend the NCC in this and in coming years. Any NE-LMSC coach who successfully completes the 2018 USMS NCC will receive a $100 scholarship reimbursement.

In addition to the above $100 scholarship three NE-LMSC coaches will receive an additional $400 stipend reimbursement to support travel expenses. In an effort to provide ongoing transfer of knowledge from the clinic each of these three coaches will be required to write one article for the NE-LMSC website/newsletter and host one swimmer or coach clinic prior to March 2019 pertaining to the information shared at the NCC. The travel stipend reimbursement will not be provided until these two actions have been completed.

The NE-LMSC coaches chair, Crystie McGrail, will support these coaches receiving financial reimbursement in completing their required clinics and newsletter articles.

Coaches interested in applying for the travel stipend reimbursement can submit an email to NEcoaches@usms.org including the following by midnight on June 22nd (deadline extended!)

  1. A short bio and background of their current coaching endeavors

  2. Why they would like to attend the 2018 National Coaches Clinic and what information they hope to bring back to share with others

A panel of three representatives from the NE-LMSC board will review applications and select the candidates for the travel reimbursement.

Please direct any questions to Coaches Chair, Crystie McGrail.

Additional NCC Info here

Charles River Masters Swimmers Compete at USMS Spring National Championship

Contributed by Sue Jensen, CRM & NE LSMC Secretary

 CRM swimmers Dan Epstein, Jen Downing, Sue Jensen, Bill Davis, and Chris Pasterczyk

CRM swimmers Dan Epstein, Jen Downing, Sue Jensen, Bill Davis, and Chris Pasterczyk

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - Congratulations to our 6 teammates who competed at U.S. Masters Spring Nationals in Indianapolis, May 10-13. Bill Davis, Jen Downing, Dan Epstein, Sue Jensen, Chris Pasterczyk and Fred Schlicher joined 36 swimmers from New England Masters to compete in this annual championship meet.

U.S. Masters Swimming holds two national championships every year — a short-course yards meet in the spring (April/May), and a long-course meters meet in the summer (July/August). These championship meets typically draw over 2,000 competitors, with 20 lanes racing at the same time. While there are qualifying times to participate, these meets are open to everyone no matter what your speed. Masters swimmers may enter up to 3 events without qualifying, and can participate in club relays as well.

These meets provide a great opportunity to swim in some of the fastest pools in the country, and to see some amazingly fast and inspirational swimming as well. There are often a handful of ex-Olympians who compete at this meet, 95-yr-old men and women competing (with some breaking records), and everything in between.

Click here for more information on these championship meets or speak with CRM teammates Bill, Jen, Dan, Sue, Chris or Fred. 

If you or your teammates competed at Nationals, we want to hear about it! Email us.

 The beautiful facility in Indianapolis

The beautiful facility in Indianapolis

 Sue Jensen with her hard-earned hardware!

Sue Jensen with her hard-earned hardware!

 The entire New England Masters (NEM) club team

The entire New England Masters (NEM) club team

Tenth Charles River One Mile Swim (Sanctioned)

Contributed by Kate Radville, CRSC

BOSTON, MA -- The Tenth Charles River One Mile Swim will take place on June 2, 2018. The USMS sanctioned swim will feature chip timing, fabulous t-shirts, fun prizes, gorgeous scenery and a convenient location in the heart of downtown Boston. Wetsuits are optional, making this the ideal early season tune-up for your open water swimming.  Please visit our website for registration information or email us with questions. Join us to either swim or volunteer and help us make our tenth swim our best swim yet!

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SAA Swim for Rick Osterberg & Andrea Sonan

Contributed by Sue Jensen

BOSTON -- On Sunday, April 29th from 11-1 pm, Charles River Masters swimmers will participate in the Swim Across America pool relay at Harvard’s Blodgett pool. This year, CRM will swim in honor and support of Rick Osterberg and Andrea Sonan, their dear friends who are currently battling cancer. 

Many of you in our NE LMSC have already generously donated and/or signed up to participate in this. Thank you all so much. Because of your overwhelming support, this relay is well along its way to being the top fundraising team ever in the history of this Swim Across America pool swim at Blodgett! If you haven’t yet registered or donated, there’s still time to be part of this historic event.

