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.

Kingdom Swim Recap

Contributed by Charlotte Brynn, NE-LMSC Open Water Chair

NEWPORT, VT --  The 10th Annual Kingdom Swim was held on July 28th in Lake Memphremagog in Newport, Vermont. The 125 swimmers competed under sunny skies in 72-74F water temperatures. Swimmers raced in the 1 mile, 5 km, 10 km, 10 mile, or 25 km Border Buster event into Canada and back. Masters swimmers from New England represented well in all courses and posted many top finishes.

Winners of the beautifully hand-carved Vermont walking sticks in the 25 km Border Buster race were 25-year-old Anthony Szmul of Queensbury, NY in 8 hours 13 minutes 56 seconds and 50-year-old Charlotte Brynn of Stowe, VT in 8 hours 31 minutes 44 seconds. 

In the 10-mile race, 29-year-old Morgan Grozier of East Orleans, MA and 57-year-old George Boerger of Kingston, MA each won a walking stick, a pound of Brault's Beef Jerky, a quart of Couture's Maple Syrup, and a six-pack of Burke Mountain ski tickets.

Alana Aubin post-10km victory

Alana Aubin post-10km victory

In the 10km race Eric Nilsson stormed away from the field -- to no one's surprise -- finishing first in a time of 2 hours 10 minutes 49 seconds. Alana Aubin completed another strong Kingdom Swim to win the overall female division in a time of 2 hours 38 minutes 48 seconds.

Registration for the 2019 Kingdom Swim opened September 1. With only 30 spots in each event, register early to secure your spot and chance to enjoy a weekend of friendly open-water competition in the scenic Northeast Kingdom!

Top 5 Finishers

25 km Border Buster

1. Charlotte Brynn 8:31:44 
2. Martha Wood 8:45:43 
3. Daniela Klaz 9:05:25 
4. Melodee Nugent 9:19:14 
5. Emily Boerger 9:51:43

1. Anthony Szmul 8:13:56 
2. Bill Shipp 9:00:36 
3. Michael Pollanen 10:14:39 
4. John Batchelder 10:22:06 
5. Andrew Wallace 10:25:55 


1. Morgan Grozier 4:46:19 
2. Molly Lunn Owen 5:13:02 
3. Keone Weigl 5:15:24 
4. Britt Hulbert 5:21:22 
5. Puranjot Khalsa 5:24:36 


1. Carol Shuford 6:13:14 
2. Joanne Navilliat 7:37:50 

1. George Boerger 5:51:15 
2. Leopoldo Gomez 6:37:51 
3. John Gale 8:06:15


1. Andrew Westbrook 6:06:38 
2. Damase Olsson 7:01:35 

10 km

1. Eric Nilsson 2:10:49 
2. Sheldon Katz 2:54:29 
3. Peter November 3:01:58 
4. John Hughes 3:12:39 
5. Kevin Joubert 3:12:51 


1. Alana Aubin 2:38:48 
2. Melissa Andrews 2:40:33 
3. Joan Hudak 2:43:19 
4. Vera Rivard 3:01:13 
5. Holly Donnelly 3:14:42 

1. Lee Ann Banks 3:17:29
2. Patricia Lambert 3:28:07 
3. Robyn Shiely 3:49:15 
4. Cheryl Coletti-Lawson 3:52:28 
5. Sally Kidd 4:37:07 

Kingdom Swim 10 mile start.jpg

5 km

1. Katharine Dunn 1:10:21 
2. Laura Kenny 1:21:41 
3. Madeline Craig 1:24:11 
4. Tori Lamphere 1:24:35 
5. Julie Bosak 1:24:11 

1. Jody Goodrich 1:33:50 
2. Melissa McEvoy 1:35:09 
3. Katherine Ruffin 1:37:00 
4. Cindy Rodd 1:41:46 
5. Katie Hudon 2:00:36 

1. Lawton Harper 1:25:27 
2. Jesse Marshall 1:29:37 
3. Jimmy Wu 1:42:27


1. George Randall 1:52:15 
2. Victor Yanessa 1:52:22 

1-Mile swim

1. Robert Hrabchak 26.03 
2. Josep Garrison 28.39 
3. Hermes Cabellero 28.48 
4. Will Golec 29.02 
5. Denis Beaudry 30.58 

1. Louise Davies 29.04 
2. Judith Ebsary 29.12 
3. Rachel Gagnon 30.43
4. Quinn Manion 31.26 
5. Anne Hrabchak 35.05 

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. 

