meets

18th Annual George Erswell Meet Recap

Contributed by Tim Lecrone, MESC & NE LMSC Registrar

Dale Syphers of MESC (photo by Anne Uecker)

BRUNSWICK, ME -- It was a small crowd of 30+ swimmers who braved the storm aftermath to attend the 18th Annual George Erswell Meet on November 4, but as always a quality meet was put on by Bowdoin College!

New Blue Lobster, Rob Allen, had an impressive 10:51.15 win for the 50-54 age group in the 1000-yard freestyle, and CRM's Fred Schlicter continued to show his dominance in the 65-69 age group with impressive swims in the 200 fly (2:32.64) and 200 free (2:09.14).  

In the end everyone that made a splash achieved wonderful things, and the homemade snacks were incredible!

9th Annual Concord Mini Meet Draws a Crowd

Contributed by Nancy Hanley Ryan & Tracey Guth

Roses for all swimmers over the age of 60!

CONCORD, MA -- The Concord-Carlisle High School Swim and Dive Team hosted its 9th Annual Concord Masters Mini Meet at the Beede Swim & Fitness Center on October 29. This meet is traditionally held on the last Sunday in October and is always a great opportunity to get a few races in before December's SCM Championship.

The diverse group of 80 swimmers included a group of first-time meet participants, as well as 14 swimmers age 60 or older. 91-year-old Concord resident Rose Ruze, who swims at Beede three times a week, competed in the 50m backstroke. The members of CCHS Swim and Dive Team served as timers and demonstrated their considerable cheering ability, which, as always, added to the fun spirit of the meet!

Szekely & Pereiro Carril with Coaches Goldberg and Moss. 

On hand this year were several swimmers fresh off success at the FINA World Masters Championships, including Ildiko Szekely (BUMS) and Oscar Pereiro Carril of Bridgeport, CT. Szeleky was the gold medalist in the age 35-39 200m butterfly at Worlds, while Pereiro Carril won the 50 back and set a new Championship record. It was fun to watch them compete, and both swimmers took time to chat and take photos with the high school team members. 

Ruze and Szekely

By popular request, a 400m freestyle relay was added to the end of the meet this year. Swimmers assembled teams right on the deck, and members of the CCHS S&D Team also formed a team to join in the fun! 

It was a great morning in the pool and over $1,800 was raised for CCHS Friends of Swim and Dive to maintain equipment and provide other support for the CCHS Swim and Dive team, whose season begins on November 27.

Members of the CCHS Swim & Dive Team, who helped as timers and a cheering squat at the meet!

World and National Records for NEM’s Diann Uustal at 9th Annual UVAC Leaf Peepers Mini Meet

Contributed by Barbara Hummel, Head Coach of the UVRays Masters

Thanks to UVRay teammates Sue Gray (left) and Susan Reid (right), no one goes home hungry from Leaf Peepers.

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, VT -- The UVRays hosted their 9th Annual Leaf Peepers meet, famous for its friendly atmosphere, fast pool, and phenomenal awards table, on October 28. This year’s version of the short-course-meters meet attracted 75 swimmers from 9 states.

Diann Uustal finished the day with one world record and two national records!

Rhode Island’s Diann Uustal had a stellar meet. In her first swim of the day, Uustal set a new national record for women age 65-69 in the 200 IM with a time of 3:13.05. In the women’s 200 backstroke, Uustal clocked a 3:04.82, breaking the existing world record by four tenths of a second and shattering the national record by nearly eight seconds. 

Granite State Penguins (l-r) Tyler Edsall, Kysa Crusco, Beth Estel, and Scott Machinist.

Eight New England regional records were set at the meet. Dan Rogacki (Pittsfield YMCA) set three records in the men’s 70-74 age group. His 30.54 in the 50 freestyle broke Al Craig’s record from 1998. His 100 backstroke (1:20.23) and 100 freestyle (1:08.18) were also regional records. Karen Beirwert (NEM) set two records in the women’s 65-69 age group: 200 breaststroke (3:25.63) and 100 butterfly (1:36.16). Arnold Meardon (UVRays) set two records in the men’s 85-89 age group. His 44.05 in the 50 freestyle and 1:49.10 in the 100 freestyle broke records set by Alexander Luther in 2000. On the record board for men 80-84 was William Jones (Maine Masters), with a 54.88 in the 50 breaststroke. 

UVRay Sean Uiterwyk (far right) claims Fastest Man in the Pool honors with his 12.46 in the 25-meter freestyle. Volunteer timers are a huge part of every masters mini meet. 