There are three ways participate, and you don’t have to be a member of Charles River Masters to show your support. 

1. Donate to our team (CRM-Team Rick and Andrea).  We are united by our commitment to the fight against cancer. You don’t have to swim to make an impact.

2. Enter to swim on the relay ($25), and set up a fundraising page — we will swim 25s and 50s in a fun, non-competitive, team bonding environment.

3. Volunteer to help at the event.

To donate/participate, please click on this link, and choose either, “DONATE NOW” or “JOIN TEAM.”

Your contribution matters.  Whether you give of your time, talent or generosity, we promise that your support will help fight cancer.  

Thanks so much for your support of our beloved teammates and friends, Rick and Andrea.

p.s. Please share this with other friends and family members you think might be interested.  

NE LMSC Presents 2018 Service Awards at Championship Meet

Contributed by Tara Mack, GBM & Awards & Recognition Chair

BOSTON, MA -- The New England LMSC proudly presented several awards to outstanding members during the 2018 NE LMSC SCY Championship Meet.


Coach of the Year:  Dan Rogacki

 Dan Rogacki with NE LMSC Chair Douglas Sayles

Dan Rogacki with NE LMSC Chair Douglas Sayles

Welcoming, Enthusiastic, Big Heart, Record Keeper, Funny, Remarkable

Dan’s team all commented on his record keeping as well as making each of them a handmade birthday card, and they shared how Dan has built a loving, supportive team that feels more like a family of which they are all grateful to be a part. 

 

 


Distinguished Service Award:  Rick Osterberg

Outstanding Service to Masters Swimming & NE LMSC SCY Championship Meet Director

Rick has been the SCY Championship Meet Director for over 15 years and has repeatedly demonstrated outstanding service to Masters Swimming on many levels and is consistently promotes Masters Swimming at the Club, NE LMSC, and National levels.

Nominators and supporters repeatedly discussed Rick as demonstrating excellence with respect to his role as the NE LMSC SCY Championship Meet Director in addition to the following: best meet director, supportive, encouraging, thoughtful, quality, dedicated, caring, supportive, running the best meet, great music, great announcer, above and beyond, kind, friendly, fun! 


Appreciation Award: David Graham

 David Graham with NE LMSC Chair Douglas Sayles

David Graham with NE LMSC Chair Douglas Sayles

Encouragement, Support, Volunteerism, Humor, and an All-Inclusive Spirit

David’s supporters all recognized the tireless efforts he engages in to promote all kinds of swimming events, from pool to open water. He was thanked for a variety of reasons, including for being a personal kayaker in the Kingdom swim, and received accolades for his outreach in all avenues of swimming. A true supporter of the sport!

 


Appreciation Award: Joel Feldmann

Enthusiasm, Encouragement, Kindness, Love of the Sport and Others

Joel’s nominators mentioned repeatedly that Joel not only encourages everyone on the team, she calls them if they miss a practice to see if they are okay. She is nurturing and strong, and that has proven to be quite an amazing combination.


Lifetime Appreciation Award:  Priscilla Davis

 A few of our officials at the SCY Championship meet

A few of our officials at the SCY Championship meet

Over 40 years of Service, Laughter, Encouragement, Kindness, and Commitment

Priscilla Davis's team of 13 active officials does a masterful job of tirelessly running our Masters swim meets throughout the year. Each championship meet (WPI and Harvard), they spend 20-25 hours on their feet officiating. They also officiate at all our mini meets throughout the year. Not only that, they are professional, good humored and obviously love what they do. New England is blessed to have such an experienced and friendly group of officials running our meets.


APPRECIATION AWARD 2018: NE LMSC OFFICIALS

The following officials were also recognized for their outstanding and tireless commitment to provide us all with the best meet experiences while maintaining the professionalism of the sport:

