Contributed by Charlotte Brynn, NELMSC Open Water Chair
NEWPORT, VT — The 11th Annual Kingdom Swim was held on Saturday, July 27th under sunny skies at Lake Memphremagog in Newport, Vermont. In 73-75F waters, swimmers raced the 1 mile, 5 km, 10 km, 10 mile, or 25 km Border Buster event to Canada and back. U.S. Masters Swimming clubs from around the nation were well-represented, with 120 swimmers coming from California, Texas, North Carolina, Florida, New Mexico, and more. Many New England LMSC athletes posted top finishes.
NELMSC Vice-Chair Guy Davis (GBM), 60, won the men’s 25 km Border Buster race in 7:28:16, taking home a beautifully hand-carved Vermont walking stick. Bill Shipp (UMAC), 66, was runner up and third place went to Martin McMahon (CONN), 56. Twenty-two-year-old Melissa Andrews of Franconia, NH won her own Vermont walking stick by finishing first in the women’s Border Buster in 7:33:44. Runner up was 53-year-old Charlotte Brynn (NEM-STOW) and third place went to Abigail Onos, 24, of Arlington, VA.
In the 10-mile race, 52-year-old Robert Breital of Philadelphia, PA finished first overall in 4:43:27, followed by Christopher Borgatti, 42, of Byfield, MA. Steven Spiegel, 58, of Amherst, MA took third place in the men’s division. On the women’s side, 40-year-old Puranjot Khalsa (MESC) placed first, besting Britt Hulbert, 50, of Bar Harbor, ME and Ruth Gilgenbach, 35, of Lawrence Township, NJ.
In the 10 km race, Mark Loftis (PSM-MIR), 59, stormed away from the field to emerge first in a time of 2:48:36. The women’s 10k came down to the finish with Jocelyn Stephen, 43, of Toronto, ON besting 39-year-old Hilary Sullivan (NEM-SIMM) by only 21 seconds to take first in a time of 3:17:35.
Sheldon Katz, 60, of South Burlington, VT finished first in the 5 km event, with second place going to Dane Krampitz, 62, of Groton, MA. In the women’s field Teresa Holland (NEM-YNS), 50, finished first in 1:31:58 and Cara Hancy (NEM-JSC), 40, was second. Katz also won the men’s 1-mile event in 23:35 while 58-year-old Karen Harrison (PCAT) won the women’s event in 25:14.
Next year’s Kingdom Swim will be held on July 25th, 2020. The 10-mile Kingdom Swim race will be the 2020 USMS Ultramarathon-Distance Open Water Championship. Other Kingdom Swim courses include the 25km Border Buster, the 10km Kingdom Swim, the 5km Kingdom Swim, and the 1-mile Kingdom Swim. Mark your calendar & set a goal to compete and enjoy the beauty and friendliness of open-water competition in the scenic Northeast Kingdom of Vermont!
Contributed by Sue Jensen, Officials Chair, NEM-CRM
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.
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.
7/7-8 Bay State Games
7/14 Swim With A Mission
8/11-19 Swim the Kingdom Week
8/11 Boston Light Swim
Contributed by Sue Jensen, CRM & NE LMSC Secretary
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.
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:
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."
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 Mareb, Ildi 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.
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.
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.
Contributed by Tim Lecrone, MESC, NE LMSC Registrar
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.
Contributed by Crystie McGrail, Meet Director & NE LMSC Coaches Chair
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.
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.
Contribute by Alana Aubin, CRM, NE LMSC Communications Chair
WORCESTER, MA -- Four hundred sixty-two swimmers from 70 teams flocked to the WPI Sports & Recreation Center for another fantastic NE LMSC and Colonies Zone SCM Championship Meet from December 8-10, 2017.
Great Bay Masters' Guy Davis concluded a stellar year of swimming by racking up 215 points to take the men's High Point award by a wide margin. The Granite State Penguins (GSP) were well-represented on the high point list, taking four of the next five spots. Brendan Wright led the way for his team by finishing second overall with 194 points, followed by George Coupe in third (187). Stephen Carroll (174) and Mark Rubacky (172) battled it out in the 45-49 age group and ended up in fifth and sixth place, respectively. Ken Kwa from Charles River Masters (CRM) snuck into fourth place with 174 points.
The GSP ladies couldn't let the men have all the fun; with 203 points, Mindy Williams captured the women's High Point award just ahead of teammate Kysa Crusco, who scored 198 points. Sue Garland (191) and Ginger Howell (183) of CRM were third and fourth, and Charlotte Brynn (170) of Stowe Masters rounded out the top five.
In the team competition, Connecticut Masters won the Large Team division and Zone Championship by accruing 3,114 points. Unsurprisingly, GSP won the Medium Team division with 2,766 points. UMAC Terrapin Masters (815) took the Small Team title home to Virginia, and Stowe Masters (322) were the Squad champions.
Kudos to Worcester Area Masters for doing such a great job hosting the meet, and thank you to all who competed, coached, or volunteered, especially our officials. See you in March!
Contributed by Barbara Hummel, Head Coach of the UVRays Masters
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.