LMSC for North Carolina's Newsletter


In this June, 2001 Issue

The Chairman's Lane, - by Jerry Clark
The Secretary's Lane - by Sally Newell
USMS Officer's Lane
Dixie Zone Lane - by June Krauser
The NC Masters Lane
   Frank Clark SCY Meet
   St Patricks Day SCY Meet
   NC SCY Championships
   YMCA SCY Nationals
   USMS SCY Nationals
2000 Relay All Americans - by Ceil Blackwell
Performance Aptitudes and Attitudes, Who are Masters Swimmers - by Dr. Joel Stager
Upcoming Events
LMSC for NC Officers


First Iíll describe how the North Carolina Masters team did at the Short Course National Championship meet in Santa Clara, CA April 17th Ė 20th. Our womenís, menís, and combined teams were in the Small Teams category. The womenís team finished tied for 37th with the St. Louis Masters and Peru Masters. The menís team finished 24th, while the combined team (men and women) finished 26th. Consider this: we had "0" relay teams (who earn double points in the scoring system) entered in the entire meet!

Next to be considered: our womenís team consisted of only one swimmer. Yep, Sally (Studette) Newell (Greensboro) finished higher in the womenís division than 67 other small teams! She earned two 1st places, two 2nd places, a 3rd and a 4th.

We guys were three in number: Fritz Lehman (Cary) and Doug McIntosh (Wilmington) in the 40-44 age group and me (Charlotte) in the 60-64 age group. Doug is just returning to swimming and swam some fast times in his events. Fritz had a great meet, with some really fast swims. Look at the 50 Free times for Fritz and Doug; only .18 seconds separated them, but Fritz was 8th and Doug was 12th. I did well too; so we all were happy. We did wish for one more female and one more male; that would have enabled us to enter some of the relay events. As Iíve written many times after the Nationals, the sense of team is very tangible at these big meets, and I wish so much that more of you would experience it by joining us at a National.

I canít help but mention that Doug had to leave immediately after his swim in the 100 free (last individual event of the meet on Sunday) so he could catch a plane back to Los Angeles where he and his wife were visiting John Travolta and his wife. Is that cool or what? They made friends when the Travoltas were in Wilmington filming "Domestic Disturbance".

We have one day meets in Raleigh July 21st (long course meters) and in Hillsborough (short course meters) on October 20th. Both of these were popular last year, and I encourage you to reserve the dates and swim at both of them. Sometimes people choose to skip meets because they think they arenít "race ready". Hey, it's a good idea to consider the meet day a training day, and use the swims as training for lactic production efforts. Youíll get some idea of what kind of times you can do without being in tip-top shape.

Iím going out on a limb with an idea (wonít be the first time) that Iíll share here. It is to have a banquet on a Saturday near the end of the year for all North Carolina Masters. Frankly, Iím partial to having it in Charlotte since itís centrally located, I can negotiate face to face for a banquet facility and the pool, etc. I think I can get our aquatic center for a clinic that might start around 11:00am, then have the banquet that evening in one of the hotels close to the pool.

We could have a cocktail hour, dinner, then notable speakers to talk perhaps about an Olympic experience. Other topics could include how Masters swim programs can improve by enlisting more coaches throughout the state as well as attracting more participants to NC Masters Swimming. The dinner also would provide the occasion for an award ceremony honoring our Outstanding Female and Male Swimmers of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, and the newly created Inspirational Swimmer Award.

There are a couple of people at Stanford University who have been recommended to me, but organizing this event is going to be a challenge. I will put something on our web site after I get some sort of handle on whether or not these individuals can come, what the cost of the event will be, etc. I hope our LMSC Board will agree to pay for part of this. Its already been discussed and approved in general, subject to costs, etc,. The remainder of the cost would be paid by those who attend.

Hereís hoping those of you who might be considering a trip to the Seattle area for Long Course Nationals in August will be proactive, enter the meet, get motel and flight reservations, and go racing with us. Interest seems strong based on conversations Iíve had with several of you throughout the state.

