Oregon Masters Swimming Association Championship was held April 8-10, at Tualatin Hills Aquatic Center. This years event was a long-course meter format to prepare for this summers National Championship. Several of the 290 participants attempted to make National Qualifying Time’s (NQT’s) for the 2016 U. S. Masters Swimming Summer National Championship being held at Mt Hood Aquatic Center this August. Special thanks to the Tualatin Hills Barracudas who played host for this years event. Thank you Jim Teisher, Meet Director, for an outstanding job organizing it all. Of course we wouldn’t have a meet without the dedication of our officials. Thanks to all of you and especially Jacki Allender our Officials chair. A big shout out to Gary Whitman, our OMS Data Manager, for making sure our times are counted and our relays are entered into the meet. And thank you to all of the coaches, timers, announcers, and lifeguards. Without this group effort, none of this would be possible.
Friday evening started out with two true animal events: the 400 IM and 1500 Freestyle. Several swimmers swam in both events. A few of the races were very competitive with very close finishes. Sixty six swimmers entered the 1500 Freestyle, covering a distance of 66 miles in just less than 3 hours.
Saturdays session was just as exciting with 290 Oregon Masters swimmers converging on the pool deck at once. The most exciting part of Saturdays events, besides the really fast individual times, was the relays. This is where the competition gets intense with teams trying to score big points and coaches hoping they created the best possible relay line-ups. I love swimming on relays, it’s amazing how these events really bring a team together. And I have to admit, I really enjoy the friendly smack talk that occurs behind the blocks.
Saturday evening, Oregon Masters Swimming held the Annual Membership meeting. This meeting is open to all Oregon Masters swimmers and allows everyone an opportunity to meet the OMS Board and ask questions. The annual meeting was followed by a social, where the pool party continued at the Golden Valley Brewery. Swimmers were treated with some delicious appetizers and tasty refreshments. The owner of the brewery happens to be a fellow Masters swimmer who understands the nutritional needs of hungry swimmers. Following the social, OMS held its annual awards presentation. The awards are given to volunteers who have made significant contributions to Oregon Masters Swimming and to swimmers who have achieved milestones in their competitive swimming careers. Thank you to Alice Zabudsky, MJ Caswell, Susie Young, and Jeanne Teisher who all made the awards presentation possible. And a special thank you to Ginger Pierson, our Awards Chair. I had the honor of being the Master of Ceremonies this year and want to congratulate everyone who won awards this year.
Sunday morning the excitement continued with many fast swims and of course, the relays. Through the course of the weekend, swimmers set 34 Oregon Masters Swimming Long Course records and 20 Northwest Zone Records. Congratulations to the Oregon Duck Swim Club on setting a new Oregon record in the Mens 200 Medley Relay. The annual Team Spirit Award was awarded to the Oregon City Tankers for the sixth year in a row. Several other teams showed their team spirit including: Central Oregon Masters Aquatics, Columbia Gorge Masters, Oregon Reign Masters, and the Sandy Tritons Aquatic Team. In the end, it came down to the team scores to determine the champion in the Large, Medium, and Small team division. Oregon Reign Masters won the Large team division with the host Tualatin Hills Barracudas placing 2nd and Central Oregon Masters Aquatics placing 3rd.
In the Medium team division, Multnomah Athletic Club repeated as 1st place, Portland Community College Masters 2nd place and Columbia Gorge Masters placing 3rd.
In the Small team division, Team Club Sport Oregon placed 1st, University of Oregon Swim Club placed 2nd, and Rogue Valley Masters placing 3rd.
Later this month will be the 2016 Nationwide U.S. Masters Swimming Spring Nationals being held April 28 – May 1. Good luck to all of the swimmers who are traveling to Greensboro, North Carolina. Swim Fast and represent all of us back here in Oregon.