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!  

Fast Swims and New Fast Friends at 8th Annual UVAC Leaf Peepers Mini Meet

Release and Photos Contributed by Barbara Hummel

Diann Uustal nabs two national records at Leaf Peepers.

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, VT - On October 22, the UVRays hosted their 8th Annual Leaf Peepers meet, famous for its friendly atmosphere, fast pool, and phenomenal awards table. This year’s short course meters meet attracted 84 swimmers from at least 10 states and representing 24 workout groups.

Diann Uustal from Swim Rhode Island was the meet’s outstanding swimmer, setting national records in women’s 70-74 100m backstroke (1:24.93) and 100m IM (1:24.30).  Diann’s 38.93 in the 50m backstroke was just 3 one-hundredths off the national record, but was good for a New England record, as was her 45.43 in the 50m breaststroke. Greg Shaw of Keene Masters set three regional marks in the men’s 65-69 age group: 50m butterfly (31.03), 100m butterfly (1:10.40), and 200m IM (2:43.35). Fritz Bedford of the host team, UVRays, nabbed a New England record in the men’s 50-54 100m breaststroke (1:14.37). Beth Estel of the Granite State Penguins set a regional record in the women’s 60-64 200m backstroke (3:01.68) and Lee Ann Banks of Virginia set a regional record in the women’s 55-59 100m backstroke (1:20.91).

Susan Reid of the UVRays (and King Arthur Flour) puts finishing touches on Leaf Peepers awards table 

This year’s edition of the Ice Breaker relay encouraged total strangers to become fast friends by swimming with noodles and apples and by howling through the dog-paddle leg. The renowned awards table, courtesy of UVRays Susan Reid and Sue Gray, featured dozens of pies, cakes, breads, brownies, cookies, and pumpkins as well as local maple syrup – ensuring a take-home prize for every swimmer. 

For additional information, contact:

Barbara Hummel

Mobile:  802-356-6677 

In Search of Memphre 2016 and My First DNF

Contributed by Nathaniel Dean

On the night of September 9th, Nathaniel Dean, a member of Cambridge Masters Swim Club, attempted to swim across Lake Mempremagog - 25 miles from Newport, VT to Magog, Quebec, Canada. He ended his swim for safety reasons after completing 12.5 miles in 6 hours. This swim report was originally published in the Marathon Swimmers Forum. It is reposted here with permission. 

Figured I'd share a swim report, since I haven't been on the forums in a while and I felt that some people could learn from my experience. I swam in In Search of Memphre this weekend but didn't make it the full distance to Magog. Here's a rundown of the weekend, and where I broke down, and some things I learned over the weekend that hopefully would help other people, including myself... I plan to go back and complete next year.

I should emphasize that none of this is to be read as an excuse. All of the mistakes leading to this DNF were solely my own, and while that is a bitter pill to swallow, I was fortunate that it happened in friendlier waters with decent support and with enough training to know that things were going very wrong, knowing when to pull myself out instead of getting myself into a dangerous situation.

For those who don't know the Kingdom, Lake Memphremagog is a very large lake stretching from Newport, VT on the south to Magog, Quebec, Canada on the north. A number of swims occur on that lake including a series during the Kingdom Games, which has a variety of distances ranging from 1 mile to 25km. ISOM is the longest of the lot, stretching from Newport to Magog, a distance of 25+ miles. This swim is to support more open borders between the two towns to improve the economy of both cities.

Two people were on the swim this year, and hats off to Mark Smitherman who accomplished this hard swim in 13 hours. We spoke a few time prior to the swim, as well as on the dock starting off, and he was a very collected and determined individual, not to mention a very good swimmer, hats off to him! I'd love to read his race report to see what happened on his trip, not to mention at the end of the swim.

The swim started at the Newport docks shortly after midnight on Friday into Saturday, accompanied this year by a 13' boat with support crew with gas motor and a very experienced kayaker. My crew consisted of my wife Katharine Owen and a fellow swimmer whom I helped train for the 25km swim two months prior, Daniela Klaz. My kayaker was Gary Golden, who handled his kayak very well.