Remember we can order all our swim attire from Kast-A-Way Swimwear at a discount, and they will embroider our state logo on anything you purchase from them for $5.00. The toll free phone there is 800-543-2763; just tell them you are with North Carolina Masters to get the discount. Have a fun and safe summer, and I hope to see you in Raleigh on July 21st. We will be having an LMSC meeting there immediately after the competition, and youíre welcome to attend.

To return to Across The Lanes Table of Contents



April 21, 2001

Officers present: Jerry Clark, Sally Newell and George Simon.

Teams represented: RAM (Ceil Blackwell and Kevin Facchine), TMS (Patty Tiska-Rivers), PEAK (Jennie Rogers), WYM (Jim Enyart), SCMM (Norm Macartney) and CSM (Heather Hageman).

Teams not represented: Chapel Hill Masters, Durham Aquatic Masters, Fayetteville Aquatic Swim Team, Gaston Gators, Montgomery Masters, NC Aquatic Masters, North State Masters, Pinehurst Aquatic Club, Rowan Aquatic Club-YMCA Masters, Wilson Masters Swim Club, Winston-Salem Area Masters and Pasquotank River Otters.

The meeting was called to order by Jerry Clark, Chairman at 4:55 P.M. The January meeting's Minutes were reviewed and approved.

In Sue Haugh's absence, Jerry presented the Treasurer's report:

1st Qtr. FY 2001:

Income: $1,732.53

Expenses: $790.84

Total Income-Expense: $941.69

Checking Account Balance: $7,407.86

CD Balance: $4,104.86


George Simon, Registrar, reported that although we have 618 members, which is ahead of last year, he doubts we'll have 800 by June 15. That many members would allow us to have three delegates to the USMS Convention in September.

The criteria for the annual Outstanding Swimmer Award was determined. The award will be based solely on performance. Also, a swimmer may not win two years in a row. Ceil Blackwell offered this motion. It was seconded by Kevin Facchine. In addition, a Most Inspirational Swimmer Award to recognize the swimmer whose attitude and accomplishments have earned the admiration of her/his fellow Masters. Jim Enyart motioned that this recognition also could not be won by the same person two years in a row. Ceil Blackwell motioned that the same rules would apply for Volunteer of the Year award.

Distribution of the quarterly newsletter, hard copy or electronic, was the next item on the agenda. Kevin Facchine motioned that hard copies be mailed to members upon their request. Heather Hageman seconded the motion.

The next item on the agenda was use of surplus money. Video taping team members in competition, swim clinics, hosting a banquet with an Olympian guest speaker, creating a scholarship for a college student to encourage a future Master swimmer were all worthwhile suggestions. More thought will be given to all of these suggestions.

It was suggested to amend LMSC-NC By-Laws Article VI(E) to read: A quorum at all meetings shall be a majority of the voting members, or their proxies, of the Board. This amendment passed. Regarding the review and deletion of unnecessary portions of Article VII(A) which states that NCMS is to have seven standing committees (Meet Management, Records, Fitness, Risk Management, Registration, Officials, Nominating). George Simon will fine tune the titles and correlate the list of committees.

Ceil Blackwell motioned that the delegates to the USMS Convention to be Jerry Clark and George Simon. The motion was unanimously approved. The meeting adjourned at 6 P.M.

To return to Across The Lanes Table of Contents


(Selected highlights from their mid-year meeting)

President Nancy Ridout (Info not included in her SWIM Magazine News)

USMS has addressed a myriad of issues since the convention. Through conference calls and our mid-year meeting in The Woodlands, TX, the Executive Committee has planned the schedule for the 2001 convention, reviewed the evaluations and Sunday morning suggestions from last year, and planned time for election process requirements. This year's annual convention will feature the election of new officers. You can follow the progress of the nomination procedure and the election process on the USMS web site at www.usms.org/. Minutes of Executive Committee meetings will now be posted on the USMS website in response to a request by one of the candidates for office. You are welcome to view them at your convenience.

