LMSC for North Carolina's Newsletter




In this November, 2000 Issue

From the Chairman's Lane, USMS National Convention - by Jerry Clark
Convention Proceedings - by June Krauser
Dixie Zone Committee Minutes - by Lisa Watson
Performance, Aptitudes and Attitudes - Local Man Has Become One of the World's Top Senior Swimmers> - by Ken Worthen
Waikiki Roughwater Swim - by Debbie Wilson
Hope Floats - by Abigail Seymour
East-West Challenge Continues - By Jerry Clark
Sunbelt Championiships Meet Information
Upcoming Events
LMSC for NC Officers

The Chairman's Lane
by Jerry Clark

George Simon (NCMS Registrar) and I attended the 21st annual United States Aquatic Sports convention in Kissimmee/Orlando October 11-15 this year. Not only is this a big decision making event for US Masters Swimming, but also for USA Swimming, US Diving, US Water Polo and US Synchronized Swimming. Each body has committee meetings Wednesday through Saturday morning. Then their respective House of Delegates vote on Saturday afternoon to establish new rules, policies, etc. for the ensuing years.

The final event is a banquet Saturday evening at which all delegates and their spouses/friends attend. Awards for each organization are presented. One of the USA Swimming awards is for the outstanding swimmer of the year. Richard Quick, the coach of the women’s team at the Olympics this year, presented it to Misty Hyman. He related the preparation Misty did for her 200 fly in Sydney, and how she had to overcome the descending piano on her back which had plagued her so many times before in that event. You could hear a pin drop in the large banquet hall. I admit to getting goose bumps just listening to him. As you probably know, Misty won the event, beating pre-race favorite Susie O’Neill from Australia. Misty then took the stage and told us how she prepared for this, both physically and mentally. It was a warm fuzzy experience for all present.

As a member of both the Championship committee and Rules committee, I had my hands full. The Rules committee considered 37 suggested changes to USMS rules, 12 of which were proposed by the Championship committee. All of these were dutifully considered, and recommendations for approval or disapproval were made to the House of Delegates. After lots of debate, motions and substitute motions, etc., the HOD voted on all of them.

For you backstrokers, beginning 1/1/2001, the whole foot (including toes) must be under the water on the start in all courses. The Championship committee now will not have to follow the geographic rotation system for nationals as has been required in the rule book; we can search out sites anywhere in the US, but we are required to try to move them around the country. We picked the University of Hawaii for short course nationals in 2002, and Cleveland State University for long course nationals that year. Both sites had great presentations, and the voting by the entire House of Delegates was strongly in favor of these choices.

I would like to continue use of email (for those whose email addresses we have) for distributing our quarterly newsletter. It is placed on our web site (as is lots of good information) by George Simon. According to Alice Jones, our treasurer, we saved $643.43 on the fall newsletter by doing this. This is significant to our operating statement, and I hope to find a similar saving when we total up the cost for this newsletter.

There are many ways we could use any savings we create by using email. Perhaps we might bring a mentor USMS coach to NC for a clinic for our own coaches for a minimum of two hours. This would be followed by a clinic for our swimmers. Maybe we can send more delegates to the Aquatic Sports convention. Let’s see how we fare with continued savings, and our board will discuss ways to allocate the funds.

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Swimming... A Life's Passion

Compiled by June Krauser

Dixie Zone Chairman

The USMS Convention was held in Kissimmee/Orlando, FL October 11-15, 2000. Our convention is held in conjunction with United States Aquatic Sports. Lynn Hazelwood was elected as the new Zone Committee Chair. The Insurance Reception on Thursday night was excellent and was held outside around a pool. The Banquet on Saturday night was very LONG (7 pm - 11:55 pm). However, we did have the best Masters Skit ever! Following is a brief summary of the most of the Standing and the Ad Hoc Committee meetings.


There were 3 bids submitted for SCY Nationals. The House of Delegates voted for the U. of Hawaii on May 15-19, 2002. Only one bid for LCM Nationals and that was awarded to Cleveland State U. for August 15-19, 2002. Four designs were submitted for a new National Patch and Bill Volckening's design was chosen. The USMS National Meet Survey results are in and it was found that the ideal length of each meet session should be 7-8 hours. Since many nationals exceed that length, the committee is focusing on ways to reduce that time factor, such as total deck seeding (which will be done at Santa Clara this year) and tighter NQT's. The survey was sent to a random sample of 1200 USMS "Top 10" swimmers with 780 responding.


There are 800 coaches registered in the National database. The committee would like the LMSC reps to assume a more active role in the LMSC. The next Olympic Training Camp is Feb. 10-15, 2001. Applications are still being taken for swimmers and coaches. Mentor Coach and Swimmer Clinics are available with $500 seed money from USMS. There are Open Water Clinics available. NIKE has decided to forego clinics. Education and information includes Ask the Coach (for SWIM Magazine), Coaches Committee Quarterly, Video Library and Book Library. Programs include Munich Coaching Program, Snooper Loan Program, and On-Deck Coaching.


