by Coach Bob Bruce
We enjoyed a mix of three sanctioned and two unsanctioned (let’s call them “affiliated”) venues this year. But we also had another sanctioned event cancelled this year due to lack of sufficient entry.
Let’s recognize our season achievements and highlights:
- We hosted 16 swims at 5 venues this year, still maintaining good variety in courses, distances, and events.
- 223 Oregon swimmers from 20 Oregon local teams—along with 78 unattached swimmers—took part, totaling 624 swims. COMA again led local team participation by a wide margin with 52 swimmers having 187 swims.
- Visitors from other states joined us for 171 swims at our sanctioned events, most attracted by the Elk Lake festival (with the NW Zone 1500-meter championship) and the USMS 10-km National championship swim at Applegate Lake. More came to swim at our unsanctioned events, but I don’t have statistics on out-of-state visitors for those events.
- 22 Oregon swimmers swam in three or more venues. These swimmers qualified for the Oregon Open Water Swim Series. COMA again led with 7 qualifiers.
- 1 Oregon swimmer (Lisa Gibson) swam at all 5 venues this year, and also led individual participation with 13 swims.
- The hospitality was again epic!
- We had fun!
- Our 8 USMS National Champions, 7 from the 10-km championships at Applegate Lake and 1 from the 2.7-mile championships at Donner Lake
- Our 12 OMS Individual Association Champions from the 1500-meter swim at Applegate Lake
- Central Oregon Masters and Rogue Valley Masters, the OMS Association Large and Small Team Open Water Champions respectively. The small team category was well contested again this year
- Our 19 Individual NW Zone Champions from the 1500-meter swim at Elk Lake
- Lisa Gibson and Pat Allender, our Oregon Open Water Series Grand Champions
- Sue Phillips and Steve Johnson, our deserving Mike Morehouse Award honorees
- Those many other Oregonians who ventured (and who plan to venture still) afield to find special open water challenges this year
- The OMS Board, who again agreed to underwrite the fixed cost of the USMS sanction surcharge, thus making our smaller local events possible
- Our race directors, host teams, and myriad volunteers, to whom we owe a great deal
- Our sponsors, who made our swims financially and logistically possible
- Everyone who participated!
To whet your appetite for next year, COMA will host the USMS 2-mile Cable Swim National Championships at Foster Lake AND the USMS 5-km Open Water National Championships at Elk Lake. We are greatly honored, as this is the first time ever that one host has been selected to host two national championship events in the same year in a non-festival format on separate weekends. Of course, having local national championship events means more chances for local swimmers to grab national glory!
Enough about open water for now. Another ePostal challenge awaits as we start our new school and swim training year! Mid-September through mid-November is the season for National 3000-yard & 6000-yard ePostal Championships. These swims must be completed between September 15th and November 15th. These swims provide solid early-season training swims, great conditioning benchmarks, fun team-building events, and are a must for aspiring distance swimmers. Why not use these swims to jump start your training?
As the OMS Long Distance Chair, I would like to see you participate, and would love to see the Oregon Club successfully defend the National Club Title in the 6000-yard event and reclaim it in the 3000-yard event. Let’s not get complacent with our past record of success. See http://www.usms.org/longdist/ldnats16/ for event & entry information, get your split sheet at http://www.usms.org/longdist/1hr_3000_6000_splits.pdf, and get to it! Remember that you can swim these events in a 25-meter pool by doing a 3000 or 6000-meter swim and converting the time to yards. I know, I know, you gotta swim a bit further, but it finally allows those who only have access to 25-meter pools to participate. Just do it!
Good luck and good swimming!