Thirty Master swimmers lined up at Eel Lake last Saturday for the second and final race of the day when a voice called out, “The yellow turn buoy is loose!” The buoy had marked a significant turning point around a morass of water weed just under the surface which no one wanted to swim through.
A boat was manned, a fast swimmer went out, too, and the buoy was quickly snagged and put back into place. The 1500 meter open water race started with no other problems.
Matt Miller of the Southern Oregon Masters Association (SOMA) won the 1500 in 21:31.7. Miller was coming off from winning the Pan-American Masters 1500 open water race at Daytona Beach, Florida, in the Men’s 40-44 age group.
Finishing third overall, the first female finisher was Jayna Tomac of Coos Bay, also swimming for SOMA, in 22:44.2. The only other local swimmer in the race was Ralph Mohr who won the 75-79 Men’s age group in 32:01.9
The competition had started with a 3000 meter swim, twice around the course set up in the west arm of Eel Lake. The 3000 was won by Michael Oxendine of SOMA in 46:22.1. Christian Tujo of Central Oregon Masters Association (COMA) from Bend was second in 47:41.8, and he was second in the 1500 in 22:41.7.
Swimmers came to Eel Lake for the 15th Eel Lake Open Water Swims from Beaverton, Corvallis, Portland, Crescent City, Medford, Ashland and Berkeley. CA. They enjoyed a cool morning for the first swim and a sunlit finish on the 1500.
The Eel Lake swims were sponsored and run for the first time by Southern Oregon Masters Aquatics. People can check out SOMA’s website for more information if they’d like to join the group at http://somaswim.org/
SOMA will also be running the last Oregon Masters open water event of the year at Lake of the Woods, September 8. For more information on that event go to http://somaswim.org/lake-of-the-woods-open-water-swims/
Please also see the PDF version of the AquaMaster for more details and photos:
Link to AquaMaster