Direction of the swim was north, and a gentle wind from the south pushed us at the beginning. Start was at 12:20am. My feed schedule this year had changed; in previous years I have fed every 30 minutes, and this strategy got me through both Catalina and MIMS, with the caveat that I had more "stuff" in my system, and thus it took longer to eliminate. My observers in the past had commented that this was something I needed to work on, so I came up with this compromise. So this year I had trained and planned to change my schedule from 30 minutes to 45 minutes, thinking this would take the pressure off my voids, encourage fewer breaks in general and increase my speed.

However, that training was not sufficient. Figuring I had already done sufficiently long distances and thus could handle longer distances, I focused on more intense shorter swims, which were also easier to fit into my work schedule. However, that combined with the feed change would set off one of a series of dominoes that would call the end of my swim far sooner than I had expected. That doesn't mean that I necessarily approve of training up to race simulation distance (I'm still of the opinion that shorter focused practices do more for you than junk yardage), but doing swims with a new feed schedule is definitely crucial to making that feed schedule stick and confirming that it is the right move.

The first three feeds (up to 2h15m elapsed time) go really well, and I'm in good spirits as I am told on the third feed that I've already crossed into Canadian waters. I had recalled that the water temperature drops a couple degrees when you do cross over, as the water is deeper at that part of the lake. I have a couple of small worries though: 1. The boat fumes were starting to overcome me, as I haven't swam around boat fumes in a while, so my support crew had to pull away, not to mention the boat fumes were getting to my crew as well. This means that I didn't get as much protection from the wind as I would like, and this would come into play later. 2. My feed system is a double ended carabiner on a rope, with hookable Blender Bottles containing the mixed feeds (for the record, this is the most fool-proof method of feeding a swimmer and I would not encourage any other feeding method). But this means that the crew has to throw the feed in front of me and then slow down so I don't have to chase the feed. But, these boats couldn't go slow enough unless they idled, and if they idled the fumes would concentrate and sometimes the engines would stall, so we didn't run the boat slow and I still had to chase my feeds.
3. For my other night swims, I have hooked a chemical glowstick onto the back of my goggles, and since this system has worked for me in the past, why mess with a good thing? This time though, my stroke had changed enough that it was easy to wedge the glowstick between my goggles and my shoulder as I breathed on my left, making it difficult for me to fall into my usual bilateral-3 pattern. 4. I had instructed my crew to use hand signals with me to signal feeds, changes in speed/pace, positioning, and other key instructions. While this had worked in previous swims where there was a lot more light from a bigger boat, in this situation the lighting was much more subtle, and the only thing I could see in my blurry goggles (defogger not working was the least of my concerns) was the light from the headlamps. So, every time Kate looked at me to count strokes per minute, I would think they were trying to signal me somehow so I'd lift my head. This also played a factor into the later hours.

At about 3 1/2 hours in, these little issues started to stack upon one another. Since I had switched from bilateral-3 to 4-2-4-2-4-2 on my right side, I was now only looking at my kayaker on the right and not the support boat on my left, making it a bit more complicated for my boat to signal me. But, I knew they were close because I could smell them. The support boat was on my left and the wind had shifted unpredictably from the south to the west and kicked up to 8 knots, meaning the fumes were blowing into me nonstop. The wind also dropped the perceived temperature of the air, which was a complete surprise to me, and one of the things I learned the most from this swim: air temperature is just as important as water temperature. The water temp was in the 70s, practically bath water. The air temp was in the low 60s, but because of the wind felt 10 degrees colder. The support boat was further out doing the right thing, but I ended up getting the fumes anyway and the wind still hit me.

That's when my traps started to seize up. The trapezius muscles extend from the neck to the shoulder and back down to the spine in a diamond pattern in your back. I was depending on them because I was shrugging my shoulders trying to keep the glowstick from not wedging on my shoulder, shortening my stroke and in the process making the situation worse. My crew gave me new goggles at the 3:45 feed (always bring backups!) that worked amazingly, but the damage had already been done. I had picked up my pace to keep ahead of the cold I was perceiving in my arms.

