Message from the Chair, Jeff Sargent

Snow and ice on the road and more snow falling greeted me as I sat down at my desk on another dismal February Monday in Connecticut. Roads were closed. Schools were closed. And unfortunately, the Y had a delayed opening which meant no time to swim before work. I signed on to my computer and pulled up the USMS website to check on our membership numbers. The day went from not so good to good in about 2 seconds. 2015 Conn Masters membership is up 60 members year over year and on pace to reach 550 members by year end, well exceeding our goal of 500 members. The increased membership has given your Board the flexibility to increase the opportunities for you members. In conjunction with USMS, Conn Masters will host a Coaches Certification Clinic this April in Hartford. Conn Masters will offer a ½ scholarship to any member of Conn Masters in good standing. Details to follow. We have made a request to USMS to cohost an adult learn to swim clinic, and two of our members traveled to Massachusetts to become USMS certified Adult Learn To Swim Instructors. Conn Masters will once again sanction the Connecticut Open Water Championships this summer. We are in the midst of tallying your votes for a new Conn Masters logo which, when finalized, will go on our new Conn Masters swim caps and banner. Lastly, at the annual USMS national convention, 2 Conn Masters were accepted as members on national committees. Ally Sega joined the Open Water Committee and I joined the Officials Committee. As our membership numbers continue to increase, it is my hope that we are able to place more members on National Committees which will serve to increase the voice of, as one of our esteemed members so aptly described, “our little rogue LMSC”!

Later that day, I received via email the 2014 Preliminary Short Course Meters Top 10 rankings. Conn Masters swam their way to 43 Individual Top 10 times in 2014, the highest number of SCM Top 10s since 2007 and 5 times as many Top 10s as in 2013. Conn masters also had 8 relays qualify for Top 10 rankings, more ranked relays than any other year other than 2011. More on our Conn Masters relays below. As in previous “seasons” the Conn Masters record book took another body blow with 51 short course meters records falling in 2014. Pam Moss led the charge with 4 new records, while, Ann Louise Onton, John Craig, Amelia Fox, Maria Zenoni and Nicole Holbrook each set 3 new marks. 11 other Conn Masters set 2 records and 10 set 1.

We are now moving quickly into championship season with both regional and national meets drawing our attention. First up will be the New England LMSC short course yards championships held March 15 and March 20 – 22 at Harvard. Ally Sega will be Conn Masters coach on deck for this meet. Colonies Zones Short Course Championships will be held April 10 – 12 at George Mason University in Manassas, Virginia and the USMS SC Championships will be held April 23 – 26 In San Antonio, Texas. Information for these meets is posted on the Conn Masters website, Lastly, YMCA Masters Nationals will be held May 7 – May 10 in Sarasota, Florida. Y membership is required but many Ys will offer 1 month memberships to accommodate Masters swimmers that wish to attend this meet. Last year the Soundview YMCA sent 2 swimmers and Wilton and Westport Y joined forces and sent 34 athletes. Please contact your local YMCA or feel free to contact me directly and I will be happy to steer you in the right direction.

Now, jumping back to the subject of relays as referenced above. Conn masters has had a fair amount of past success in placing 800 free relays in the national and international Top 10 rankings. A few of us were sitting around chit chatting about our “success” when an interesting topic was raised (interesting to swim geeks that is!) Had any LMSC placed a relay in the number 1 spot across all 3 courses, Short Course Yards, Short Course Meters and Long Course Meters? I didn’t know the answer and frankly didn’t really know where to begin to look but I looked at some of the past few years rankings and saw that not only was it “doable” in 1 age group (45+ scy and 200-239 scm & lcm) but it appeared that Conn Masters had the personnel to get it done across 2 different age groups (35+ scy and 160-199 scm & lcm)! And so it began. We raced the 160 – 199 scm relay at the Wilton meet last January, the 45+ scy relay at the Westport Y Groundhog meet last February and the 35+ scy relay at Harvard last March. Both the 160-199 and 200-239 relays went off at the Summer Sizzler at Wilton in June, with the 200-239 relay just off the FINA Masters World Record. Lastly, the 200-239 scm relay raced at the Wilton short course meet in November.  The end result of this year long quest was, in fact, exactly as we had set out to do. USMS Number 1 rankings in 2 different age groups across all 3 courses. I am hopeful that when the FINA World rankings are published in the spring that Conn Masters will land on top there as well.  11 different athletes participated in this adventure with several swimmers participating on multiple relays. The chart below lists the swimmers involved and the finishing times. I would encourage you all to seek out these kind of opportunities. I for one will be happy to race on just about any relay if I’m at the meet and if I have some advance notice.