A Needs-Assessment, which we hope will give us updated demographics and feedback on our members' expectations, was proposed by the Sponsor Liaison, discussed, and approved. This survey has been commissioned and will take place this summer; the results will be available in time for the convention. (Please see results of an earlier Masters Survey in following Across The Lanes article)

Championship Committee - Sandi Rousseau

Solicitation of Bids for 2003: Mailings have been made to all known USA facilities capable of hosting a USMS Nationals and to LMSC Chairs regarding the opportunity for bidding to host this meet and the possible financial rewards. Bid packets have been sent to facilities and/or groups that have requested bid information, and interest has been higher than in past years.

NQT / 18 Year Old USMS Members: There has been quite lively committee discussion still in process regarding possible changes to the NQT formula and the impact that allowing 18 years to register with USMS may have.

Coaches Committee Ė Scott Rabalais

A major project of the committee in the next three months is to contact the LMSC Coaching Reps to discuss coaching activity in their respective areas. Each committee member will be assigned two to three LMSC Reps to contact and report back to the chairman.

Mo Chambers has taken over the job as editor of the Coaches Committee Quarterly. In the upcoming Spring 2001 issue, the results of the Coaches Compensation Survey will be reported. Unfortunately, the average pay of a Masters coach has not quite hit the $1 million per year mark, but we are moving in that direction. Kiefer, Inc., is now serving as a sponsor for the CCQ.

We are also reviewing the International Coaching Program, which had its debut in Munich. We would like to continue the same program in New Zealand in 2002 with some improvements and modifications.

To return to Across The Lanes Table of Contents


Besides the ordinary business of a Board Meeting, Sam Freas had an interesting announcement: A developer would like to swap ISHOF land for a city parking lot. He would be willing to duplicate all the pools and buildings on the proposed parking lot in exchange for our existing facilities. This would be a very involved process. Sam has been working on this deal since January and it isnít over yet.

The new USMS tradeshow display has been widely used over the past 6 months. I attended the National Parks and Recreation National Aquatic Conference in Orlando. All of the delegates attending the conference who registered at our booth were sent a USMS packet of information from our National Office. This conference provided USMS with the opportunity to acquaint individuals who operate pools, parks, and programs for their various communities about our organization. Plans are to attend the Senior Games in Baton Rouge in July and the ASCA convention in September. The display booth was used by the Gulf Coast Swim Committee for a health & fitness exposition in Houston, approximately 38,000 in attendance, and Southern California Aquatics has used the display unit on two different occasions, the Los Angles Marathon and Los Angles Health Exposition which had a foot traffic of 60,000.

One of the other projects I have been working on is the USMS survey. This survey will help us improve our organization in order to meet member needs and expectations. A random survey of our members will be conducted by The DGS Group, a major creative marketing firm.

To return to Across The Lanes Table of Contents


Highlights of Meets in which NC Masters competed.

Frank Clark SCY Meet ó March 3, 2001

By Patty Tiska-Rivers

One "fun highlight" that was something new for us was: two drawings for T-shirts were held ("NCMS" embroidered on front and a humorous cartoon with two swimmers on the back surrounded by the statement "The Older We Get, the Faster We Were!")

--We had the highest number of TMS participants for the Frank Clark Meet in several years (this includes a great number of novices and "first-timers" which TMS is especially proud of!);

--We had a higher number of teams participating than last year;

--Unfortunately, we had fewer individual swimmers participating this year (50 participants as opposed to 66 last year).

Considering the timing of the Frank Clark Meet (usually in between Charlotte's and Raleigh's) and its central location, it'd be nice to see more support as far as number of individual participants. The TMS Board of Officers has encouraged me to "pass the word along" that we are seeking the continued support of North Carolina Masters swimmers for future Frank Clark meets.

Thanks to all who participated in the meet as well as the dedicated volunteers who contributed to its success!