Try to select a new web-hosting provider by 11/15/00 and move the USMS web site in time for SC Nationals on-line availability. A draft privacy policy was accepted by the Legal Counselors and will be integrated into the USMS web site. The House of Delegates voted to accept the Webmaster as a contract position. For 2001, we will switch over to the PDF version of the Rule Book and modify the links to the rule book sections to use these files. Once the USMS web site has been re-hosted to a new web server, we will update the LMSC officers listing which is severely outdated in many areas. Web hosting services will be offered to LMSC's and Zones.


The Treasurer reported cash and cash equivalents: $121,000 net income for 1999. Assets total $933,550 as of 9/30/00. General reserve is $150,000 (3 months expenses), and insurance reserve is $120,000. Registration is largest source of income. The 2001 budget was approved with a $42,193 deficit. Budget corrections and requests were considered.


Fitness events include Swim Around Revilla (total of 135 miles in Ketchican, Alaska); the Y2K Training Triathlon (run by YMCA Masters Swim Team), Check-off Challenge (New England Masters). The Strokes for Stroke needs help.


The Directors and Officers Liability covers the Executive Board down to the LMSC level. A Travel Assistance Program (for meets more than 100 miles from home) was presented by Peak Insurance. The policy covers all 40,000 USMS members while at a sanctioned/recognized meet 100 miles away from home. Question: Can a Masters Club 'hold' a meet outside of the United States and have coverage? Answer: If it is a sanctioned/recognized meet, then the USMS member is covered. But the real issue is who will sanction the meet? USMS can't sanction a meet outside the U.S. Must be sanctioned by the FINA Federation in the country where the meet is being held.


Two large international meets were held during last year -- Pan Pacs in October in Perth, Australia, and the VIII FINA World Masters Swimming Championships in Munich, Germany, in July-August. The IX FINA World Masters Swimming Championships 2002 will be held on March 21-April 3 in Christchurch, NZ. Their web site is www.eventnz.co.nz. The USMS International Contacts are accessible at www.usms.org under Administration. The closing dates for submitting FINA World Records are May 1 and November 1 each year.


The Computer On-Line committee was re-named the Communications Committee and will encompass the USMS Web Master and Magazine Editor positions.


Surveys were sent to LMSC's in July. Many were not returned. An article about safety in open water swimming will be in SWIM Magazine. A prerequisite for hosting the One Hour Postal Swim would be a successful running of a previous postal national championship. A discussion for a wet suit category in National Championships will take place in the coming year. The committee encourages medals through 6th place in National Championships and Open Water events beginning 2003. There is a shortage of cable swims.

The 2002 Long Distance National Championships:

One-hour Postal -- Florida Maverick Masters

5/10 K Postal -- Sawtooth Masters

3000/6000 yd Postal -- Dynamo Masters

One-Mile OW -- Emerald Aquatics, Dorena Reservoir, Cottage Grove OR, August 18

Two-Mile Cable Swim -- Virginia Masters -- Chris Green Lake, Charlottesville VA, July 13

1-3 Mile Open Water -- O*H*I*O Masters -- Lake Erie, Cleveland OH, July 27

3-6 Mile Open Water -- LaJolla Cove SC, Pacific Ocean, LaJolla CA, August 4

6+ Mile Open Water -- Clemson A1 Team, Hartwell Lake, Clemson SC, June 8

The Coaches Committee has $500 available for 4 LD clinics in 2001. There is an Open Water Clinic Manual.


The USMS Display is completed and will be exhibited at 3-5 sites. A usage request policy is currently being developed. The potential for a media "kit" was discussed. A new poster will be produced.


Obtained permission of the Collegiate Swimming Officials Association (CSOA) Executive Director to use that organization's certifying process as a USMS approved certifying procedure. The USMS Officials Committee Liaison finalized guidelines for National Championships. Sent a proposal to USA Swimming that would allow certification of Masters officials by working a combination of USA/USMS meets. Need to work out some details before it can be implemented. USMS Officials Training Program (Certification Manual, 1992) will be updated to make it current.


Recommends that USMS subscribe to various publications to be used to create a database of information pertaining to recently constructed pools. The information would be made available to any party exploring the possibility of new commercial pool construction. It was suggested that the committee establish a special event during 2001 with proceeds to benefit the Endowment Fund. Two altitude-training camps are scheduled for 2001: February and November. The organizers of the Senior Games are very willing to cooperate with USMS to improve the quality and efficiency of these events.


It was determined that USMS Official awards are awards initiated and presented by the National body (USMS). The Service Award was renamed the Dorothy Donnelly USMS Service Award. We have two categories of awards (1) National (USMS Award -- Ransom J. Arthur Award) and (2) Official Recognition (Dorothy Donnelly Service Award, Coach of the Year Award, and USMS Newsletter of the Year Award). Current winners of the Official Recognition Awards will be printed in the Rule Book. All proposals for Official Recognition shall come through the committee for purposes of coordination.


