meets

Sixteen Athletes Represent New England at the 2019 Canadian Masters Swimming Championships

Contributed by Sue Jensen, Officials Chair, NEM-CRM

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MONTRÉAL, CANADA — The swimming pool in the complexe sportif Claude-Robillard, built for the 1976 Summer Olympics water polo competitions, was the setting for this year’s Canadian Masters Swimming Championships from May 24-26. A record 740 swimmers gathered together for the 40th anniversary of this annual meet. Swimmers came from all ten provinces of Canada and a handful of countries from around the world, including Australia, Bermuda, Great Britain, and Slovakia. Sixty swimmers hailed from the United States, with sixteen coming from New England.

The Americans swam well, winning 108 gold medals and placing second overall ahead of CAMO Natation, the provincial home team from Québec. The New England team included: Fiona Atkinson, Christina Baudis, Dave Bright, Guy Davis, Laura Delorey, Beth Estel, David Graham, Sue Jensen, Frankin Mansilla, Karen Mareb, Janet McDonough, Nic Ohman, Tom Phillips, Kathy Slifer, Marilyn Soraghan, and Mindy Williams

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Most of Team New England drove through Vermont and across the U.S.-Canada border, passports in hand, to attend the three-day French-speaking meet. Not only was this an occasion for New Englanders to practice their French, but with the New England short course meters season having ended in December at the WPI meet, it was a welcome out-of-season opportunity to compete in short course meters. 

Highlight swims by New Englanders include:

  • Dave Bright (age 66) won the 200 IM, 400 IM, and 200 backstroke and broke New England records in 400 freestyle, 400 IM, and 200 backstroke.

  • Mindy Williams (age 38) won the 1500 freestyle while setting a New England record and logging a personal best time by 21 seconds.

  • Karen Mareb (age 60) won gold in all her breaststroke events and the 100 freestyle.

  • Tom Phillips (age 45) won the 50 freestyle and swam a lifetime best time of 24.76.

  • Marilyn Soraghan and Laura Delorey made it to the finals of the age 50+ bonus 25-meter freestyle race (amid much fanfare!).

  • The quartet of Janet McDonough, Beth Estel, Sue Jensen, and Karen Mareb (age group 240-279) took first place and broke the New England record in both the 200 and 400 medley relays and are now ranked 2nd (400m) and 3rd (200m) on FINA’s World Masters Top Ten List.

The 41st Canadian Masters Championship will be held in Toronto, Ontario in June 2020. 

NELMSC SCM Championships Recap

by Alana Aubin, NELMSC Communications Chair

Dan Rogacki and Mindy Williams

Dan Rogacki and Mindy Williams

WORCESTER, MA -- Three world records and one national record went down at the 2018 NELMSC and Colonies Zone SCM Championships, held December 8-10 at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

New Englander Fritz Bedford of the UV Rays shaved 0.10 off the world record in the men's 55-59 50-meter backstroke in 27.86. Drew Modrov (CHEL) took .77 off the men's 25-29 400-meter freestyle record with his time of 3:52.83 and Erika Braun (NCMS) bettered her own women's 45-49 100-meter freestyle record of 58.21 with a 57.89. Steve Hiltabiddle (1776) set the national record in the men's 50- 54 50-meter butterfly, taking it from 25.98 to 25.60.

Charles River Masters

Charles River Masters

In individual scoring, Dan Rogacki (NEM-PITY) scored 215 points to win the men's high point award, while Mindy Williams (NEM-GSP) and Ann Louise Onton (CONN) tied for the women's title with 209 points. Kysa Crusco (NEM-GSP) picked up 196 points to take third on the women's side and Mark Keil (NEM-MAMA) and Modrov rounded out the men's podium with 177 and 170 points, respectively.

In the team competition, Charles River Masters beat host Worcester Area Masters and 2017 champ Connecticut Masters in large team scoring, 3340 to 3094 to 2682. In the medium team division, Great Bay Masters (1767 points) beat out Granite State Penguins (1674) for first, while Maine Masters (1385) narrowly defeated SwimRI (1378) for third place. Visiting teams UMAC Terrapin Masters (845), Chelsea Piers Fitness (661), and Landshark Masters (621) turned in strong showings in the small team division. Sarasota YMCA Sharks (290), North Carolina Masters (255), and Nutmeg Masters (246) were tops in the Squad division.

NEM Swimmers Celebrate in Sarasota

Contributed by Lisa Zraket, NEM-YNS

Diann Uustal, Andi Freedman, Lisa Zraket, and Beth Lott at the Sarasota Sharks Master Meet

Diann Uustal, Andi Freedman, Lisa Zraket, and Beth Lott at the Sarasota Sharks Master Meet

SARASOTA, FL — YNS Sharks Andi Freedman, Beth Lott, and Lisa Zraket celebrated their birthday weekend by swimming in the Sarasota YMCA Masters’ Shark Tank SCM Meet in sunny Sarasota, FL on Nov 3-4, 2018.

