A cool 54 degrees greeted me this morning as I got in my car to drive to Wilton Y for morning practice. The chill in the air and the (not so welcome) view of the bubble over Wilton’s pool signifies the end to another summer, and in our case, the end of Long Course and open water season and the start of short course meters and yards season.
2014 has been a good year for Connecticut Masters. As of this morning, membership stands at 471, up from 405 at end of 2013. This puts us well on our way to meeting my goal of 500 members by end of 2015, a goal that may in fact be less aggressive than I originally feared. 3 new workout groups have registered with Conn Masters since June 30. I’d like to welcome Swim 70, What Masters and Shelton Community Center Masters to the fold. For those of you who are currently registered with a club as opposed to a workout group, I would encourage you to contact your coach and have them make the change from club to workout group. It is all about semantics, but it does give greater opportunity to you athletes to participate on relays, even if you are the only representative of your group at a meet. I can tell you that of the 17 relays that Conn Masters placed in the short course Top 10 last season, 15 of them were made up with members from at least 2 different workout groups. Conn Masters also had 2 relays at the top of the FINA World Top 10 rankings for 2013, both of which were made up of swimmers from different workout groups. Workout group over club identification gives much needed flexibility in an LMSC as small as Connecticut. If you want more clarification on this, please contact me directly at email@example.com or any of the other Board members.
Connecticut Masters swimmers could be found all over the state at the various open water races and triathlons. Greenwich hosted both a 1 mile and 2 mile race, Westport had their annual 1 mile at Compo, and a new 1 mile race was added in Fairfield. Connecticut Swimming Inc. and Connecticut Masters joined together to sanction the Connecticut Open Water Championship at Lake Quassapaug in June. Sanctioning open water races is an expensive proposition for LMSC’s as the insurance requirements are rather cost prohibitive. It is hoped that USMS will have a solution to this issue, but it is not expected before 2016.
In the pool, Conn Masters resumed its assault on the record book. A total of 31 individual state masters records were broken by 16 individuals. 11 records were broken in the men’s 50 – 54 age group alone, with Andy Reul and Jeff Sargent each setting 4 new marks, while Pete Holmquist, Doug Gugino and Matthew Gordon set 1 each. Additional records were set by Melissa Stango, Bill Flick (2), Jeremy Virgil (2), Whitney Ross (3), Myles Lynch, Tait Michael (2), Paul Harris (3), John Craig (2), Mike Laux, Ann Onton (2) and Pam Wilson.
22 Conn Masters made their way up to Montreal to swim at FINA Masters World Championships. Mike Laux, Paul Harris, Doug Gugino, Andy Reul, Jeremy Virgil, Whitney Ross, Pam Moss, Tait Michael, Ann Onton and Pam Wilson all placed in the Top 16 in their events. Congratulations to all! The following week, 4 Conn Masters made the trek down to the University of Maryland for USMS Long Course Nationals. Ally Sega, Christie Anbar, Robert Duguay and Bill Flick all came away with hardware, leading the team to a 54 place finish overall (out of 144 teams), while the men were 52nd and the women were 61st.
Lastly, as we look ahead to short course season, Wilton Wahoo Masters will host a short course meters meet on November 2nd and Cornerstone Masters will host a short course yards meet on November 16. Additional information and entries can be found on both the Conn Masters site www.ctlmsc.org or on usms.org. Click on “Events and Results” and then “Calendar of Events”. Additionally, I am trying to arrange for coached weekly practice times for all registered Connecticut masters, must likely on a Sunday morning. Please be sure to check the Conn Masters website for information about the practices and for additional meets.
Happy fall everyone and hope to see you at the pool.
Chair, Connecticut Masters