At this point, I started to weave between the support boat and the kayak. Unbeknownst to me at the time, this had more to do with both the support boat and kayak being pushed by the winds, making it hard for them to keep a straight line (the fact that either of them could keep a straight line at all is a testament to the mettle and capacity of all involved). However, I was under the impression that I was losing it.

4:30 couldn't come soon enough, and I gulped down my hot feed (one every three feeds). Another mistake: not only had I changed my feed from 30 to 45 minutes, I had also changed the frequency of hot feeds to cold from every other feed to every third feed. Instead of getting a warm feed every hour, it was every 2 1/4 hours. Having figured that the water temperature was 70 I didn't expect to get cold. But, sure enough, I did.

5:00 hits, the sun is starting to peak, and I'm literally counting the seconds to the next feed. At 5:15's feed I own up to it with my crew: I say that the goggles were working great but I was not, that at that point my traps seized so much I couldn't turn my neck and I had to rotate my entire body to get my face out of the water, that I was cold, and I was fighting really hard to stay with it. I was really weaving between the boat and the kayak at this point.

How much of this was psychological and how much of it was physical hypothermia I couldn't tell. All the little factors stacked up to a big monster. The inside joke of ISOM is that the swim is to search for the fabled lake monster Memphre. At this point I felt that the real monster was an amalgamation of all these little demons given a big inky canvas to weave stories of doom. I've observed for the Ice Mile, and have seem people go through mild to severe hypothermia. I've observed for marathon swimmers and while I'm lucky to not to have to pull anyone, I've seen people get out completely shivering after an 8+ hour swim in 75+ degree water. I've read about all the unfortunate people who have died during swims.

I glanced at the edges of the lake, mentally calculated how long it'd take for people to get me to shore if I really started getting in trouble. If I developed the mask, if I started experiencing the claw in my stroke. None of this was actually happening to me: In fact, my stroke rate was staying pretty constant, and my crew pulled in closer to give me comfort and warmth, only for me to think they were really worried for my safety and as a side effect made it seem like I was bouncing around even more between the boats.

So 15 minutes to my next feed (which would have been a warm one), just when the sun was coming out, just when all of this could have gotten to get better, I pulled myself. I still contend that it was the right move. My crew was surprised, they asked me if I was sure. I cursed to the sky and said yep. I was pissed that I psyched myself out, but it was still a good move. I honestly felt that was at least mildly hypothermic, and was shaking and purple when pulled onto the safety boat and onto shore. Now, I've swum BLS in 58-62F and other cold swims, so who knows how much of this was psychological or physical. I contend that the difference didn't matter at that point. I let all these little things pile up into a real monster and get the better of me.

I'm proud of making it 12.5 miles in 6 hours. But I did make some major mistakes that I felt that I could help others not make:

  1. Get a light that doesn't extend down the neck. Those round lights like the one Mark had on his goggles are amazing and will not interfere in any way with the swim.
  2. Train in cold AND WIND. It's a backwards feeling for the water to be warm and the air to be frigid, and it can really strip you of heat.
  3. For nighttime swims, have light signals instead of hand signals. Not dry erase boards, not yelling (most times you can't hear your crew), but light signals are the clearest and can be seen through foggy goggles.
  4. I'm still not sure how to prepare for swims with fumes. This still gets to me.
  6. Proper training lets you conquer the little demons one by one so you can stop them before they can combine to be a Voltron of evil.

That lake is no joke. It is a hard swim. Do not underestimate it. I plan to face it next year with way more open eyes than I had before.

--Nathaniel Dean

Kingdom Swim 2016 Recap

Contributed by Charlotte Brynn, NE-LMSC Open Water Chair

Results      Photos              

Kayakers and Swimmers preparing for the 10km marathon swim

LAKE MEMPHREMAGOG, NEWPORT, VERMONT -  With a variety of distances to choose from, a sandy start and finish, and fresh water, Kingdom Swim 2016 was a perfect event for first timers and seasoned veterans. This year, New England swimmers flocked to the waters of Lake Memphremagog, and they were in good company; approximately 150 swimmers and about 140 kayakers participated. They travelled from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Washington, DC, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Ireland, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Missouri, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Quebec. Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont, Washington State, and Wisconsin.