To return to Across The Lanes Table of Contents

St Patricks Day SCY Meet ó March 17-18

By Jeannie Mitchell

We were the few, the proud, and the FAST! With only nine NC Masters we won first place in the "Out of State" category at the Dynamo St. Patrick's day Invitational. The meet was held in Atlanta.. Having to overcome the shock of competing in the (covered) outdoor pool, and not having the luxury of the immense bleacher section of the indoor pool, and the warm warm-down pool, we all swam well. Out of 45 splashes, we garnered 29 first places, 10 second places, six third places and no showings lower than that. Following are the results:

Lora Horton (23) 1st 500 Free, 2nd 200 IM, 2nd 50 Fly, 2nd 200 Free, 3rd 50 Free, 3rd 100 Back, 3rd 100 IM;

Cathy Balken (34) 2nd 50 Breast, 2nd 100 Breast;

Debbie Wilson (47) 1st 1000 Free, 1st 500 Free, 1st 100 Free, 1st 200 Back;

Rick Bober (50) 1st 1000 Free, 3rd 500 Free;

Jeannie Mitchell (54) 1st 100 IM, 1st 200 IM, 1st 50 Back, 1st 100 Bk, 1st 200 Bk, 2nd 50 Free;

Sally Newell (63) 1st 100 IM, 1st 50 breast, 1st 100 Breast, 1st 50 Free;

Beverly Tucker (65) 1st 1000 Free, 1st 100 IM, 1st 200 IM, 1st 50 Breast, 1st 100 Breast, 3rd 200 Back ;

Suzanne Robbins-Bonitz (67) 1st 500 Free, 1st 50 Back, 1st 100 back, 1st 200 Back, 2nd 50 Free, 2nd 50 Breast, 2nd 100 Free, 3rd 100 Breast; and

Dick Webber (71) 1st 100 IM, 1st 50 Fly, 1st 50 back, 1st 50 Free, 1st 100 Free, 2nd 200 Free.

This is always a fun meet in a great facility. They have a terrific social too! Y'all mark your calendars next year for St. Patty's Day weekend. Let's have a tremendous NCMS team (and relays)! And win again!

To return to Across The Lanes Table of Contents

NC SCY Championships ó April 21-22, 2001

By Kim Stott

Seven national USMS records fell during the NC SCY Championships at the Pullen Aquatic Center in Raleigh. Almost 200 swimmers - most from up and down the Eastern Seaboard - were on deck for the annual meet.

John Kortheuer of Charlotte SwimMasters led the record-setters by breaking three national records in the men's 70-74 age group. Kortheuer, 70, established his dominance in his new age group by setting records in all three breaststroke events. His times were 33.19 in the 50 breast (breaking the 1995 mark of 35.35); 1:15.24 in the 100 breast (breaking the 1995 record of 1:19.95); and 2:58.39 in the 200 breast (topping the 1996 record of 3:01.23).

Clay Britt of Maryland's Montgomery Ancient Mariners added his name to the men's 40-44 record book. Britt, 40, swam a 24.11 in the 50 back to break the 1998 record of 24.57. And he took more than a second off the 100 back record, posting a time of 51.32 to break the 1996 mark of 52.58. (Britt's time in the 100 back in Raleigh was faster than his time at USMS Nationals in Santa Clara in May. He won the event at nationals with a 51.50.)

Finally, Beth Baker of Virginia Masters Swim has been swimming at record-setting pace since she moved into the women's 40-44 age group. Baker, 40, added two more nationals record during her weekend in Raleigh when she posted a 1:02.67 in the 100 IM and the 2:15.17 in the 200 IM. Baker broke Sandy Neilson-Bell's records of 1:02.91 in the 100 IM and 2:17.08 in the 200 IM.

The meet marked the second event in this year's North Carolina East-West Challenge. The format pits swimmers on teams east of Greensboro against those on teams in Greensboro or west. Last year, in the first year of the challenge, East swimmers claimed bragging rights for the year. This year, the West swimmers built a strong lead after the Sunbelt Championship meet in Charlotte and left Raleigh with the title by a margin of less than 40 points.