As an extra gift, Diann Uustal (NEM-SWMR), also competing at the meet, was able to join the NEM-YNS ladies to form a New England Masters Swim Club (NEM) relay team. The foursome swam the 200-meter freestyle relay together and walked away with a first place finish!

Lott spent her 60th birthday participating in her first ever swim meet, diving headfirst into her 60s while crushing distance and sprint events. Freedman grabbed a first place finish in her signature backstroke event — and was asked to be a model for Swimmer Magazine! — while maintaining an impressively positive attitude in the face of mishaps (pulled muscle, foot bruised on a turn, and a DQ). Zraket decided to cram 5 events into each day and tackle her worst fears: trying the 50 butterfly and the 200 IM. Uustal was the strong, determined, unofficial coach giving positive feedback and support throughout the meet. 

The Sarasota Sharks were very welcoming and friendly. It was an amazing and fun meet filled with a group of Master swimmers coming together, regardless of age, skill, and motivation, to share their passion for swimming and competition. 

UVRays’ Bedford Notches World, National Swim Records at Leaf Peepers

Story & photos contributed by Barbara Hummel

Leaf Peepers is a meet where world-record setters and USMS first timers hang out together on deck and in the pool. Fritz Bedford (top left) set one world and one national record in the men’s 55-59 age group.

Leaf Peepers is a meet where world-record setters and USMS first timers hang out together on deck and in the pool. Fritz Bedford (top left) set one world and one national record in the men’s 55-59 age group.

UVRay Susan Reid helps swimmers decide which item to take from the renowned awards table filled with amazing baked goods.

UVRay Susan Reid helps swimmers decide which item to take from the renowned awards table filled with amazing baked goods.

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, VT – Fritz Bedford set his ninth lifetime Masters World Record on October 20, 2018 at the 10th Annual Leaf Peepers Masters Mini Meet at the Upper Valley Aquatic Center (UVAC).

During the meet, the 55-year-old Bedford, a member of the UVRays masters team, launched three attacks on the record book.  In his first event, Bedford’s 28.16 in the 50-meter backstroke was half a second off the world record of 27.62, but good enough for a new NELMSC record. In the 50 butterfly, Bedford had more success. His 26.55 set a new national record in the men’s 55-59 age group and was one-tenth of a second shy of the world record. Finally, in his third event, Bedford blasted a 1:00.78 in the 100 backstroke, clipping six one-hundredths of a second off the previous world record.

Arnold Meardon, the meet’s most senior swimmer, set two NELMSC records.

Arnold Meardon, the meet’s most senior swimmer, set two NELMSC records.

In addition to Fritz’s three records, which were automatic NELMSC records, two other swimmers set regional marks. Arnold Meardon of the UVRays set two NELMSC records in the men’s 85-89 age group: 50 fly (1:07.26) and 100 IM (2:28.79). David Vail of Maine Masters set three NELMSC records in the men’s 75-79 division: 50 back (40.88); 100 back (1:29.55); and 200 back (3:20.07).  UVRay Jim Larrick (men’s 35-39) took home “Fastest Man in the Pool” honors with a meet record 12.11 in the 25 freestyle.

Swimmers decide who will take which leg on the Icebreaker Relay.

Swimmers decide who will take which leg on the Icebreaker Relay.

This year’s Icebreaker Relay shuffled 24 swimmers into four random teams, where everyone had to quickly become friends and choose their best relay lineup.  Relay legs included kicking with a pumpkin, swimming with apples, howling at the moon, and partnered swimming with a noodle.  

The Icebreaker Relay begins!

The Icebreaker Relay begins!

Mary Gentry is everyone’s FAVORITE meet director.

Mary Gentry is everyone’s FAVORITE meet director.

Summer Meet & Open Water Result Links

Pan American Masters Championships Recap

Contributed by Sue Jensen, CRM & NE LMSC Secretary

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ORLANDO, FL -- The 2018 Union Americana de Natacion (UANA) Pan American Masters Championships were held from July 25 to August 8 at the YMCA Aquatic Center in Orlando, Florida. More than 2,200 athletes participated across five disciplines -- swimming, diving, synchronized swimming, water polo, and open water swimming -- making it the largest UANA Pan American Masters Championships ever held. Over 1,700 pool swimmers hailed from 30 swimming federations (most from North and South America) and broke 65 FINA world records, 136 UANA records, and 38 USMS national records in long-course meters events.

Fred Schlicher

Fred Schlicher

New England swimming legend Fred Schlicher, who recently turned 70, set world records in the 200 free and 200 fly. He also set UANA records in the 50 back and 200 back. Two weeks earlier, at the 2018 South Central Zone LCM Championship meet in Texas, Fred bested the world record in the 100 fly, as well and set national records in the 200 IM and 400 IM. Congratulations Fred. You are an inspiration to all masters swimmers!