Charlotte Brynn on her way to winning the 25km Border Buster

Charlotte Brynn on her way to winning the 25km Border Buster

The weekend kicked off with a Pizza Cruise on the Northern Star, with motivational speaker Craig Dietz, 41, from Hummelstown, Pennsylvania, also known as the Limbless Waterman. He delivered a powerful talk, and on Saturday, completed the longest swim of his life, the 10 km marathon course in a time of 4:12:35. Craig used a flipper attached to his left leg stump and undulated on his back.

Women's 10km skin podium

Women's 10km skin podium

After a terrific Pasta Dinner on Friday evening, swimmers were ready to take to the Lake. Kingdom Swim included the 15.9-mile (25 km) Border Buster, the USMS 10-mile Open Water National Championship, a non-championship wave of the 10-mile course, a 6.2-mile (10 km) race, as well as 3.1-mile (5 km) and 1-mile races.

For the first time this year, the event featured a pig roast in the evening. The event featured live music and a raffle to win entry to various swims, including Swim the Suck, Swim the Kingdom Week, and the Cork Distance Training Camp.

Top finishers in the men's 5km skin race

Top finishers in the men's 5km skin race

Big thanks to Bob Fernald, event referee, and Phil White of Kingdom Games and his volunteers who made this such a memorable event. The common thread in talking with swimmers post swim was, “I can’t wait to return to the North East Kingdom.” Congratulations to all those who swam, and enjoyed all that Open Water Swimming has to offer - good natured swimmers, beautiful scenery, and the camaraderie of enjoying the outdoors together, whether it be for competition or recreation. Top results can be found below, and full results are posted here. Additionally, registration is already open for 2017!

Border Buster - 15.9 Mile

Swimmers crossed the border into Canada and swam back to the USA. The overall course winner was Charlotte Brynn, 50, of Stowe, VT in 7 hours, 55 minutes, 46 seconds. Bill Shipp, 56, of Mitchellville, MD was second in a time of 8 hours, 18 minutes, 47 seconds. Ned Denison, 58, was third, finishing in 8 hours, 48 minutes, and 31 seconds.


On the women's side, New England swimmers were a force, with 6 swimmers competing:

1.        7:55.46           Charlotte Brynn        50       Stowe VT

5.        9:19:06           Kellie Latimer            30       Norwood, MA

6.        9:21:10           Daniela Klaz               24       Jamaica Plain, MA

7.        9:21:10           Hillary Rodriguez       28       Jamaica Plain, MA

9.        9:45:06           Julie Burnett               50       Stoneham, MA

10.       10:36:54       Paula Yankauskas         61       Hyde Park, VT



3.        9:03:10         Patrick McDermot       51       Salem, NH

4.        10:04:18       William Larkins           22       Freeport, ME

5.        10:42:19       Ian Grimmer                47       Middlebury, VT


10 Mile Non Championship – WetSuit


  1.        4:57:48       Gabi Redford        49       Annapolis, MD
  2.        5:08:33       Elaine Scholtz       54       Campton, NH


  1.        5:07:35       Herve Hamon          54       Norwalk, CT
  2.        6:01:31       Thomas Whalen       50       St. Louis, MO


6.2 Mile (10 km) - Skin


  1.        2:32:25       Jen Olsen                 45       Millis, MA
  2.        2:36:22       Alana Aubin             26       Watertown, MA
  3.        2:54:16       Katharine Owen       37       Arlington, MA


  1.        2:14:39       Eric Nilsson                   29       Weston, MA
  2.        2:30:03       Mark Loftis                    56       New York, NY
  3.        2:31:25       Christopher Cowley       24       Brookline, MA


6.2 Mile (10 km) - Wetsuit


  1.        3:08:47       Melissa Ossanna          47       Bar Harbor, ME
  2.        3:34:30       Tamara Takoudes        46        Needham, MA
  3.        3:48:17       Maria Beconi              53        Bedford, MA 


  1.        3:06:02       Michael McGurk       56       Sudbury, MA 


3.1 MILE (5 km) - SKIN


  1.       1:17:45       Merin Troutman       42       Mystic, CT
  2.       1:30:13       Emily Boerger           21       Kingston, MA
  3.       1:31:50       Hilary Sullivan          35       Roslindale, MA


  1.        1:33:05       Lawton Harper        49       Center Conway, NH
  2.        1:34:36       David Bentley         48       Winchester, MA
  3.        1:39:36       George Boerger       55       Kingston, NY