Championship Meet Winners
compiled By Tim Sexaurer

Top 4 NC Teams

Top 4 Out of State Teams

Raleigh Area Masters 1451

Virginia Masters Swim Team 642

Charlotte Swimmasters 710

Greater Augusta Swimming 160

NC Aquatic Masters 667

Palmetto Masters 154

Triad Masters 243

Anderson Masters 144

High Point Winners

19+ Mark Medendorp

50+ Hugh Wilder

25+ David Shinn

55+ James Slaughter

30+ Steve Reed

60+ Simon Goldstein

35+ David Malsbury

65+ W. D. Shouse

40+ George Patton

70+ John Kortheuer

45+ Kevin Facchine

75+ Calvin Barnes

RAM had great support this year from the swimmers who competed and the volunteers who helped the meet run smoothly. Be sure to mark your calendars for RAM's long-course meet on July 21. And, of course, we'll see you at the 2002 state meet next spring!

To return to Across The Lanes Table of Contents



The brandĖnew 70 meter pool in Sarasota, FL sports two bulkheads in order to provide a variety of course configurations. The meet was contested in 16 lanes with an average water depth of 9 feet. There is covered grandstand seating for 450 spectators and ample space around the facility for additional shade. Colorado Time Systems provided their mobile Myriad Scoreboard to provide 16 lanes of data.

Bev Amick:

I'm sure Mitch will agree with my saying this was a great meet. The facility was state of the art, the competition was fierce, the weather was warm and sunny (the pool was outside), and the social was too much fun! It seemed as if everyone swam some of their best times and placed well. This meet has doubled in size from last year. We were done swimming each day by mid-afternoon, so there was plenty of time to shop, eat, go to the beach or even rest. Most of us that went to this meet have already begun working on our reservations for 2002, as it is being held at Ft. Lauderdale April 18-21


Clarke Mitchell:

There were only three of us from the YMCA of Western North Carolina at the meet, but we had two other swimmers from our area competing with other YMCA's: Jeannie Mitchell (50 - 54) who is registered with Peak and Debbie Wilson (45 - 49) who is with her team in Waynesville. Swimming for YWNC were Ann Sims (45 - 50), Bev Tucker (65 - 69) and Mitch (65 - 69).

The results as I have them recorded show:

Jeannie: 100 back, 5th; 200 back, 3rd; 50 free, 8th; 100 IM, 5th; 50 back, 4th; 50 breast, 3rd; and 200 IM, FIRST in a photo finish, outstanding race;

Debbie: 1650, 2nd; 200 free, 3rd; 100 back, 10th; 1000 free, 3rd; 200 back, 7th; 500 free, 4th; 100 free, 6th; 200 IM, 5th;

Ann: 50 breast, 3rd; 1000 free, 5th; 100 breast, 2nd; 500 free, 5th; 200 breast, FIRST by a wide margin over second place. Terrific swim;

Bev Tucker: 1650, 2nd; 50 breast, 5th; 100 back, 4th: 1000 free, 3rd; 100 breast, 5th; 100 IM, 2nd; 200 breast, 4th; 200 IM, 2nd.

Mitch: 200 free, 5th; 100 back, 3rd; 50 fly, 2nd; 200 back, 3rd; 100 fly, 2nd; 50 back, 3rd.

If we awarded points for each event and place on a 11, 9, 8, 7, . .basis, Bev Tucker would be our swimmer of the meet with 61 points total. Congratulations to all the swimmers, they represented themselves well . Next year's Y Nationals are scheduled or Fort Lauderdale a week earlier than this year. With USMS Nationals scheduled for Hawaii, we would expect another good turnout for the Y meet.