New Englanders who attended reported that the meet was friendly and very well-run even though the hot, humid weather made for a challenging meet environment. With events spread over seven days and no New England relays able to be formed, there was a shortage of team camaraderie.

Here are reflections from some of the NE-LMSC swimmers who attended:

Szekely, Mareb, and Estel

Marian Coakley (NEM), 81, who describes herself as a "very young 80 year old," was pleasantly surprised with her 3rd, 4th and 5th place finishes usually in a group of eight. This was Marian's first meet in several years because of a couple of hip replacements. Marian goes to the pool every day of the year - but for an hour of power water walking (for rehab), not swimming. She decided to go to the meet because it was close to where she now lives in Florida. "People were really friendly, and I was glad to be a part of it." If all goes well, Marian plans to attend both Spring and Summer USMS Nationals in 2019. It is great to be back "in the swim again."

Harvey Ottinger (NEM-BASS), 61, had just returned to competitive swimming after a 40-year layoff. Harvey swam the 50, 100 and 200 breaststroke, placing 7th in the 50 and 100 and 8th in the 200 while improving on all of his seed times by a good amount. Harvey commented that, "Orlando was great and the venue was very nice. Hotels were abundant and very reasonable. Food was everywhere and fun. Everyone was treated very well, and I made many new friends. Quite honestly, I had a complete blast."

Crusco, Mareb, and Estel sporting some serious hardware!

Crusco, Mareb, and Estel sporting some serious hardware!

Beth Estel (NEM-GSP), 62, had a great meet including setting new UANA records in the 50 and 100 breast. "I was very happy with my results," said Beth. "My breaststroke friends aged up and showed up, so that made it challenging and exciting, even one from the UK. Peggy McDonnell, another breaststroker - not competing - came to cheer me on. Beth did comment on the lack of team camaraderie from New England during the day, however, felt she had great quality times with her swim buds (Karen MarebIldi Szekely, and Kysa Crusco and family), in the evening, going out to dinner and sightseeing, including a dinner at Disney, and at a Greek restaurant where Karen danced with the belly dancer.

Maria Stotts (NEM), 36, swam three pool events plus the 1.5k open water race in Daytona Beach. This was her first international meet ever, and also her first time in Florida. She found the meet very organized, and enjoyed meeting participants from around the world. The aquatic center was located in an area with plenty of things to do nearby - restaurants, shops, aquarium, wax museum, giant observation wheel and a 450-foot swing ride. She enjoyed the trip very much and hopes to go to either Mesa, Arizona or Mission Viejo, California next year for Spring and Summer Nationals.

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Dave Bright (NEM), 65, competed in his second Pan Am Masters meet after attending the one in Sarasota four years ago. "Orlando may not have been my first choice for a location. It was hot and humid, and there were lots of tourists and traffic gridlock, but it had what we needed for the meet, and I thought things went well. One of the things that happens in these big meets is that we tend to get to the pool, warm-up, swim our race and then leave. Sticking around to watch your teammates may mean a 4-hour wait in the bleachers. So, there is not as much team unity as we see at a regional or national meets. Personally, I felt the absence of having access to any 50-meter pools to train in here in Maine." Dave swam four events - one per day and then came back home at the halfway point of the meet. He was very happy with his finishes - 3rd in the 800 free, 2nd in the 400 IM, 3rd in the 200 back, and 7th in the 100 back. Both the 200 back and 400 IM were New England records! Hopefully some will hold up for US & FINA Top Tens.

CONGRATULATIONS to all swimmers from New England.

Mark your calendars for the the next Pan American Masters Championship meet, to be held in Medellin, Colombia in Summer 2020. The Colombian Swimming Federation will host this meet at the Atanasio Girardot Sports Complex, a world class aquatics facility with two long-course competition pools and six warm-up/warm-down pools. The open water event is tentatively scheduled be held in Guatupe, a wonderful small town north of Medellin. Going forward, UANA will host the Pan American Masters Championships on even-numbered years and FINA will host the World Masters Swimming Championships on odd-numbered years. 

Jenny Thompson LCM Mini-Meet Recap

Results

DOVER, NH -- On July 15, 77 swimmers from across New England gathered at the Jenny Thompson Pool to compete in the 2018 Summer JT LCM Mini-Meet. 

Granite State Penguins took home the team title with 649 points, followed by Maine Masters (587) and New England Masters (561). Twenty-two teams attended the meet. 

Douglas Sayles (SWMR), Lauren Heath (GBM), and Robert Duguay (CONN) won five events each to tie for the top individual prize with 100 points. 

Granite State Penguins

Granite State Penguins

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 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 Gardner

Bob 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.

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.