3.1 Mile (5 km) - Wetsuit


  1.        1:17:34       Laura Delorey          53       Westminster, MA
  2.        1:34:46       Francine Amyot       52       St-Romuald, QC
  3.        1:38:34       Kay Thomas            49       Duxbury, MA


  1.        1:18:52       Bruce Mohl        70       Bonita Springs, FL 


1 Mile - Skin


  1.        0:23:54       Renee Reiser         49       Annapolis, MD
  2.        0:26:45       Julie Wolf              31       Hoboken, NJ
  3.        0:31:59       Jennifer Olaru       45       Dorset, VT


  1.        0:23:38       Andrew Grannell       69       Annapolis, MD
  2.        0:27:01       Andre Cote                55       Lévis, QC
  3.        0:27:17       Matthew Marcy         48       Bluemont, VA

USMS 10-mile Open Water National Championship Recap

Contributed by Charlotte Brynn, NE-LMSC Open Water Chair

Results      Photos              

LAKE MEMPHREMAGOG, NEWPORT, VERMONT - Excellent conditions, top times, and tight finishes sums up a great day of racing in Newport, Vermont on July 30. To follow are the USMS Open Water Championship results in full, as well as New England highlights.

The start of the 2016 USMS Open Water 10-mile National Championship

The start of the 2016 USMS Open Water 10-mile National Championship

USMS OWN Ultra Marathon - 10 Mile

Overall Male

  1. 4:10:03                     James Biles                          55                    Cedarburg, WI
  2. 4:10:40                     Stephen Rouch                    36                    Indianapolis, IN 
  3. 4:22:32                     Guy Davis                           57                    North Hampton, NH


New England Age Group Highlights - Male

In the 35 - 39 age group, Anuj Sampat of Waltham, MA, grabbed third in 6:22:02.

Christopher Graefe of Jamaica Plain, MA won the 40-44 age group with a time of 4:24:14, narrowly missing the overall podium. He was followed by Willy Blumentals of Sudbury, MA, in 6:46:35.

In the 45-49 age group, John Langton of Lynnfield, MA placed second, in a time of 4:52.01. Talbot Crowell from Lexington, MA was fifth in 6:15:22.

New Englander Elaine Howley provides kayak support during the 10 mile race

New Englander Elaine Howley provides kayak support during the 10 mile race

The 55-59 age group was the most competitive division, with James Biles winning the National Championship in a time of 4:10.03. He was also the overall 10 mile event winner. Hot on his heels was Guy Davis of Great Bay Masters, from North Hampton, NH, throwing down a strong swim to take second place in a time of 4:22.32, and the 3rd fastest time on the 10 mile course. Frederick Hirsch of Hull, MA, and Gregory Gomez of Newtonville, MA, finished 5th and 6th, respectively.

A strong New England presence was felt in the 60-64 age group, with Westley Richards of Windham, MA taking 2nd place in a time of 5:35.72, and Brian Mc Laughlin of Nashua, NH taking 3rd place in a time of 5:38.13. Brian is also a leading Go The Distance Swimmer.

Overall Female

  1. 4:25:32                     Laurie Hug                                 51                     Ambler, PA
  2. 4:26:17                     Nancy Steadman Martin             62                     Oceanport, NJ
  3. 4:29:08                     Shirley Loftus-Charley                64                     Afton, VA


New England Age Group Highlights - Female

Jenny Wolf of Concord, MA was third in the 30-34 age group, finishing in 5:16:50.

In the 35-39 age group, Mina Elnaccash of Somerville, MA was sixth in 7:01:33.

In the 45-49 year age group, Theresa Peck of Plymouth, NH placed third in a time of 5:57.48.

In the 50-54 year age group, Martha Wood of Manchester, NH, finished second in a time of 4:45.11, and Sheryl Scott of Pelham, MA took third in a time of 5:23.32.

Congratulations to all swimmers who competed in the 2016 10+ mile OWN. It was terrific to see so many NE-LMSC swimmers challenge themselves to this National Open Water event.