Priscilla Davis

Mary Anne Lustgraaf

Bob Fredette

Jack Kurkul

Ed GardnerBob Menck

Ken Galica

Lisa Black Shouldko

Betsy Russell

Sue Hoey

Cam Townsend

Steve Davidson

Steve McAlarney


Frank Wuest Open Water Swimming Award: Maura Twomey and Paul Goudreau

 Paul Goudreau and Lyn Duncan

Paul Goudreau and Lyn Duncan

 Lyn Dyncan and Maura Twomey

Lyn Dyncan and Maura Twomey

Frank Wuest invited us to live our best lives. He invited us to embrace the sport of swimming as a vehicle to get involved, to participate, to shine, and to be a part of an incredibly special community as well as to stay fit and active in the pursuit of the negative split! Frank’s passion for the sport was contagious. He was a fast swimmer and he was a committed cheerleader for us all as a collective as well as for all of us individually. With a glint in his eye, and a pace clock in his head, he encouraged us all to go for it! Frank truly represented all that the word community stands for and he did it with grace, ease, humor, love, camaraderie, and at times a little cajoling.

In conjunction with his wife Lyn Duncan, and on behalf of the NELMSC, as the Awards and Recognition Chair, I am honored to announce the 2018 recipients of the Frank Wuest Open Water Swimming Awards: Maura Twomey and Paul Goudreau

Thank you, Frank for continuing to remind us what the most important thing is and always will be: Each other.

NE Coaches Attend Para Athlete Clinic at Adaptive Sports New England

Contributed by Crystie McGrail GBM & NE LMSC Coaches Chair

 Back: Joe Walsh (President Adaptive Sports New England), Todd Whitford (GBM), Cindy Regnante (Unattached), Eileen Craffey (NEM-TNT), Eileen Glovsky (NEM-CRM)  Front: Anna Johannes (Swim Coach, Adaptive Sports New England), Laura Dennison (NE LMSC Para-Athlete Chair & NEM-CRM)  Not pictured: Crystie McGrail (NE LMSC Coaches Chair, GBM)

Back: Joe Walsh (President Adaptive Sports New England), Todd Whitford (GBM), Cindy Regnante (Unattached), Eileen Craffey (NEM-TNT), Eileen Glovsky (NEM-CRM)

Front: Anna Johannes (Swim Coach, Adaptive Sports New England), Laura Dennison (NE LMSC Para-Athlete Chair & NEM-CRM)

Not pictured: Crystie McGrail (NE LMSC Coaches Chair, GBM)

QUINCY, MA -- Five coaches trekked to the Quincy YMCA to observe an Adaptive Sports New England Para swim workout on Sunday, March 25th. Para athletes have a disability (mobility, visual, or cognitive impairment) that can create additional intricacies for coaches crafting an effective swim workout Laura Dennison, NE LMSC's Para Athlete Chair and member of Charles River Masters, spearheaded this observation initiative.

Some of the guidance to help coaches integrate para swimmers into Masters workouts includes:

1)     Communication is key to building a strong athlete-coach understanding of possibilities and effective adaptations for inclusion.

2)     Patience is important to learning how differently-abled bodies can move through the water effectively. 

3)     Creating the space for a para athlete to be included in your workouts is essential.

4)     Focus on time, not distance, to help keep multi-ability lanes in sync.

5)     Focus on what will create forward propulsion for the para swimmer, and release the goal of an "ideal" stroke technique.

For additional para swimming resources, see the USA Paralympics website.

Maine Hosts Multiple Winter Mini Meets

Contributed by Tim Lecrone, MESC, NE LMSC Registrar

 Tim Lecrone and Ted Clark at the MDI Meet (pc Kayla Redman)

Tim Lecrone and Ted Clark at the MDI Meet (pc Kayla Redman)

MDI Results

Toughen Up Results 

Challenge Event Results

MAINE -- Despite weather scares, both the Mount Desert Island and Toughen Up Challenge meets ran as scheduled.

On January 28, MDI welcomed over twenty swimmers full of smiles and fun times. There just isn't a more pleasant crew of volunteers at a meet anywhere. This environment coupled with the scenic drive makes it a must-swim event. 

On February 11, the Toughen Up Challenge brought several hard-nosed competitors from New Hampshire and Maine together to compete for the titles of Sprint and Distance Champions. We saw some repeat winners with Jess Beers (MESC) and Anne Uecker (MESC) resuming their reigns as the Queen of Sprint and Distance, respectively. On the men's side, newcomers Orion Huey (MESC) and Valdis Jurka (NEM) were crowned the sprint and distance winners.   

