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 Charlotte Brynn, NE LMSC Open Water Sanctions Chair
Event: Peaks to Portland Swim to Benefit Kids
Date: July 28, 2018
Distance 2.4 miles
Location: Casco Bay, Maine
Maine is right up there on my list of favorite places to swim. It has a lot to do with the vastness of the ocean, the variety of rugged coastline and sandy beaches, and the vibrant, friendly open water swimming community. Traveling to an open water swim event is a great way to experience another area, meet new people and discover new places to swim.
I was impressed to learn that the long running Peaks to Portland swim had a swimmer who has participated for 30 years! I wanted to learn more about the draw of this long running event and what keeps people coming back. Sarah Leighton, from the YMCA of Southern Maine, filled me in on all the things that make this swim so special and a must for your open water calendar!
Charlotte Brynn: Peaks to Portland is a 2.4 mile swim that has a wealth of history dating back to before WWII. Tell us about some of the early swims.
Sarah Leighton: Peaks to Portland started in the 1920s. At that time, there were no wetsuits so swimmers would grease their bodies in an effort to keep warm. Back then, the fastest swimmers finished the swim in one hour and fifteen minutes. Today swimmers finish in as little as 40 minutes. The swim was suspended at the start of World War II due to the fear of mines in the water. It wasn’t until 1981 that it was revived by the YMCA of Southern Maine, and we’ve hosted the event ever since.
CB: The Maine coastline is famous for its rugged good looks, and Maine swimmers are some of the most welcoming swimmers I’ve encountered around the world. What are some of the highlights of the swim that help make it an OW event not to miss?
SL: There’s no better way to experience Maine than the Peaks to Portland Swim. Swimmers take the Casco Bay Ferry in the early morning to picturesque Peaks Island where they begin their journey. Together with 500 other swimmers, they swim with the tide across Casco Bay. They pass the historic Fort Gorges, built in the 1850s. And at East End Beach, thousands of cheering spectators and volunteers welcome them across the finish line.
CB: You provide terrific support to swimmers before, during and after the swim, from training support, to what to bring and wear to park. What tips can you share for a swimmer new to Peaks to Portland?
SL: When it’s cold, swimmers are forced to train in a pool, but it’s important that they transition their training to the ocean at least a couple weeks prior to the event. This helps swimmers acclimate to the cold water and reduces their chance of developing hypothermia on race day. Veteran swimmers also encourage new participants to practice in their wetsuits and with their kayaker (even if it’s in fresh water). That way, you’re used to the extra buoyancy provided by your suit and you and your kayaker have a chance to develop a good communication system. If you’re looking for additional support, consider signing up for one of the YMCA of Southern Maine’s Peaks to Portland training classes!
CB: Finally, please tell us about some of the inspirational swimmers that swim Peaks to Portland.
SL: The Peaks to Portland Swim attracts a diverse group of swimmers. Last year, our oldest swimmer was 74 years old, and our youngest was 16. We welcome swimmers of all types as long as they’re able to swim one mile in 40 minutes or less. Last year, swimmer Merry Farnum completed her 30th Peaks to Portland Swim! In fact, she completed all 30 swims without a wet suit – now that’s tough! As an advocate for the YMCA of Southern Maine, she also raised over $3,000 to benefit youth. Fundraising is an important part of this race – last year we raised over $180,000 all of which went to supporting kids in our youth development programs.
CB: Thanks Sarah, all the best another successful event this year!
Contributed by Sue Jensen, CRM & NE LSMC Secretary
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - Congratulations to our 6 teammates who competed at U.S. Masters Spring Nationals in Indianapolis, May 10-13. Bill Davis, Jen Downing, Dan Epstein, Sue Jensen, Chris Pasterczyk and Fred Schlicher joined 36 swimmers from New England Masters to compete in this annual championship meet.
U.S. Masters Swimming holds two national championships every year — a short-course yards meet in the spring (April/May), and a long-course meters meet in the summer (July/August). These championship meets typically draw over 2,000 competitors, with 20 lanes racing at the same time. While there are qualifying times to participate, these meets are open to everyone no matter what your speed. Masters swimmers may enter up to 3 events without qualifying, and can participate in club relays as well.
These meets provide a great opportunity to swim in some of the fastest pools in the country, and to see some amazingly fast and inspirational swimming as well. There are often a handful of ex-Olympians who compete at this meet, 95-yr-old men and women competing (with some breaking records), and everything in between.
Click here for more information on these championship meets or speak with CRM teammates Bill, Jen, Dan, Sue, Chris or Fred.
If you or your teammates competed at Nationals, we want to hear about it! Email us.
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
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
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
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:
Mary Anne Lustgraaf
Lisa Black Shouldko
Frank Wuest Open Water Swimming Award: Maura Twomey and Paul Goudreau
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.
Contributed by Crystie McGrail GBM & NE LMSC Coaches Chair
QUINCY, MA -- Five coaches trekked to the Quincy YMCA to observe an Adaptive Sports New England Para swim workout on Sunday, March 25th. Para athletes have a disability (mobility, visual, or cognitive impairment) that can create additional intricacies for coaches crafting an effective swim workout Laura Dennison, NE LMSC's Para Athlete Chair and member of Charles River Masters, spearheaded this observation initiative.
Some of the guidance to help coaches integrate para swimmers into Masters workouts includes:
1) Communication is key to building a strong athlete-coach understanding of possibilities and effective adaptations for inclusion.
2) Patience is important to learning how differently-abled bodies can move through the water effectively.
3) Creating the space for a para athlete to be included in your workouts is essential.
4) Focus on time, not distance, to help keep multi-ability lanes in sync.
5) Focus on what will create forward propulsion for the para swimmer, and release the goal of an "ideal" stroke technique.
For additional para swimming resources, see the USA Paralympics website.
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.
NEW ENGLAND -- Congratulations to our New England LMSC, which logged 27,831.80 miles in USMS's 'Go the Distance' (GTD) program last year. One hundred fifteen New England swimmers participated in 2017.
The GTD program is an enormously popular free event offered by USMS each year. Any USMS member can set a mileage goal for the year and use their online Fitness Log (FLOG) to track their swimming progress, as well as other training, on a regular basis. GTD swag is available for purchase when you reach various milestones.
Those New Englanders who swam 300 miles or more in 2017 include:
Brian McLaughlin 1,439.39, Charlotte Brynn 1,312.85.
Paula Yankauskas 789.81, Sue-Ellen Booher 728.65, Nancy Tunstall 705.12.
Bob Burrow 661.09, Margaret Haskins658.75, Cheryl Daly 644.29, Jane Cheney627.57, Maura Twomey 621.70.
Patricia Saint Aubin 595.05, Michelle Toner 500.20.
John Shumadine 488.66, Mark Rubacky 488.38, Jen Downing 481.13, Cynthia Needham 486.94, Becky Hunnewell 484.18, Kevin Sullivan 437.24, Sue Jensen 434.02, Susan Knight 415.01, Steven Pohnert 411.81.
Dorothy Mullaney 375.48, Alana Aubin 369.60, Benjamin Morse 369.17, Amy Rolnick367.96, Kate Beard-Tisdale 365.82, Daniel Moran 365.31, Laura Delorey 357.89, Thomas Burt 353.90, Christopher Landry 346.75, Rob Schiller 325.16, Mark Alexander 325.12, Sarah Dombrowski 320.74, Beth Eggimann 320.40, David Welch 317.00, Elizabeth Mancuso 306.51, Catherine Laramie 304.74 and Hilary Sullivan 300.02.
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!