We now have a database of the total number of records for ISHOF nominations. Reporting results of relays in the Top Ten compilation has been changed to the order that we use for individual events (sex - age group - event - time). The Committee will check on Top Ten subscriptions being handled by the National office, propose a new home page for the Top Ten (swimgold) website to improve navigation within the Top Ten site, revise the All-Star determination procedure, and survey LMSC's to identify different methods and software used by Top Ten recorders.


Registration actually operates out of two different offices. Esther receives the electronic copies, and Tracy receives the hard copy forms and checks. It is critical to provide a summary of the number registered and the contributions. Problems are caused by the use of comma and the use of the number sign (#) within the address and names. An issue was raised about the registration date that is entered into the program. This date should reflect the date that the swimmer is actually registered; that date is the date that an official LMSC representative receives the form.


There were eight submissions for the cover design. Bill Volckening's design was selected. Gateway was again awarded the bid for printing the book. There will be 1200 copies of the full rule book and 400 copies of the mini-rule book. The committee voted to dedicate the 2001 rule book to Gene Donner and the staff at Gateway Printing.


Since this is a Rules year, there were many items reviewed. The most important new rules follow:

1. For all courses, the backstroke start is the same -- toes must be placed under the water.

2. The referee is to be notified in writing of the intent to record an initial split BEFORE the conclusion of the meet.

3. The referee is to be notified in writing PRIOR to the start of a backstroke or relay leadoff split attempt.

4. The meet director of a National Championships meet has the option to deck seed any or all events.

5. The SC National Championships may be SCY or SCM.

6. NQTs will be figured differently to make them more consistent year to year.


The USMS Safety Handbook for Swimmers is being revised and if completed in time will be sent to each club with the 2001 Rule Book. It was suggested that articles for Safety Education be written for SWIM Magazine. It was suggested that we try to get a sponsor to print and laminate safety signs. An article of water quality issues during open water swims will be published in SWIM.


A member of the committee should be present at the OTC camp to gather more data. Articles for SWIM Magazine have been written and are waiting for publication. Two projects are being considered for research: "Parkinson's Disease" and "Osteoporosis & Swimming."


The current nominating system was discussed. The process for 2001 will be:

1. Call for nominations printed in Jan/Feb SWIM and the National Office Newsletter

2. Nominations due to Zone Com Chair by Feb. 28

3. Questionnaires sent to each nominee. Resumes and questionnaires due to Zone Com Chair by Mar 31.

4. Evaluation forms will be sent to each Committee Chair that each nominee has served on. Personal letters of reference will be the responsibility of the nominee and due back by the end of April.

5. Zone committee will evaluate material and prepare a slate of candidates by June 15.

6. Each candidate will submit a picture by July 10.

7. The Zone Chair will submit all of the above to the National Office for inclusion in the convention packet by Aug. 1. Nominations from the floor must be accepted. A "Meet the Candidates Forum" night was recommended.


Many were interested in this meeting. Discussed was the status of our archives. The goal is to establish the USMS Historical Archives in the Henning Library at the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale. Databases now exist covering most of the desired subjects. Storing paper archives is now a top priority. The committee needs USMS and LMSC resource people.


Some changes in the selection process for each of the National Governing Body's should be expected. Since the selection for next year will be from a different NGB, the previously submitted candidates of Laura Val, Drury Gallagher, and Paul Hutinger will remain for 2002. A presentation was made displaying the national records project.


Two issues were addressed with respect to privacy. The first drafted a privacy policy for USMS reflecting current privacy policies. The second outlined additional privacy issues to consider. There were questions about whether the E-Sign bill can be applied to USMS meet registration, membership renewal, and initial membership registration.


The Professional Management Guidelines were accepted. The committee recommended that USMS Webmaster receive the sum of $10,000 and that the USMS SWIM Magazine Editor receive the sum of $5,000. The Ad Hoc Professional Management Committee has fulfilled its mission and was disbanded.


The current status of the Endowment Fund was reported with a balance of $34,147.98 as of 9/30/00. A number of suggestions were made to improve the opportunities for increased funding.

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2000 DIXIE ZONE Committee Minutes

By Lisa Watson

Georgia LMSC Chairman

Saturday, October 14, 2000

Dixie Zone Chair June Krauser called the meeting to order. The committee members introduced themselves. There were 26 Dixie Zone delegates attending the meeting.

TOP TEN/Records

The committee recognized and congratulated Dick Brewer and Ed Saltzman for their efforts in compiling and updating the Dixie Zone records which had not been done since 1997. Ed produced these updated records in poster size form for the members to view. Ed stressed the importance for each LMSC recorder to keep updated records and to make sure that documentation is provided for all records. It was also stressed that swimmers should realize that it is their responsibility to get these documented results to their LMSC recorder. Chris Gilligan suggested that it would be helpful to have this stated in the LMSC newsletters as a reminder for swimmers. Dick Brewer suggested that when LMSC Top Ten recorders submit results for National Top Ten, carbon copies should be made and distributed to all LMSC Top Ten recorders within the Dixie Zone. The committee strongly supported this. Dick and Ed will each be responsible for Top Ten Results of certain LMSC's. Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina should submit results to Ed. Southern, Southeastern, Florida, and Florida Gold Coast should submit results to Dick. The Dixie Zone voted to make the following requirement for Dixie Zone Meets: meet directors will be responsible for insuring that copies of meet results, hard disk or electronic, are sent to the LMSC Top Ten recorders.