Dozens of meet records were broken, including four by the UVRay host team. Sean Uiterwyk (men’s 40-44) blitzed the 25 freestyle “splash ‘n’ dash” in a meet record 12.46 to earn bragging rights as the fastest swimmer in the meet. Rob Starkey (men 40-44) posted a 1:10.15 meet record in the 100 butterfly. Jeff Kuvin (men 50-54) set a new meet record of 2:13.16 in the 200 freestyle. UVRay coach Barbara Hummel (women 65-69) posted a meet record 47.41 in the 50 breaststroke. 

Swimmers review the different legs of the Icebreaker Relay and decide who does what. 

There were many exciting races, including the 400 freestyle duel between Robbie Allen (Ventura County Masters) and Jeff Kuvin, with both swimmers under the meet record. And, as always at Leaf Peepers, there was much joy and emotion for those like Halina Nowak (Mountain View Masters) who were swimming in their first-ever masters meet. 

Joel Feldman from Keene always has time to smile.

Once again, the popular Ice Breaker relay turned total strangers into fast friends. This year’s version involved kickboards, pumpkins, apples, and swimming while connected by noodle to another swimmer. Somehow…it came down to a photo finish!

Thanks to all who participated in the meet, and the Rays look forward to seeing everyone at the 10th Annual Leaf Peepers in October 2018.

Leadoff swimmers get ready for the start of the Icebreaker Relay. 

Simmons October Swim Fest Opens Short Course Meters Season

Contributed by Sue Jensen, CRM & NE LMSC Officials Chair

Ted Mills, Alana Aubin, Katie Levenstein, and Ryan Kleinert

BOSTON, MA -- Fifty hearty swimmers came out on a cloudy, rainy Saturday morning to compete in the 10th Annual Simmons College ‘October Swim Fest,’ held at Simmons’ 8-lane William J. Holmes Sports Center pool on Saturday, October 14th. This mini meet is always the first of the fall season, where Masters swimmers come to test out their fitness and readiness levels for the upcoming racing season.

Martha’s Vineyard Masters took the 6 am ferry to make it to the meet: Rainy Goodale, Jamieson DeCubellis, Elizabeth Lytle and Sue Jensen

Highlights of the meet included the ever-wonderful pool-side hot tub, a solo 100 butterfly for Guy Davis (GBM), and four back-to-back 50-meter swims by Kysa Crusco (GSP). This meet is an annual fundraiser for the Simmons College women’s swim team, who graced the deck as timers, counters, and a very enthusiastic cheering squad. Meet manager extraordinaire and long-time Simmons coach, Mindy Williams, ran the meet seamlessly with assistant coach, Christina Baudis. Mark your calendars for 2018 — Saturday, October 13th.

Christina Baudis and Mindy Williams ran a flawless meet

Our meet officials, Steve McAlarney and Steve Davidson

Nic Ohman, Karin Stokes, Kysa Crusco, Beth Estel, and Sue Jensen enjoyed the hot tub after the meet

FINA Masters Worlds in Budapest was the Experience of a Lifetime

Contributed by Kysa Crusco, GSP

Goodale, Jen Downing (CRM), Crusco, & Williams

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY -- Twenty-one New England swimmers journeyed to Budapest to swim at the FINA World Masters Championships in August 2017. The Masters World Championships featured over 9,000 athletes across multiple sports, including 6,500 swimmers. 

The Budapest facilities were amazing. The brand new Danube Arena is on the Danube River with 2 long course competition pools and indoor and outdoor short course warmup pools. A second venue, the Alfred Hajos Sports Complex, was about 15 minutes away on Margaret Island. The Hajos facility has two competition pools and a short course warmup pool. Age groups were assigned to different pools each day to allow competitors the opportunity to swim in the different pools and venues. The meet timelines were reasonable and competition finished each day early in the afternoon (as opposed to other Worlds where races went late into the night). 

Beth Estel (GSP) stood atop the podium twice in the 60-64 age group, winning the 100m breaststroke in 1:28.18 and the 400m freestyle with a time of 5:30.95. She also took second place in the 50m breaststroke, 200m breaststroke and 400m IM. Ildiko Szekely (BUMS) took the gold in the women's 35-39 200m butterfly with a time of 2:23.45, winning by over 7 seconds. Szekely also earned two second place finishes in the 100m butterfly and 200m IM. Rainy Goodale (MVM), Karen Mareb (GSP) and Mindy Williams (GSP) also earned medals. 

When polled, my teammates agreed that the camaraderie among our team was a meet highlight. The Granite State Penguins workout group had 8 swimmers, mixed in with other New England Masters teammates who are regular Nationals and Worlds entrants. This made for a close-knit group in and out of the pool. Relay day brought us all together at one pool for fast swims and fun conversation. Karin Stokes (GSP) highlighted the awesome swimming venue, the friendly people of Budapest, and the interesting architecture of the city. Karen Mareb commented that the “best times were eating and drinking out at all the fabulous restaurants with my teammates.”