Dick Webber:

Our local Y, with the following NCMS swimmers, placed 12 out of 42 small teams. Boyd Campbell, 91, won 7 events, and Harold Hoffman; 93, took second in two events. Harold also achored two men relays. The menís medley relay had Boyd 91/Back; Jim Scherbarth 78/breast, Dick Webber 71/fly, and Harold 93/free. These same four also placed in the mensí free relay. This same menís relays will compete at Athens, GA June 2 in Long Course easily making the 320 year slot. Bob Payne/51 placed in several breast stroke events. Two women added valuable points; Bette Hoffmann, 82, and Judy Kelly in the 75-79 bracket.

Jeannie Mitchell:

Aw.....all of you who left the meet before the last event, missed my best swim....You remember I was considering scratching the 200 yd I.M. - but I decided to go ahead and swim it because: I was pretty much guaranteed 3rd place, my sister was there to cheer me on, and I had to do a relay following it anyway.

I'm sure glad I swam it because I WON !!!! I did a 2:58.96, which is the fastest I've gone since 1996! The first few strokes into the fly I noticed I was swimming in "clean" water. My peripheral vision told me I was slightly in the lead. I poured it on in the backstroke for a body length lead (my sister said). I had to keep up the effort on the breast because I knew the field was catching me - but I could see that I was still in calm water leading the 2 lanes next to me. That was the hardest breast stroke I have ever swum. My arms and legs were in great pain but I knew I had to keep going.

At the breast/free turn we were all together. So I just went into auto mode with my brain just saying GO-GO-Go and my body took over doing all that I had trained it to do in strength and technique, swimming through the pain and just touching out my neighbor. We raised our heads at the same time, but my long fingers had touched the pad first! Exhilarating! I'm so glad to join the other NC gold medal winners.

To return to Across The Lanes Table of Contents

USMS SCY Nationals ó May 17-20

Below are the results of North Carolinaís contingent to this yearís Short Course Nationals.



Sally Newell

1st/100 Br (1:29.60); 1st/50 Br (40.97); 2nd/200 Br (3:20.95); 2nd/100 IM (1:25.02); 3rd/50 Fr (32.95); 4th/100 Fr (1:17.27)

Fritz Lehman

2nd/100 Bk (53.83); 2nd/200 Bk (1:56.76); 2nd/50 Bk (24.86);
2nd/100 IM (54.48); 6th/400 IM (4:25.80); 8th/50 Fr (22.60)

Doug McIntosh

7th/50 Fly (24.61); 11th/100 Fr (50.60); 12th/ 50 Fr (22.78);
24th/100 IM (1:01.94); 38th/200 Fr (2:04.16)

Jerry Clark

1st/1000 Fr (12:53.36); 2nd/100 Fr (56.20); 2nd/50 Fr (25.37); 2nd/500 Fr (5:54.69); 4th/200 Fr (2:10.78); 6th/50 Br (35.59)

To return to Across The Lanes Table of Contents


by Ceil Blackwell

The following North Carolina swimmers qualified as USMS RELAY ALL AMERICANS for the year 2000. To achieve this honor, these swimmers were members of a relay team that ranked 1st in the nation for their respective age group in either short course yards, short course meters or long course meters as listed in the USMS Top Ten Tabulation. Congratulations to:

Rebecca Bruch, Brian Doan, Heather Hageman, John Kortheuer, Jennifer Mancini, Michael McCutchan, Clarke Mitchell, John Murphy, Jeff Murray, Jennifer Riley, Sean Stringer, Elizabeth Sullivan, Edison Watson, and Dick Webber.

These swimmers may request a Relay All American patch and certificate from USMS. To receive the patch & certificate, send check $5 along with a note indicating the year of the swim, relay distance and the course (SCY, SCM, LCM) to Thomas Gorman, 3369 Desota Ave, Cleveland Heights, OH 44118. e-mail trgorman@att.net.


Apologies to Jeannie Mitchell. Ceil Blackwell reports that Jeannie Mitchell's name was mistakenly omitted from the Short Course Meters Top Ten listing in the Winter 2001 Across The Lanes. Congratulations to Jeannie for placing 4th in the 100 back, 6th in the 200 back, and 7th in the 50 back.