Dick Brewer placed a Dixie Zone Calendar on a map. This calendar will be posted on the Dixie Zone website (http://home.att.net/~dixiezone). It was noted that some of the events listed might be subject to change. Deb Cavanaugh suggested that the Dixie Zone mandate that no other meets within the Zone be scheduled during Dixie Zone Championships as a means of promoting these Championship events. The committee supported this idea, but felt that whereas it could not be mandated, it could be strongly suggested.


Two sites submitted bids for the Dixie Zone SCY Championships: Auburn AL and Raleigh NC. Two bids were also submitted for the Dixie Zone LCM Championships: Greenville SC and Sarasota FL. One bid from Orlando, FL was submitted for the Dixie Zone SCM Championships. The zone awarded Championships bids to the following venues for 2001:

SCY - Auburn University (AL) - February 17-18

LCM - Sarasota FL - June 23-24

SCM - Orlando FL - October 5-7

The Dixie Zone voted to include an Open Water venue as a Zone Championships and chose the Buford Dam 5K in Buford, GA as the site for this first annual event.


Scott Rabalais, Coaches Committee Chair, reported that the Coaches Mentor program has been very successful. Five coaching clinics have been given throughout the country with very positive feedback. Randy Nutt also reported that four open water clinics have been conducted. Scott further reported that the Coaches Committee is proposing conducting 2-3 day coaching schools to assist coaches.


Marty Hamburger, who will be in charge of the on-deck coaching for 2001 Nationals, stated the desire to have this service available also at the zone level. Scott suggested that we implement this at the upcoming zone SCY Championships at Auburn in February. Committee members were asked to give suggestions for improvement of the on-deck coaching at the convention. Suggestions included better communication between coaches at workouts and methods of insuring a better choice of lane assignments.


Hill Carrow reported that Raleigh, NC plans to host the U.S. Masters Games in 2003, probably in June. The intent is to make the swimming events in a format similar to USMS Nationals, have the site as SCM, and hopefully rotate venues throughout the years. Randy Nutt reported that Plantation, FL plans to bid for SC Nationals in 2003 and asked for support of the Dixie Zone. He also said that Coral Springs is discussing a possible LC bid. Lisa Watson emphasized the need for committee members to vote to do away with the current rotation system in place for Nationals so that both bids would be possible in 2003. It was noted that Scott would be running for USMS Vice President next year. The Dixie Zone expressed its support of Scott.

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Webber only getting better with age By Ken Worthen / Hendersonville Times-News Staff Writer

The taste of victory is sweet, and nowhere in the books does it say you have to be under a certain age to enjoy the flavor. For Dick Webber, of Hendersonville, competition is a principal part of his life. He trains every day, not just for his health but to be at his peak when the gun goes off. Swimming is more than an afternoon pastime with him -- it's a passion.

Webber began competitive swimming at age 15, while in high school in the Bronx, New York. He attended DeWitt Clinton High School, where the attendance was 5,000 -- all boys. While there, his school won the New York State Championships in 1945-46. He was recruited by Ohio State and raced there from 1949-51. In 1949, the Buckeyes won the NCAA championships in Chapel Hill, NC.

"After I left the Bronx to go to Ohio State I never went back, "Webber says. "I'd had my fill of New York." After college he stepped out of the racing scene to work throughout the Midwest as a marketing manager in the Technical Marketing Division for General Electric.

"I quit smoking in 1977," he said, "and started playing racquetball and began running with my wife Ruth, who incidentally holds the (North Carolina) 5K record for women over 60…My wife and I run a 5K (3.3 miles) every morning before breakfast." It wasn't until 1989 that Webber again began swimming with his sights set on the competitive arena.

Webber swims in the 70-74 year old age bracket and at age 71 does quite well. Recently, he established himself as one of the finest senior swimmers in the world by taking home four medals at the Munich World Masters Swim Meet. "I swam in Munich, Germany, in July," he said. "The site of the 1972 Olympic games. I took four medals; second in the 50-meter butterfly, third in the 100-meter butterfly, fourth in the 50-meter freestyle and eighth in the 100-meter freestyle. "The time difference between me and the guy who took first in the fly was only .02 seconds." Medals were awarded to the first eight places.

"I talk of three reasons why I do what I do and I think they should work for most anyone. You are never too old to start," he said, referring to 90-year-old Boyd Campbell of Hendersonville, who has been swimming for about five years with Webber as his coach. "Boyd is in the top 10 in his age group."

Webber contracted scoliosis at an early age but hasn't let that beat him. "No matter what your problem or affliction you should be able to swim. One man I've competed against, Ron Gainsford of Pittsburgh, PA, had a heart transplant at age 64. He swims quite competitively in the 50 fly and the 50 freestyle in the 70-74 age group." Webber says if Gainsford can do it after having a heart transplant, it should give others a little more incentive.