Exeter Mini Meet Has Something for Everyone

Results

GoPro Video by Sarah Crane

Contributed by Crystie McGrail, Meet Director & NE LMSC Coaches Chair

Sue Jensen, Rozann Kraus, Margaret Muse (in her first ever masters meet!), and Dan Epstein

EXETER, NH -- On February 4, 89 swimmers from 8 clubs braved the trip to Exeter, NH to race in the speedy Roger Nekton Championship pool at Phillips Exeter Academy. With an event line-up featuring everything from 25s to the 1650 there were good options for everyone to burn some calories before Superbowl festivities.

A special kudos to those 8 hearty swimmers who stuck around to swim the longest pool event in existence (i.e. the 1650) at the end of the meet. Even more kudos to those who stuck around to count and cheer them on!

Super impressive swims included Stacy Sweetser's (GSP) 1:14 in the 100-yard breaststroke as well as the grudge match 50 freestyle where Nic Ohman (GSP) barely bested Tom Phillips (BUMS) by .1 second. Not to be outdone, the top two 55-59 women in the 50 freestyle, Karin Stokes (GSP) and Sue Jensen (CRM), raced to a .02 difference between first and second places. Another impressive swim was the 59.48 in the 100 freestyle by Amy Leveroni of NEM that took all of those younger gals (and even some of the younger men!) to task.

 Granite State Penguins

Granite State Penguins

The cross-age group competition was also fierce with Ed Gendreau (GBM) showing the less seasoned swimmers, Stephen Carroll (GSP) and Ben Wolfson (GBM) how to go a 1:10.0 in the 100 breaststroke. (It was close, Stephen, maybe next year!) The indomitable Guy Davis (GBM) also took many of the less seasoned age groups to task with a speedy 2:05 in the 200 freestyle; however, youth was able to prevail with an even speedier 2:03 by unattached swimmer Chris Borgatti (someone get him on a club already!). The women’s 100 backstroke was no joke with Beth Estel (GSP) crushing a 1:15 to reign over the 60-64 age group (men included).

The shortest races of the day brought on some of the biggest challenges (just ask Mindy Williams (GSP) how hard it is to get going for only a 25!) and some of the fastest swimming we’ve seen!

The Newburyport Breakers were good sports in haranguing swimmers from all over to create relays to go up against host team Great Bay Masters. It was a great way to get some practice in before the SCY Championship next month at Harvard where relays can contribute to massive team points!  

While there were no National records set (next year, guys, next year), we did have at least two swimmers experiencing their FIRST masters meet ever and that made it all worthwhile!

Great Bay Masters greatly appreciates the support of the local swimming community for a fun meet and relay racing!

Full results can be found on SwimPhone, and will be submitted to the USMS database shortly.

Distance Day Challenge & Award Nominations Open Now

Contributed by Tara Mack, GBM, NE LMSC Awards & Recognition Chair

Frank Wuest

Conversing with the late Frank Wuest could fill you with enough encouragement, love, and support to take on the world. This March, don your Speedo in his memory by partaking in the New England LMSC Short Course Yards Championship DISTANCE DAY CHALLENGE on Saturday, March 10th at Harvard's Blodgett Pool. 

By negative splitting your 1000 or 1650-yard freestyle event you will honor Frank's memory and his widow Lyn Duncan will make a donation to the Cole Jensen Horne Special Needs Trust, set up for Frank's nephew. Cole is living with autism and has a beautiful perspective on life, which you can read about here. But be forewarned, his smile is contagious!

Frank loved all things swimming and was committed to increasing participation in this amazing sport. In recognition of his myriad contributions to our community, the USMS New England Local Masters Swimming Committee and Lyn Duncan are pleased to announce the creation of the Frank Wuest Open Water Swimming Award. The inaugural award will be presented between Distance Day events on Saturday, March 10th, 2018.

Has someone in Masters Swimming made a difference in your life? A coach? A fellow teammate? Help us recognize these special people by nominating them for a New England LMSC Award in one of four categories:

Coach of the Year

Contributor of the Year

Distinguished Service

Appreciation Award

View the award details and submit nominations here by March 11th, 2018. The awards will be presented during the NE LMSC SCY Championship Meet at Harvard on Saturday, March 17th.

Thank you for your continued support of Masters Swimming. See you at the pool!