Long Distance Swimming – April 2020

The highest distinction for a Masters long-distance swimmer is to be named to the USMS Long Distance All-Star Team.  To be considered for this honor, swimmers must participate in at least three of the eleven Long Distance National Championship events, which must include at least one open water and one postal event.  Points are tabulated on their placement in each event, much like our system of scoring the Oregon Open Water Series.  The top point-scorer in the nation in each age group—and only one from each age group—is named to the All-Star Team.

Three Oregonians—Matt Miller, Hardy Lussier, and Bob Bruce—join 17 other outstanding swimmers in the nation in earning that honor in 2019.  As usual, Oregon LMSC led the list; only one other LMSC had two All-Stars, and others had only one each.

Matt Miller (Southern Oregon Masters Aquatics, Men’s 40-44 age group) joins the All-Star team for the eighth consecutive year, an amazing streak!

Hardy Lussier (Central Oregon Masters Aquatics, Men’s 50-54 age group) joins the All-Star team for the sixth time, despite taking a lot of time off to move the site of his restaurant.

Bob Bruce (Central Oregon Masters Aquatics, Men’s 70-74 age group) joins the All-Star team for the ninth time, without winning any event, but placing second in five of them (our Oregon teammate Dan Kirkland won all five postal championships in this age group, but did not make it to an open water championship, and thus he did not qualify to defend his All-Star slot from 2018).

These three swimmers are listed among a distinguished group of twenty-five Oregonians who have been named to the USMS Long Distance All-Star Team in the past.  This list of elite swimmers can be found at https://swimoregon.org/history/longdistance/LDWebAllAmericans19.pdf.

How have so many Oregonians been named to the USMS Long Distance All-Star Team?

  • We in Oregon strongly encourage participation in USMS long distance championship events. We make a coordinated push each year to swim in as many of them as possible.  For motivation, we have both an open water and postal series.  And we are the only LMSC to keep LMSC postal & cable swim records, and a postal swim top-twelve list (for these lists, see https://swimoregon.org/long-distance/).
  • We swim fast, an obvious requirement for high placement.
  • We purposefully and aggressively bid for and host many USMS open water national championships. We have hosted 18 national championship open water events in the past 20 years, far more than any other LMSC.  In turn, this gives local swimmers many opportunities to post swims that qualify for All-Star consideration without significant travel.
  • We swim our postals! Open water championships are held all over the country; postal championships are swum at home, and they are the low-hanging fruit.  If you take care of business at home by swimming all five postal championships (like Matt, Hardy, and Bob above!), then swim in at least one open water championship, you are eligible for All-Star consideration.

Congratulations to Matt, Hardy, and Bob for their outstanding achievement!

Good luck and good swimming!

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