By George Simon

If you have not requested a hard copy of the newsletter, then your Registrar does not have your current e-mail address. Please send it to registrar@ncmasters.org.

To return to Across The Lanes Table of Contents


Who Are Masters Swimmers

Previous Competitive Experience, Events and Training

By Dr. Joel Stager, Ph.D., FACSM

Human Performance Laboratories

Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

Masters swimmers are members of a population that is easily defined. Masters swimmers include any registered member of the United States Masters Swimming (USMS). Organization who will be 19 years of age or older in the current year. The background diversity among Masters swimmers is quite evident when topics such as careers, politics or hometowns arise. However, the common thread connecting all Masters swimmers is a love for swimming. Just how diverse are Masters swimmers when it comes to previous competitive experience, events entered in competition and training habits? A survey, developed at the Indiana University Human Performance Lab, was administered at the 1998 US Masters Short Course National Championship in Indianapolis. A total of 391 swimmers completed the swimming history questionnaire providing information about their previous swimming experience and training. The results offer some insight into both the similarities and differences inherent in this population.

Among the Masters swimmers who responded to our survey, the average age of participants at the USMS Short Course Nationals was 44.4 years. The youngest respondent was 19 years of age and the oldest was 96 years of age. In order to simplify the presentation of the survey data, swimmers were divided into four age groups: 19-34 years, 35-49 years, 50-64 years, and 64+ years.

For most of the USMS participants, swimming was not a new activity. Over 80% of Masters swimmers participated in their first swim meet before the age of 16. The average age for first swim meet was 15 years. However, the average age swimmers participated in their first Masters competition was 34 years of age. Given that USMS was not officially organized until 1971, the average age of first Masters competition was predictably high. It would be surprising if the average age for first Masters competition didnít decline over the next decade or two as more and more swimmers are introduced to USMS at an earlier age. It is noteworthy that the average age for swimmers first competition and first Masters competition increase proportionally as swimmers age.

It appears that competitive Masters swimmers are getting started at a much younger age than in the past. A relatively small percentage of Masters swimmers begin competing with no previous swimming experience. Congratulations to the 4% of Masters swimmers who began competitive swimming after the age of 50! One individual responding to our survey didnít start swimming competitively until 70 years of age!

Among those swimmers who do have previous competitive experience, over 66% competed on high school swim teams. Approximately 58% competed in college and over 21% competed at a national or international level. The proportion of Masters swimmers who have participated in national/international competitions is quite consistent across all age groups. In spite of the vast competitive experience that the majority of Masters swimmers enjoy, there are still about 15% who began competing with USMS who had no previous competitive swimming experience. Most of those who are new to competition are in the older age groups. Judging by the fact that less than 1% of Masters swimmers in the 19-34 year age group were without previous competitive swimming experience, the number of Masters swimmers with no previous experience is likely to decrease significantly in the next decade.

Although most USMS swimmers have previous competitive swimming experience, this doesnít always translate into national rankings. The majority of participants in the 1998 USMS Short Course Championship were not currently ranked among the top ten in any event at the time of the competition. Of those that competed in Indianapolis, less than half were ranked in the top ten for any event during the past year (1997). The older swimmers were much more likely to be ranked among the top 10 primarily due to the smaller draws in their age divisions. Specifically, 77% of swimmers over age 64 were ranked in the top 10 in 1997. Your chances of being ranked in the top 10 improve dramatically the older you get. Among all survey respondents, 55% were ranked among the top ten in an event at some time in the past five years.

Participants were asked to classify themselves by type of event, as sprinters, middle distance or long distance swimmers. The majority of swimmers classified themselves as sprinters (41.2%). A third (33.5%) of the participants regarded themselves as middle distance swimmers and approximately a quarter (23.5%) categorized themselves as distance swimmers. The percentages of sprinters and middle distance swimmers were reversed among participants over age 64 (32% and 41% respectively). The percentages in other age groups were remarkably similar to the overall averages.