"Friendships," Webber says. "are the third reason I enjoy these competitions so much. I swim on a relay team consisting of four men, John Murphy, 73, of Charlotte, John Kortheuer, 68, also of Charlotte, and Clarke Mitchell, 70, of Asheville. We hold the World Record for the 200-meter men's medley, short course, with a time of 2:28.34 for the 280+ age group. That means the age of all four of us has to be at least 280." The record was set on November 14, 1999.

Besides racing, Webber, along with Sandra Kremer, 64, of Hendersonville, also coaches beginning and intermediate Masters swimmers at the Henderson County YMCA. Three of the people Webber and Kremer coaches competed for the first time at the state Senior Games this year. Dick and Ruth Webber also competed in the Games this year, which was held in Raleigh at the end of September.

Webber, a top-ranked All-American in his age group, swam August 18 in the U.S. National Masters on the campus of the University of Maryland at Baltimore County, where he had the opportunity to go head-to-head against the same guy that captured first in the 50 free in Munich. This time, Webber came in second instead of fourth and finished ahead of the Munich winner.

The relay team, on which Webber swims anchor, won both the medley and the freestyle relays. Their 200-meter medley time broke the world record for the long course meter pool.

Competition, at any age, is one way to "stay in shape," as Webber puts it. The body stays fit by training and mind remains focused by keeping an eye on the finish line.

No organization foots the bill for Webber to compete in these events -- it all comes from his own pocket. But he enjoys the thrill of competition so much that he doesn't mind having to pay for the chance to go for the brass ring.

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Submitted by Debbie Wilson

Three PEAK women swimmers cashed in their frequent flyer miles and traveled to Honolulu to participate in the 31st Annual 2.4 mile Waikiki Roughwater Swim and were among the 811 finishers. The race has become one of the largest open water swims in the world and is always held at 9:00 a.m. on Labor Day regardless of conditions. This year’s event had a 9:30 high tide and one-to-three foot waves. As the week progressed and we met more participants, we learned that the 2000 race was much rougher than normal. This race is also the origin of the Ironman’s swim; the Ironman was a combination of the Waikiki Roughwater Swim, the Bike around Oahu, and the Honolulu Marathon.

We felt inspired by the "mana" (spirit) of Duke Kahanamoku, the native Hawaiian who swam in four Olympics between 1912 and 1932. He won a total of 3 golds, 2 silvers, and a bronze. Note that in 1932, he was 42 years old! He is also credited with introducing surfing all over the world, and his name is everywhere in Hawaii as an ambassador of the "Aloha" greeting.

The atmosphere of a large race is exciting. The starters are grouped into five divisions beginning five minutes apart. Of course, there is some scrambling at first, but it is relatively easy to find a spot and follow the buoys. The biggest challenge is staying on course, especially with large waves blocking your view. Peggy Speight in the 35-39 age group finished her first open water race in 6th place (1:11:31) and just over a minute from third place. It was a very good swim in a highly competitive age group. The winner was the fourth woman overall. Beverly Tucker (65-69) was second (2:36:56) and was slowed by swimming off course several times. Debbie Wilson (45-49) won her age group (1:12:45) and bettered her 1998 time, although she cannot explain why since the 1998 race was swum at low tide in smoother water. Debbie’s previous trip there to do this race and the Maui Channel Relay had motivated Peggy and Beverly to enter.

The majority of the swim is parallel to the shore of Waikiki with the high-rise hotels in the foreground and the mountains behind. The course begins just below the Diamond Head Crater, and it is such a thrill to watch it diminish in size as you progress through the course. The finish is in front of the Hilton Hawaiian Hotel. There is a short run to the actual finish line. The support is excellent with 15 large buoys marking the way. Lots of volunteers in sea kayaks and on surfboards watch that no one strays too far off course. Since there is a time limit to reach the mid-point, some swimmers were picked up by a boat for missing the cutoff.

It is possible to see the bottom throughout the events, and all of us saw at least one of the protected green turtles (honu). The day was overcast so visibility was less than on a bright,sunny day.

We were all fascinated at the awards to see the youngest swimmers receive a special award (age 8). Age groups begin with the 10 & under, and it was well represented. The oldest swimmer was Ray Taft, a well-known 81-year-old (1:38:57). Check out the website (www.wrswim.com) for more information and click on the entry form and race results. Consider this race; it is a great way to start a Hawaiian vacation!

Comments by Beverly Tucker: A great experience! It was very humbling when I realized that I was 1 hour, 22 minutes at the halfway mark. I had planned to do the whole race in 1 hour, 30 minutes. "Oh well, let’s carry on and finish it anyway!"

Comments by Peggy Speight: Prior to this, I had no open water experience whatsoever. I only had the desire to experience swimming in clear ocean water in competition. I was naïve to think that it would be easy for me to stay on course! In an attempt to claim distance from other swimmers after the crowded start, the next thing I knew I could not find the flags. There were people yelling "Go back in; you are too far out!" I enjoyed the swim anyway and vow to do better the next time I return to Hawaii. I felt great!