Outside of the pool, New Englanders took advantage of the beautiful sights and attractions of Budapest. The city is famous for its thermal baths and I visited three of them: the Szechenyi Baths, the Gellerts Spa, and the Kiraly Baths. Soaking in the beer baths at the Szechenyi and frolicking in the wave pool (built in 1934!) at the Gellert Spa with teammates Nic Ohman (GSP) and Mindy Williams were favorites. Karen Mareb, Beth Estel and Karin Stokes all loved the 5-hour Budapest food tour. The final day of the competition was a national holiday in Hungary, which was celebrated with a huge fireworks display set off from multiple bridges on the Danube. 

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For me, this Worlds competition was the culmination of 5 years of Masters Swimming. I joined Masters Swimming in 2012 with the goal of finally following through on a fitness regimen. A few months in, there was talk at the pool about the Leaf Peepers Meet at UVAC. I went and I was hooked. Since then, I have attended USMS Nationals, Canadian Nationals, and Worlds in Montreal. The experience of training for and traveling to Budapest with my teammates surpassed all the other meets. Walking out onto the deck from the ready room, to swim in the same pool the elite and pro swimmers had competed in just a few weeks earlier, was intense. The work I put in paid off in my swims with top 10 finishes and personal best times. I enjoyed meeting swimmers from other countries and trading caps. Five years ago, I could not have imagined that swimming would take me to Budapest for the experience of a lifetime with the most amazing, supportive, and inspiring teammates and family. 

Check out my GoPro video recap at https://vimeo.com/232586357/69f80bc906.

Rogacki and Epstein Break Records at Jenny Thompson LCM Meet

Contributed by Dan Epstein, Charles River Masters

Front: Susan Rardin, Brittany Harrington, Emily Cook, Mike Hurd, Pieter deHart and Ted Clark; Back: Dale Syphers and Bill Jones, all part of the winning Maine Masters group.

DOVER, NH -- It was the middle of July in New England, and the sun was up early as close to a hundred swimmers gathered for the annual Summer Meet at the Jenny Thompson LCM Pool. There were no clouds in sight, and the water was blue, crystal clear, and cold--the kind of invigorating cold that makes you smile when you jump in, that makes you want to swim fast.

And we did. Eighty-eight masters swimmers splashed 271 times during a beautiful morning of great swimming and fun. In the end, it was Maine Masters who collected 1196 points for a first place team effort, edging out host Great Bay Masters, who garnered 1078 points. This year's installment of the annual sanctioned NE LMSC event was four fantastic hours of friends, family, and swimming. 

Sue Jensen, Jennifer Downing, Dan Epstein, Matt Wiens, and Fred Schlicher represented Charles River Masters

Individually, Dan Epstein of Charles River Masters set his first New England record by swimming a time of 36.74 in the 50-meter backstroke (men 65-69). Dan Rogacki of Pittsfield YMCA Polar Bear Masters began his assault on the men's 70-74 record books by competing in his first meet in that age group. Rogacki shattered records in the 50, 100 and 200-meter breaststroke events, with times of 39.67, 1:31.35, and 3.23.96 respectively.

There’s something about the 50-meter pool that can feel jarring, but also very honest: it just doesn’t seem to ever end. I, for one, left the meet wiser and with greater resolve for next year. I hope it’s sunny in July of 2018. And I hope you can join us there for a great event. 

Gary Isherwood Memorial Swim Meet Recap

Contributed by Tim Lecrone, NE-LMSC Registrar & Photos by Mike Hurd, MESC

BANGOR, ME -- With an amazing turnout out of 56 competitors, the first annual Gary Isherwood Memorial Swim Meet on June 24th was an incredible success. It was MESC's first ever summer mini meet to exceed 40 swimmers, and more excitingly, the majority of swimmers were first time masters meet participants. 

The high participation couldn't have been for a better cause, as proceeds from meet entries and t-shirt sales went to the Gary Isherwood Memorial Scholarship Fund. The fund honors the late Gary Isherwood, longtime swim coach at John Bapst Memorial High School in Bangor. The meet raised about $2,000.

Swims were fast, smiles were huge, and next year's event promises to be even bigger. A huge thanks goes to the Bangor YMCA, the staff and volunteers of the Bangor Y Barracudas, and several meet enthusiasts from local high school teams.

