We will remember 2015 as the frustrating year that Oregon Club slipped a lot in ePostal swim participation and a few other teams in the nation caught up:
In 2012, 256 Oregon swimmers did at least one Postal swim; in 2014, that number had fallen to 214; by 2015, that number had again slipped a lot to 143.
In 2015, three other clubs—Indy Masters, Swim Ft. Lauderdale Masters, and Davis Aquatic Masters—improved their participation and beat us in club national championship standings. Indy edged us by a mere 50 yards (out of 376,000+) in the One Hour Swim to win the Large Team title. Swim Ft. Lauderdale slipped past us by 1500 points (out of 22,000+) in the 5-km ePostal, ending our seven-year win streak. And both Swim Ft. Lauderdale and Davis beat us solidly in the 3000-yd ePostal, also ending our seven-year win streak.
We cannot control what other teams are doing—frankly, I appreciate and applaud the competition—but we need to take care of business at our end. Unless we increase our participation dramatically this year, our long reign of national dominance in the ePostal swims (29 Club National Championships out of 40 swims since 2008) will be over. Most clubs would happily settle for 2nd or 3rd place finishes, but given out history and pride I don’t think that we should settle for anything but being the best. I hope that the Oregon Club ePostal performance in 2015 is a hiccup and not a trend, but that is up to YOU!
Wrapping up the 2015 USMS Postal Championships, the Oregon LMSC capped another year with a decent showing in the USMS 3000-yard and 6000-yard Postal National Championships, but not close to our usual sterling performance. Here’s a quick summary:
3000-yard: 51 Oregon swimmers (22 women & 29 men) entered—WAY DOWN from last year’s entry. Jayna Tomac, Dave Radcliff, and Willard Lamb each won the national title in their respective age groups. Five Oregon Club Relay teams won their events, and six were runners-up. In club scoring, Oregon dropped to third in the race for the national championship title, breaking a seven-year winning streak.
6000-yard: 18 Oregon swimmers (4 women & 14 men) entered, also down from last year’s entry. Jayna Tomac, Hardy Lussier, and Dave Radcliff won national titles. Five Oregon Club relay teams won their events. In club scoring, the Oregon Club squeaked out the national championship title by a narrow margin, winning it for the eighth consecutive year.
- Our 6 individual National Champions (USMS Long Distance All-Americans!);
- Jayna Tomac and Dave Radcliff, our double National Champions;
- Willard Lamb, our National Record Breaker;
- Our 10 relay team National Champions (USMS Long Distance Relay All-Americans);
- Our 4 Oregon Individual Record breakers—Jayna Tomac, Willard Lamb, Matt Miller, and Hardy Lussier (2x);
- Those swimmers who accounted for 22 new listings on the All-Time Oregon Top Twelve in these events;
- Everyone who participated. The Oregon LMSC generally does well in overall participation, which is ultimately the bottom line, but didn’t shine as usual this year. Obviously, I’d like to see more Oregon swimmers participating in these excellent fitness events.
The link to the full Oregon results is: http://swimoregon.org/results_pdfs/long-distance/2015-OMS-3000&6000-Results.pdf
2015 Oregon ePostal Series: Sixteen Oregon LMSC swimmers—many fewer than all previous years—qualified for the Oregon Postal Series by swimming in three or more of the USMS Postal Championship Swims during the year. I’ll send Oregon Postal Participation patches and chevrons as soon as I receive them! In a large and surprising contrast—and the brightest spot of our ePostal year!—THIRTEEN of those swimmers swam all five events, thus earning the USMS Postal Participation Award, an achievement that only 59 swimmers in the nation won this year!
See the ePostal Series summary : http://swimoregon.org/results_pdfs/OWSeries/15-Postal-Series-Summary.pdf
2015 ePostal Swims in Very Brief Review: 143 Oregon swimmers from 16 local teams (221 swims overall) participated in at least one National ePostal Swim. COMA again led the way with 48 swimmers, 93 swims, and 8 Oregon Series qualifiers. CGM had 23 swimmers participate in the One-Hour Swim, and EA had 12 swimmers involved. The Oregon Club won 2 (of 5) USMS Club Championships. Well done, but a significant decline from the previous 8 years!
Despite the highlights listed above, we can do much better than this. Good luck and good swimming in 2016!
Editor’s note — Steve Darnell, who was Willard Lamb’s counter and timer, says: “This morning (January 12, 2016) I timed for Willard Lamb for his 2016 USMS ePostal One–Hour Swim.— 2,892 yards.— a little short of his national record 2,991 yards from last year. But still nearly certain to finish first in his age group nationally.
“Bonnie Speer placed third nationally last year in the women 80-84 age group, and promises to swim her 2016 postal one-hour swim soon.”
Willard Lamb and Bonnie Speer are certainly doing their share to help Oregon win 1st place in the 2016 1-hour ePostal! Thank you Wink and Bonnie! You are such an inspiration!