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One woman once dreamed of swimming in the Olympics, but she quit and blew her chances. Well, not quite.

By Abigail Seymour, managing editor of US Airways Attaché magazine. Photo by Louis Cahill

The starting block at the shallow end of the pool is glittery on top as if sprinkled with sugar. Its slanted surface is covered with a rough sandpaper layer meant to keep me from sliding onto the concrete deck with a horrible smack. I step up onto the block, shake out my arms, and visualize the race I am about to swim. I see a moment in mid-air, the bottom of the pool gliding under my face at a fast clip, the flip turn, the furious lap back up the pool, then my hand hitting the timing pad on the wall with a satisfying thud. Everything else in between is just full throttle.

The last time I stood on a racing block looking out over a glassy pool, Jimmy Carter was president. It's been 21 years since I heard the pop of the starting gun and dove into a chaotic few seconds of rushing blood, aching lungs, and winning.

I started swimming when I was 6 because my brothers swam. My oldest brother had a poster of Mark Spitz on the wall behind his bed, and I used to sneak upstairs and stare at the gold medals around his neck. Our little community team in Crawfordsville, Indiana, was led by a passionate, tireless, and saintly coach, Gail Pebworth. Despite my adoration for her, I wasn't particularly devoted or ambitious about the water. I was much more interested in Nancy Drew books, horses, and talking my mom into letting me wear my patent leather shoes to school.

And then I turned 10 years old. Suddenly I started swimming real, real fast. Besides listening to Shaun Cassidy albums and learning how to ride a skateboard, I was breaking state records and swimming faster than kids almost twice my age. My parents toted me all over Indiana to meets and finals and championships. My coach said it was time to start thinking about the 1988 Olympics, or maybe even shoot for L.A. in 1984. I started to love racing and training. I swam two hours a day–sometimes even four–all summer long. The last meet of the season I took home the high-point trophy and had set a national record. "A diamond is just a piece of coal that stuck to it," Coach Pebworth would say. There was no doubt in my mind: I was definitely going to stick to it.

The next spring we moved to Florida. I turned 12 and came crashing into pre-puberty. I was on a new team with a new coach, and was no longer the fastest swimmer. I grew taller, and became slope-shouldered and ornery. I started skipping practices and faking illness. Finally I just quit going altogether. I discovered boys and menthol cigarettes and cheerleading. I experimented with drinking and found that alcohol did in 15 minutes what hours of swimming had done: It made me feel invincible. So, I took the shorter route. My racing suit didn't fit me anymore, and my trophies and medals looked tacky and cheap, so I put them in a box in my closet. It was over.

I steered clear of the water altogether for more than 20 years, with an occasional dip here and there. I would do showoff strokes at the beach to impress guys in high school and college. I did dog-paddle laps at hotel pools when I traveled on business, and spent hours in tepid baths. I bypassed the pool entirely during my intermittent gym memberships. The smell of chlorine turned my stomach. Still, I had recurring dreams of flying, but instead of flying I was swimming through the air, six feet off the ground.

When Tracy Caulkins took home three gold medals in L.A. in 1984, I was listening to Madonna albums and going clubbing in New York. When Janet Evans won three gold medals at Seoul in 1988, I watched the awards ceremony on TV in my small Manhattan apartment. When Summer Sanders ruled in Barcelona in 1992, I was just beginning my first "real" job, and during the Atlanta Games in 1996, when Amy Van Dyken became the first American female to win four golds in a single Olympics, I had left New York, sold all my possessions, and moved overseas to live in Spain for a few years.

I never set out to make peace with the water. In fact, I tried to spark a new love affair with other sports. I tried tennis, mountain biking, and aerobics. I called the local volleyball team, took yoga classes, and tried running. Nothing seemed to stick. Everything hurt my feet, and I eventually needed surgery to correct an impact injury in my right foot. I finally realized that there was nothing to do but stick that foot, however tentatively, back into the pool.

Earlier this year I joined the North Carolina Masters team and now feel like I've run into an old, dear friend. The smell of chlorine on my skin is now the sexiest of perfumes. My fellow swimmers are nurses, lawyers, chemists, salespeople, and writers. We have all gotten bumpy and soft in some ways, while remaining taut in others. We have married or remarried, had children, tried other things, and eventually found our way back to the water. A popular Masters T-shirt reads, "The older we get, the faster we were." Ah, yes. I am home again.

When the rumor circulated at a recent practice that there was to be a Masters meet in Atlanta, in the very pool where Amy Van Dyken made Olympic history in '96, I knew I had to go. Here was my chance to race my fiercest competitor: me. The first time I dove off the blocks at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center, I was struck by how fast the pool felt. It was deeper than most–about six feet all the way across. This is oddly familiar, I thought. And then it dawned on me: I was flying. I swam three events and took home a gold and two silvers.

My parents, now in their 70s, who had been to every meet I ever swam, watched my name flash up for a few seconds on the Olympic scoreboard. My mother brought the same brand of granola bars in her suitcase that she used to feed me at meets.

