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 National Long Distance Championship events, including at least one open water and one postal event. Points are tabulated for placement in each event, much like our scoring in 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.
In 2016, five Oregonians—that’s right, five—joined fourteen other outstanding swimmers in the nation in earning that honor. Think about this: five out of nineteen from one club! No other club in the nation had more than one Long Distance All-Star. Oregon has now had 21 of 59 Long Distance All-Stars in the past three years, continuing our enviable tradition of excellence!
Matt Miller (Rogue Valley Masters, Men’s 35-39 age group) has been named to the All Star team for the fifth consecutive year. Despite a bad bike accident in 2014, Matt appears to have healed very well indeed, winning three open water and three postal championships.
Todd Lantry (Rogue Valley Masters, Men’s 40-44 age group) joins the All-Star team for the first time. Longtime leader and enthusiastic participant in our local events, Todd won the 10-km Open Water Championships at Applegate Lake, and placed well in his other swims.
Hardy Lussier (Central Oregon Masters Aquatics, Men’s 50-54 age group) joins the All Star team for the fourth time. Hardy won the 10-km Open Water Championships at Applegate Lake, 5-km postal, 10-km postal, and 6000-yd postal championships, and the 2.7 Open Water Championships in Donner Lake.
Bob Bruce (Central Oregon Masters Aquatics, Men’s 65-69 age group) joins the All-Star team for the seventh time, fourth time consecutively, practicing what he preaches as OMS Long Distance Chair. Bob swam in seven of the nine championship races in 2016, placing well in all of them.
Dave Radcliff (Tualatin Hills Barracudas, Men’s 80-84 age group) joins the All-Star team for the sixth time, fifth time consecutively. Dave won every USMS national championship event that he entered this year, including one open water and all five postal championships. Dave owns all seven (five postal & two cable) USMS long distance records in his age group.
What does it take to become a USMS Long Distance All-Star? Obviously, swimmers have to be pretty good at what they do. But, beyond that, they also have to show up for National Championship events. We have been fortunate in Oregon to have National Championship open water events locally almost every year, thanks to assertive bidding by a few of our Oregon teams (note that we will host two Open Water Championships in Oregon in 2017, and three in 2018!). All of our All-Stars last year raced locally, and many travelled out-of-state for other championship events. AND FOUR OF THE FIVE OF OUR 2016 USMS ALL-STARS SWAM IN ALL FIVE POSTAL CHAMPIONSHIPS, WHICH ARE AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE WITHOUT MUCH TRAVEL. If you want to succeed, you gotta show up!
Good luck and good swimming!