By Bob Bruce
We enjoyed a mix of three sanctioned and three unsanctioned (let’s call them “affiliated”) venues this year. We had a fine season.
Let’s recognize our season achievements and highlights:
- We hosted 15 swims at 6 venues this year, still maintaining strong variety in courses, distances, and events.
- 233 Oregon swimmers from 21 Oregon local teams—along with 66 unattached swimmers—took part, totaling 801 swims. COMA again led local team participation by a wide margin with 66 swimmers having 247 swims.
- Visitors from other states joined us for 204 swims at our sanctioned events, most attracted by the Elk Lake festival and the national championship swim at Foster Lake. More came to swim at our unsanctioned events (sorry, I don’t have statistics on out-of-state visitors for those events).
- 31 Oregon swimmers swam in three or more venues. These swimmers qualified for the Oregon Open Water Swim Series. COMA again led with 13 qualifiers.
- 5 Oregon swimmers (Jessica Kieras, Elizabeth Harrison, Jeanna Summers, Robin Bragg, & Mike Carew) swam at 5 venues this year! Nobody made it to the elusive 6-venue mark.
- Jessica Kieras, Elizabeth Harrison, & Mike Carew led individual participation with 13 swims each.
- The hospitality was again epic. There is no race hospitality anywhere quite like ours!
- We had fun!
- Our 10 USMS National Champions from the 2-mile cable championships at Foster Lake;
- Our 3 USMS National Champions from other venues—Jayna Tomac & Dave Radcliff, who took two titles each (1-mile and 10-km open water championships) at the Lake Del Valle Festival, and Bob Bruce, who won the 10-km at the same venue;
- Our 3 USMS cable swim relay record-breaking teams from the Oregon Club from the cable swims at Foster Lake. Hosting annual cable swims at a local venue has been a huge bonanza for us, as the Oregon Club now holds 30 of the posted 36 USMS cable swim relay records in the five years since COMA built the course;
- Our 22 OMS Individual Association Champions from the 1500-meter swim at Elk Lake, in the largest 1500-meter swim (160 finishers) ever held in Oregon;
- Central Oregon Masters and Multnomah Athletic Club, the OMS Association Large and Small Team Open Water Champions respectively. The small team category was especially well contested this year;
- Jeanna Summers and Mike Carew, our Oregon Open Water Series Grand Champions;
- Jackie Parker and Todd Lantry, our mightily-deserving Mike Morehouse Award honorees;
- Those many other Oregonians who ventured (and who plan to venture still) afield to find special open water challenges this year;
- The OMS Board, who again generously agreed to partially underwrite the cost of the USMS sanction surcharge, thus making our smaller local events possible;
- Our race directors, host teams, and myriad volunteers, to whom we owe a great deal;
- Our sponsors, who made our swims financially and logistically possible;
- Everyone who participated!
To whet your appetite for next year, RVM will host the USMS 10-km Open Water National Championships at Applegate Lake, water permitting. This will be another chance for national glory!
Enough about open water for now. Another ePostal challenge awaits as we start our new school and swim training year! Mid-September through mid-November is the season for National 3000-yard & 6000-yard ePostal Championships. These swims must be completed between September 15th and November 15th. These swims provide solid early season training swims, great conditioning benchmarks, fun team-building events, and are a must for aspiring distance swimmers. Remember how important a good aerobic base will be if you’re aiming for the culminating event in the 2016 Oregon LMSC calendar, the Summer Long Course National Championship Meet at Mt. Hood Community College pool next August. Why not use these swims to jump start your training?
As the OMS Long Distance Chair, I would like to see you participate, and would love to see the Oregon Club successfully defend the National Club Title in both 3000 and 6000-yard events. Let’s not get complacent with our past record of success. See https://www.clubassistant.com/club/meet_information.cfm?c=1287&smid=6620 for event & entry information, get your split sheet at http://www.usms.org/longdist/1hr_3000_6000_splits.pdf, and get to it! Remember that you can swim these events in a 25-meter pool by doing a 3000 or 6000-meter swim and converting the time to yards. I know, I know, you gotta swim a bit further, but it finally allows those who only have access to 25-meter pools to participate. Just do it!
Good luck and good swimming!