5th Annual Monumental Masters Mini Meet Recap

Contributed by Mike Leake

Maurice Regan and Liz MacBride flew in from New Hampshire

Maurice Regan and Liz MacBride flew in from New Hampshire

On Saturday, April 9, 2016, Bennington's adult swimming team, Monument Masters, hosted the 5th Annual Monumental Masters Mini Meet, as 36 swimmers from eight teams from MA, NJ, NH, NY, and VT traveled to the Bennington Recreation Center. Two swimmers traveled from Concord, NH, in a Cessna airplane, and the the Pittsfield Polar Bears and Simon's Rock Pace Makers from Great Barrington arrived in large numbers to compete.

Warmups at Bennington Recreation Center

This meet welcomes athletes of all abilities for a morning full of fun swimming and encouragement with all proceeds benefiting the Bennington Marauders swim team, providing youth swimming for our community. For many the meet was their first experience with competition, and all participants were eligible for US Masters Swimming caps and stickers as well as sweet treats of stroopwafels from Bakkerij Krijnen and maple syrup from Cluett Farm. 

Heat two of the 100-yard freestyle

Heat two of the 100-yard freestyle

Swimming for the first time with Monument Masters were Matt Moon, Carol Newell and MG Nightingale. Gabrielle Betit-Mattison and Amanda Robson returned to action in the pool following previous splashes at the meet. Siblings Jeff, Jill and Mike Leake along with Kevin Murphy and Greg Sellei continued their streak of swimming in each of the Monumental meets.

Monument Masters also fielded two relay teams in each of the relay events offered. We look forward to our sixth meet in April of 2017!

April is Adult Learn to Swim Month!

The Governors of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont have all issued proclamations of "April as Adult Learn to Swim Month." We in the NELMSC are ready to celebrate!
Fifteen masters teams, representing all five states in our LMSC, are running Swimming Saves Lives programs and offering free swim lessons to adults in their local communities. A huge shoutout to these program directors, and all of the masters swimmers on these teams, who are donating their time as swim instructors this month: 

Maine Masters: Tim Lecrone, Alford Youth Center, Waterville
Penobscot Bay Masters: Susan Rardin, Penobscot Bay Y, Rockport

Cambridge Masters Swim Club: Sue Jensen, Harvard University/Blodgett, Cambridge
Martha's Vineyard Masters: Elizabeth Lytle, YMCA of Martha's Vineyard, Vineyard Haven
Simon's Rock PaceMakers: Bill Meier, Simon's Rock @ Bard College, Great Barrington
Pittsfield Polar Bear Masters: Georgette Keator, Pittsfield Family YMCA, Pittsfield
Worcester Area Masters: CJ Dickson, Central YMCA, Worcester
YMCA of Greater Boston: KerriAnn Foley, Boston

New Hampshire
Granite State Penguins: Karin Stokes, Londonderry & Salem Workout Clubs, Londonderry & Salem

Rhode Island
MWR Lobster Swim Club: Denise Vieira & Mike Garr, Chafee Fitness Center, Naval Station, Newport
SwimRI: Paul Dow & Doug Sayles, Newport Athletic Club, Newport

Burlington Area Sink or Swim: Kim Fry, The Edge, Williston
Johnson State Masters & Norwich University Masters: Cara Hancy, Johnson State College, Johnson
UV Rays: Catherine Pearson, Upper Valley Aquatic Center, White River Junction
Stowe Masters: Charlotte Brynn, The Swimming Hole, Stowe


Research shows that adults aspire to swim more than any other fitness activity. Yet according to the Centers for Disease Control, 37% of American adults cannot swim the length of a pool. It's not too late! If you know anyone who never learned how to swim, is afraid of the water and/or needs to improve their strokes or breathing technique, contact any one of the masters teams above or email to schedule free swim lessons.


The Swimming Saves Lives program provides the perfect opportunity for masters swimmers to give back
to the sport they love by sharing their expertise and passion with beginning swimmers. If you'd like to volunteer to be a swim instructor this year or next, send an email to Training tools (a 10-page training manual and accompanying video) are provided.


Would your masters team like to run a Swimming Saves Lives program in 2016? Please contact Sue Jensen, the New England SSL program coordinator, at to receive SSL Program Overview that will provide all the details for getting a program up and running. Grant money received from the Swimming Saves Lives Foundation to our LMSC will cover all your lane space rental and lifeguard salary expenses.