Just as previous swimming experience and individual event classifications varied among age groups and individuals, training habits were also highly diverse. Among the Masters swimmers, 80% trained at least 9 months per year with over 57% training year round. Overall, Masters swimmers trained an average of 10.5 months per year. The swimmers over age 64 appeared to be the most dedicated, averaging just over 11 months of training per year. Women did have a slight edge in training tenacity with slightly higher months per year average, 10.9 overall for women versus 10.2 for men (p<0.05).

Although there were minor seasonal variations in training volume, Masters swimmers appeared to be fairly consistent with their training schedules. Masters swimmers averaged 4 days of training per week both summer and winter. This was quite uniform across all age groups. Training yardage varied between 2,000 and 3,500 yards per session with very little difference between the sexes. There was also very little difference in summer versus winter yardage within age groups. Yardage tended to decrease as swimmers aged, however, only the oldest age group (over 64) put in significantly fewer yards than other age groups.

Masters swimmers are unique individually as can be seen by the range of ages and event specialties, as well as training frequency and volume. Masters swimmers are unique as a population because of their devotion to their sport and dedication to their training. Very few sports require the type of year round training that most Masters swimmers adhere to. Although the results printed here reflect only a fraction of all Masters swimmers, they offer some insight into the type of individuals participating in Masters swimming. It remains to be determined if these results hold true for all Masters swimmers.

Reprinted with permission from the The American Swimming Coaches Association Newsletter, Volume 2001 Issue 6. Their website is www.swimmingcoach.org.


To return to Across The Lanes Table of Contents



23, 24

Dixie Zone LCM Championships

Sarasota, FL




Terrapin Masters 800/1500 Meet

College Park, MD

Dave Diehl (301) 314-5372



Two-Mile Lake Swim

Charlottesville, VA

Beth Waters (804) 276-5229



USMS 1 Mile Open Water Championship

Point Lookout, NY

Bob Kolonkowski (516) 766-1264



National Senior Games

Baton Rouge, LA



RAM LCM Invitational

Raleigh, NC

Alan Godfrey (919) 755-3878


28, 29

Greenville LCM Invitational

Greenville, SC




XMENíS 2/5 Mile Open Water Swim

Wrightsville Beach, NC

Alton Boshoff (919) 233-3861



USMS LCM Nationals

Federal Way, WA




Dixie Zone SCM Championships

Orlando, FL



NC SCM Fall Invitational

Hillsborough, NC

Jerry Clark (704) 374-1807



Electric City SCM Meet

Anderson, SC


To return to Across The Lanes Table of Contents


LMSC - NC Officers and Staff



Past Chairman



Jerry Clark, CSM

Clarke (Mitch) Mitchell, PEAK

Don Gilchrist, WYM

Sally Newell, RAM

Sue Haugh, RAM

3107 Cloverfield Rd.

Box 19768

P.O. Box 3955

1812 Swannanoa Drive

9015 Lansdale Dr.

Charlotte, NC 28211

Asheville, NC 28805

Wilmington, NC 28406

Greensboro, NC 27410-3934

Raleigh, NC 27613-4779

(704) 374-1807

(828) 299-1410

(910) 313-0541

(336) 299-1456






Registrar / Webmaster

Top Ten Chairperson

Newsletter Editor


George Simon, RAM

Ceil Blackwell, RAM

Jim Enyart, WYM

Fritz Lehman, RAM

10229 Boxelder Drive

4305 John Rencher Wynd

2840 Marsh Point Rd

439 Pebble Creed Dr.

Raleigh, NC 27613

Raleigh, NC 27612

Southport, NC 28461

Cary, NC 27511

(919) 846-2423

(919) 787-8324

(910) 253-3333

(919) 481-9767





To return to Across The Lanes Table of Contents

North Carolina Masters Swimming Website

For a table of contents and link to Across the Lanes articles since 1995, click click here

Return to Masters Swimming in North Carolina home page.
June 15, 2001