Athlete Report: NEM Places 5th at 2017 USMS Spring Nationals

Contributed by Jen Downing, 15-year member of Charles River (Cambridge) Masters

The NEM crew at Spring Nationals in Riverside, CA

RIVERSIDE, CA -- New England Masters (NEM) was represented at the 2017 Nationwide USMS Spring Nationals from April 27-30 by a small but energetic contingent of athletes. This was my 11th short course nationals and by far the most fun! I think because there were only twenty of us, we really got to know one another and made sure to cheer each other on. I think other teams were actually jealous of how much noise we made behind the lanes! Many thanks to Tracy Grilli for working her magic with the relays, to Karin Stokes for ordering our awesome team shirts, and to Sue Jensen for organizing a delicious team dinner at the Spaghetti Factory. The Riverside complex was rather impressive, with two 10-lane competition pools and two 6-lane warm-up pools, plus a diving well. And it was hot! Not much shade for spectators, but if you'll remember how Boston was in April, it was really nice to enjoy the sunshine and swim outside.

NEM finished 5th overall in the Regional Club division behind Colorado, Arizona, Puget Sound, and Wisconsin. Our very own Diann Uustal broke 6 USMS records as a 70-year-old in the 50, 100, and 200 backstrokes, 50 freestyle, 50 butterfly, and 100 IM. Congrats, Diann! Four of our NEM relays finished in the Top 10 in their age brackets, including the W 35+ 200 freestyle and 200 medley, and the W 55+ 200 freestyle and 200 medley. We had teammates returning from injury, trying new events for the first time, swimming best times, and more than anything, having fun! If you've never participated in Nationals before, it's a terrific opportunity to see old friends and meet new ones, compete in fast venues across the country, and celebrate our sport with like-minded people. You're even allowed to swim up to three events without making the qualifying time, so don't let qualifying discourage you from taking the plunge. Next year's meet is at the IU Natatorium in Indianapolis, May 11-13, 2018. Hope to see you there!

LANES Tea Party 7 Meet Recap & Results

Contributed by Will Lawson & Brian Moynihan, TP7 Meet Co-Directors

 The start of a race at MIT's beautiful facility

The start of a race at MIT's beautiful facility

CAMBRIDGE, MA -- On Saturday, April 29, Boston's Liquid Assets (LANES) hosted the team's 7th Tea Party swim meet. Held at the renowned Zesiger Aquatic Center on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), more than 150 masters swimmers from near and far spent a few hours in the pool racing and cheering each other on.

The biennial meet is one that we at LANES love hosting and it's always great to see so many folks at the pool. It's certainly worth noting that watching these dedicated swimmers all jump in the pool and go back and forth in unicorn floats was by far our favorite moment and made all the hard work of planning a swim meet well worth it!

 The "Fun Relay" - 4x 25 on unicorn pool floats

The "Fun Relay" - 4x 25 on unicorn pool floats

The meet itself could not have happened without the involvement of so many wonderful supporters, officials, volunteers, and the fabulous MIT crew who helped the meet run smoothly and quickly.

 Meet Directors Will Lawson and Brian Moynihan

Meet Directors Will Lawson and Brian Moynihan

We have also set up a Google Drive for everyone to share photos. Please go here to upload your photos from the meet and browse those from other people! Let us know if you have any questions or notice discrepancies at BostonLANESTP7@gmail.com. Also, please feel free to reach out to us there to share thoughts about the meet -- favorite parts or things we should work on, etc.

Thanks again for your support and we will see you in two years for TP8! We promise another great meet, including another fabulous "Fun Relay", and a fun weekend.

6th Annual Monumental Masters Swim Meet Recap

Contributed by Mike Leake

BENNINGTON, VT -- Amid light snowfall and Vermont Maple Weekend, 30 swimmers and their supporters came together on Saturday, March 25, at the Bennington Recreation Center for the 6th Annual Monumental Masters Swim Meet. Swimmers of all abilities enjoyed a fun morning of easy-going competition and encouragement. The proceeds of the event benefited the Bennington Marauders swim team, which provides youth swimming in southwestern Vermont. 

This year, folks traveled from as far away as New Jersey and Niagara Falls, NY, with many of our aquatic neighbors from the Adirondacks making the shorter drive to attend. Western Massachusetts was also well represented, with swimmers from Williamstown, the Pittsfield Polar Bears, and the Simon's Rock Pace Makers competing for the day. All who came were able to take home free U.S. Masters Swimming caps and stickers as well as some fun giveaways, including stroopwafels from Bakkerij Krijnen and maple syrup from Dunn's Leak-ee Bucket Sugar House.

Swimming for the first time with host team Monument Masters were Eric Florio and Tim Russell. Returning to the pool again were Amanda Robson, Carol Newell, Matt Moon, Gabrielle Betit-Mattison, and Rebecca Healy. Siblings Jeff, Jill, and Mike Leake were joined by Kevin Murphy in the Monumental streak of swimming in every installment of the meet so far. 

With fun events that included the Tarzan Swim and Monument Kick Sprints in addition to relays, excitement is building for our next installment in the spring of 2018!