I'm back in touch with my old coach, who considers all of her former swimmers to be diamonds, even though some of us chose briefly to be coal instead.

In one of the races I swam, I'm seven seconds off the national Masters record for women in my age group, 30–34. That's a pretty big gap. But I'm only one second from the record for women aged 60–64. I've got plenty of time.

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1000/1650 Meet

UMD, College Park, MD

Dave Diehl:301-946-0649




Swim in the New Year

UMD, College Park, MD

Cheryl Wagner:202-387-2361



27, 28

Sunbelt Championships

Charlotte, NC

Jerry Clark, (704) 366-2045
printable forms Download meet description and entry form


3, 4

VA Winter Invitational

Midlothian, VA

James Wolfle (540) 867-5869

10, 11

Palmetto SCY Meet

Mt. Pleasant, SC



17, 18

Dixie Zone SCY Championships

Auburn, AL




Frank Clark SCY Meet

Greensboro, NC



17, 18

St. Patricks Day SCY Meet

Atlanta, GA




NC SCY Championships

Raleigh, NC

Tim Sexauer, (919) 266-6315



YMCA SCY Masters Nationals

Sarasota, FL

Sherwood Watts:941-955-8194



USMS 5K OW Championships

Hollywood, FL




USMS SCY Nationals

Santa Clara, CA




LCM Meet

Athens, GA



23, 24

Dixie Zone LCM Championships

Sarasota, FL




National Senior Games

Baton Rouge, LA




Raleigh LCM - Optimist Pool

Raleigh, NC



Greenville LCM Invitational

Greenville, SC




USMS LCM Nationals

Federal Way, WA




Dixie Zone SCM Championships

Orlando, FL


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By Jerry Clark (704) 374-1807.

The clubs in the western half of the state are chomping at the bit to return the Challenge Cup back to their side of the state in 2001. The rivalry picks up with the Sunbelt Meet January 27-28 in Charlotte, then continues with the State meet in Raleigh April 7-8. Last year, the West had a lead of about 1,000 points after the snow/ice-recycled meet in Charlotte in February. But the Easterners came out in mass for the April meet in Raleigh, and when the droplets settled, the East finished ahead by about 2,000 points. To this day, I don’t know how they went from a 1,000 point deficit to a 2,000 point victory in just one swim meet! Could it have been adroit scorekeeping? Nahh….no way. Maybe they fielded a larger team. I will have to study the results of both meets to find all this out.

There is good news for the coaches who valiantly put together relay teams last year, sometimes with people who met each other for the first time just before they jumped off the blocks. You’ll see that the order of events for the Charlotte meet has relocated the relays to later in each session; this will allow time to form the teams (and get to meet your relay partners). Swimmers belonging to the same club can put together your own relay team; that too will erase some of the confusion that occurred last year. Of course swimmers from different clubs can join together for a team, just as long as the clubs they come from are from the same side of the state. Maybe it will all come down to the 200 free relay event in Raleigh in April. That would be fun! Early reports have the west team expected to sequester itself in early January for some serious training at an undisclosed location high in the Rocky Mountains, and further, that the coach has banned alcohol and sweets throughout the holidays for her swimmers.

High point club awards will go only to out of state clubs.

Here are the lineups:



Coach: Heather Hageman*

Asst. Coach: Richard Quick

Coach: Scott Hinkley*

AWSM (Winston Salem)

DAMA (Durham)

CSM (Charlotte)

NCAM (Chapel Hill)

GG (Gastonia)

RAM (Raleigh)

MONT (Montgomery)

SCMM (Morehead City)

PEAK (Asheville)

WYM (Wilmington)

RACY (Salisbury)


TMS (Greensboro)






* I admit to putting these names up without consulting either coach, but I feel sure both will play big roles in these two meets.

(Ed. Note: Will Mr. Clark "jerry-mander" the state’s teams to assist the West?)

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January 27-28, 2001



Sanction by LMSC for NC for USMS, Inc. Sanction# 131-01

Meet Director:

Bernie White (704/364-2141) Meet Referee: Jim Duff


Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center, 800 East Second Street, Charlotte NC. (704) 336-3483 The pool is 50 meters by 25 yards, with a bulkhead dividing the competition area into an 8 x 25 yard course. Continuous warm up/down lanes available in separate tank. Click here for a map. Parking is across the street on Saturday.


Swimmers must be registered with USMS and must attach a copy of their 2001 registration card to the entry form. No Exceptions. USMS rules govern the meet. Swimmers are limited to 5 individual events per day. Note: One Day Event Registration forms will not be available at this meet.


Entries must be received by mail or fax (704) 334-6223 (Jerry Clark) by January 20, 2001. Entries received after this date will be handled as deck entries.


See entry form for individual fee. Deck entries accepted at $5.00 per event. Relay charge is $4.00 per relay team, payable at time team is entered. There will be no refunds, unless the meet date is changed.

Scoring & Awards

Individual events will be scored 9-7-6-5-4-3-2-1; relays doubled. Ribbons given to top 8 finishers in each event. High point awards given each sex/age group.


