Long Distance Swimming – January 2018

Wrapping up the 2017 USMS Postal Championships, the Oregon LMSC capped another year with a fair showing in the USMS 3000-yard and 6000-yard Postal National Championships, but far below our usual sterling participation and club standing.  Here’s a quick summary:

3000-yard:  29 Oregon swimmers entered (10 women & 19 men), 20 swimmers fewer than 2016.  Colette Crabbe, Matt Miller, Bob Bruce, Dave Radcliff, and Willard Lamb each won the national title in their respective age groups—great club strength at the top end!  Six Oregon Club Relay teams won their events, and one was runner-up.  Club scores were not yet available as I write this, but I’m not holding my breath.

6000-yard:  9 Oregon swimmers entered (2 women & 7 men), also way down from last year’s entry.  Matt Miller was our only National individual champion.  All three Oregon Club relay teams won their events.  Again, Club scores were not yet available, but nine swimmers “does not a championship team make.”

Congratulations to…

  • Our 5 Individual National Champions (USMS Long Distance All-Americans!)
  • Matt Miller, our double National Champion
    • Our 9 relay team National Champions (USMS Long Distance Relay All-Americans)—amazing considering our size of entry
  • Our National Individual Record setter, Willard Lamb, continuing to go where no man has gone before!
  • Our 2 Oregon Individual Record breakers—Wiilard Lamb and Matt Miller (twice!)
  • Our 3 Oregon Relay Record breakers
    • Those swimmers who accounted for 16 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 do so well this year.  Obviously, I’d like to see many, many more Oregon swimmers participating in these excellent fitness events.


Look for the full Oregon results in this Aqua Master.

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Now it’s time for a new year of Postal Swims, which starts with the One-Hour Swim.  This event answers the basic question, “how far can you swim in one hour?”  It’s the first USMS postal swim each year, done only during the months of January & February.  It’s the largest stand-alone participation event on the USMS calendar; more than 2000 swimmers across the nation swim it every year.  It’s the oldest of the USMS postal swims, started in 1977.  It’s not only a spirited competition, but also an excellent post-holiday, early-in-the-year fitness event suitable for EVERYONE.  I repeat: EVERYONE!  Did everyone hear me say EVERYONE?  Every yard counts!

How have Oregon swimmers and the Oregon Club fared in the past?  Although Oregon Club swimmers have done very well recently, this is one of the few Overall Club Championships that we have never won before!  But our club history shows good involvement and placement in previous years, including a second place in the Large Team category last year.

Is a championship run feasible?  We’ve won loads of national postal championships in recent years, but never the One-Hour Swim.  What about it?  We have the pools.  We have the swimmers.  We have the experience.  Do we have the will?  Can we do it?  Of course…if we want!  We rallied to crush the rest of the nation when we hosted the Summer Pool Championships in 2008 and 2016, and we have dominated the other postal championships in the past ten years.  But I estimate that it will take 400 swims to win this thing.  That’s right, 400!  Sure, that’s way more than we’ve ever had before, but think big—that’s less than half of our club membership.  Together, we can do it…if we choose to do it!

Bonus thought (and ultimately the most important one):  The best build-up for a successful spring and summer season is to develop your aerobic swimming capacity early next year so that you can then do your race training on a solid base.  Not to mention that the best build-up for a long and satisfying life is to do the same.  The One-Hour Swim is one of the best tools to develop and measure your aerobic capacity.  Use it that way!

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