At the end of each summer season, OMS awards the Mike Morehouse Award to a pair of deserving swimmers, selected and voted upon by those who have previously won the award. The Award citation reads: “The Mike Morehouse Spirit Award is given annually to a person or persons who display the highest character of sportsmanship during the Oregon Open Water Series, past and present. A sportsman is defined as one who engages in sports, a person who is fair and generous, and a good loser and graceful winner. Mike Morehouse was all of the above and more. A true gentleman, Mike was always thoughtful of others; wishing everyone well was his trademark, as well as enjoying his friendships.” You can find a brief biography, the citation, and the full list of past honorees on the OMS website at http://swimoregon.org/history/longdistance/LDWebMorehouse19.pdf.
As usual, our clan of previous honorees has done us proud, and selected a group of terrific swimmers for this honor this year. The women’s voting was a tie, which I chose not to break because both nominees were outstanding, each in her own special way. The male nominee was a near-unanimous pick, despite not having swum in even one open water event this year. Here are our 2018 Mike Morehouse Award honorees:
Caryl Schiavon: Caryl learned to swim as an adult and joined the OMS open water scene in 2014, with just three swims. Since then, she has successfully tackled longer events and more of them. Generally being one of those who gets the most out her entry fee, Caryl always displays a radiant smile, a twinkle in her eye, a subtle and pointed wit, and an impossible level of care for the rest of us, for which we love her. We also love her for the way that she keeps Robin Bragg in line. Well done, Caryl!
Jessica Kieras: Jessica first joined us in 2012, and has continued each year since then. Because Jessica likes her swims long and likes to prepare well for them, I saw her often in the pool as she prepared for this year’s challenges. Her great accomplishment this summer was the End-Wet, a 36-mile swim (fortunately downstream) in the Red River of the North, finishing fourth overall. She sprinted a little bit too, winning the 10-km National Championships at Applegate Lake. Jessica is very friendly, helpful, and caring, a perfect Morehouse Award selection. Follow her swimming blog at https://oregonlakebagging.wordpress.com/. Splendid job, Jessica!
Tom Landis: An icon in World Masters Swimming and a long-time OMS standout, Tom has been largely sidelined in the past few years by esophageal cancer and its complications. He hasn’t raced with us in a few years, although we can look to the record books for his stunning level of achievement. But he’s still in the game; he has served—superbly!—as the Safety Director for the 2017 & 2018 Championships at Foster Lake, and for the Cascade Lakes Swim Series at Elk Lake this year. For many years, Tom has been a friend and confidante to all of us in the swimming world. Best of all, he helps keep me sane. Tom, awesome as always!
Good luck and good swimming!