All events will be seeded by sex and time, with the exception of the following events; 1650, 1000 and 500 freestyle and 400 IM. These events will be seeded by time; sexes may be combined if needed. All events will be seeded slow to fast, with " no time" in slow heats. Meet Director reserves right to combine sexes in events. For the 500 free, you must confirm you will swim this event before the break on Sunday by initialing your name at the deck enter/relay desk.


Saturday morning: Warm up 8:00am; first heat of the distance events start 8:45am promptly.

Saturday afternoon: Warm up 11:30am; first heat event 5 starts 12:30pm promptly.

Sunday morning: Warm up 8:00am; first heat starts 8:45am promptly.

You must enter the pool feet first except in sprint lanes. No paddles or kickboards allowed in warm up/down swimming.


Adams Mark $79 704-348-4675; Four Points $99 704-372-7550; (new)Hampton Inn $79 704-347-5972 Mention the Charlotte SwimMasters meet when you call. All within walking distance to pool


Spaghetti Warehouse at 6:30 Saturday. Would be appreciated if you reserve space when mailing entry


LMSC Meeting:

Friday January 26, 2001 All officers and team reps are urged to attend. Exact time and place will be announced.



please print legibly

Name:_______________________________ Club:_____________________________


Age:____ Birth Date:__________ Sex: M___ F___ Day Phone:__________________

E-mail address:_________________________________________ Team initials __________


2001 USMS registration number:_______________________(must attach copy of card)

Saturday January 27, 2001, Warm up 8:00 am, Meet start at 8:45am








1,650 yd Freestyle





1,000 yd Freestyle



Saturday January 27, 2001, Warm up 11:30 am, Meet start at 12:30pm



200 yd Butterfly





50 yd Breaststroke





25 yd Backstroke – novice*





200 yd Medley Relay





100 yd Backstroke





400 yd IM






50 yd Freestyle





25 yd Butterfly – novice*





200 yd Breaststroke





200 yd Freestyle





100 yd IM





200 yd Mixed Medley Relay



Sunday January 28, 2001, Warm up 8:00am, Meet start 9:00am



100 yd Butterfly





50 yd Backstroke





25 yd Freestyle – novice*





200 yd IM






200 yd Mixed Free Relay





100 yd Breaststroke





200 yd Backstroke





100 yd Freestyle





25 yd Breaststroke – novice*





50 yd Butterfly





200 yd Freestyle Relay





500 yd Freestyle




Number of Events:


@ $3.00 each =

$ ________



@ $8.00 =




@ $15.00 each =


T-Shirt Size


@ $8.00 each =






Make checks payable to Charlotte SwimMasters and mail to:

Jerry Clark




128 South Tryon Street, Suite 1310




Charlotte, NC 28202

Read and Sign this Release from Liability: I the undersigned, intending to be legally bound, do hereby certify that I am physically fit and have not been informed otherwise by a physician. I acknowledge that I am aware of all the risks inherent in Masters Swimming (training and competition), including possible permanent disability or death, and agree to assume all of those risks. AS A CONDITION OF MY PARTICIPATION IN THE MASTERS SWIMMING PROGRAM OR ANY ACTIVITIES INCIDENT THERETO, I HEREBY WAIVE ANY AND ALL RIGHTS TO CLAIMS FOR LOSS OR DAMAGES, INCLUDING ALL CLAIMS FOR LOSS OR DAMAGES CAUSED BY THE NEGLIGENCE, ACTIVE OR PASSIVE, OF THE FOLLOWING: UNITED STATES MASTERS SWIMMING, INC., THE LOCAL MASTERS SWIMMING COMMITTEES, THE CLUBS, HOST FACILITIES, MEET SPONSORS, MEET COMMITTEES, OR ANY INDIVIDUALS OFFICIATING AT THE MEET OR SUPERVISING SUCH ACTIVITIES. In addition I agree to abide and be governed by the rules of USMS.

Signature: _________________________________________ Date: ________________________

Webmaster's Note: To get a printable copy of the meet entry forms, you may download the pdf file Download meet description and entry form

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LMSC - NC Officers and Staff



Past Chairman



Jerry Clark, CSM

Clarke (Mitch) Mitchell, PEAK

Don Gilchrist, WYM

Sally Newell, RAM

Alice U. Jones, RAM

3107 Cloverfield Rd.

Box 19768

P.O. Box 3955

1812 Swannanoa Drive

4716 Royal Troon Dr.

Charlotte, NC 28211

Asheville, NC 28805

Wilmington, NC 28406

Greensboro, NC 27410-3934

Raleigh, NC 27604-5844

(704) 366-2045

(828) 299-1410

(910) 313-0541

(336) 299-1456

(919) 231-7638







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 Creek Dr

Raleigh, NC 27613

Raleigh, NC 27612

Southport, NC 28461

Cary, NC 27511

(919) 846-2423

(919) 787-8324

(910) 253-3333

(919) 481-9769





North Carolina Masters Swimming Website

Return to Masters Swimming in North Carolina home page.
November 18, 2000