I am proud to be a member of Connecticut Masters swimming and extremely proud of the progress that we have made in the past several years. I am hopeful that in my future quarterly notes I will have as much good news to report as I have had in the past.

Kind Regards,

Jeff Sargent

Connecticut Masters Chair

800 Freestyle Relay SCM Mixed 200 – 239 (2014) 800 Freestyle Relay SCM Mixed 160-199 (2014)
 #   Team   LMSC   Swimmers (age)   Time   #   Team   LMSC   Swimmers (age)   Time 
1  CONN  Connecticut Andy Reul (51) 9:20.85 1  CONN  Connecticut Andy Reul (51)  9:14.19
Jeff Sargent (50) Jeff Sargent (50)
Tait Michael (51) Galen Rinaldi (45)
Pam H Moss (52) Pam H Moss (52)
800 Freestyle Relay SCY Mixed 45+ (2014) 800 Freestyle Relay SCY Mixed 35+ (2014)
 #   Team   LMSC   Swimmers (age)   Time   #   Team   LMSC   Swimmers (age)   Time 
1  CONN  Connecticut Andy Reul (50) 08:33.7 1  CONN  Connecticut Steve Akers (42) 8:00.21
Jeff Sargent (49) Jeff Sargent (49)
Sian Nimkoff (49) Galen Rinaldi (45)
Pam H Moss (52) Amelia P Fox (42)
800 Freestyle Relay LCM Mixed 200-239 (2014) 800 Freestyle Relay LCM Mixed 160-199 (2014)
 #   Team   LMSC   Swimmers (age)   Time   #   Team   LMSC   Swimmers (age)   Time 
1  CONN  Connecticut Jeff Sargent (50) 9:29.05 1  CONN  Connecticut Myles G Lynch (48) 9:20.92
Andy Reul (51) Whitney Ross (43)
Tait Michael (50) Galen Rinaldi (45)
Pam H Moss (52) Jeremy C Virgil (35)


Great Groundhog Meet

121 Swimmers competed in the 30th Annual Groundhog Meet on Sunday, February 1st.  20 clubs were represented from all over the US.  Many thanks to Mike Laux and Ellen Johnston for hosting the well run meet.  Also thanks to the officials, timers, and anyone else who volunteered for their time.  Results are posted on and and on a program called

Also, CT Master’s SCM records have been updated and are on the Records and Top Ten Lists Page.

Reminder about upcoming meets.

Registration ends for the Groundhog meet tomorrow, Friday, January 30th, before noon.  On deck entries are discouraged but allow for an increased fee for those unable to get their entries in tomorrow.  I suspect there will be an after meet brunch at a local restaurant.  Please see Carolyn Daniels or Robyn DeMarco at the meet if you are interested.

Also, New England SCY Championships has opened their registration.  The meet this year will be March 15th for the distance day.  Please note this is a Sunday which is different than it has been in the past.  The rest of the meet will be March 20-22, 2015.  Please email me if you are interested in doing relays at Harvard, email me at Ally Sega.  Last year, we had many great swims and relays.  New England swimmers were impressed with our enthusiasm and sportsmanship at this meet.

YMCA Nationals are coming up May 7th- May 10th.  If you are interested in going, but do not belong to a participating YMCA please contact Jeff Sargent.  The Wilton YMCA is offering a deal so that you can belong to their YMCA for the duration of the registration/meet process.  Last year, Wilton placed 3rd with 33 swimmers participating.  Jeff would love to take 40 or more swimmers this year and try for first or second place.


Attention CONN Master’s

An email will be distributed shortly to all registered CONN Masters with an opportunity to vote for a new CONN Master’s logo and tagline.  There are many creative and fun ideas.  The winning logo will be used to create new CONN Master’s caps which will be distributed to all registered CONN Master’s.   If you are not yet registered for USMS, in the Connecticut LMSC, please register now so that you may participate in the voting process.

Paul Epstein makes the local news

Many in Connecticut Swimming know Paul Epstein as an avid open water swimmer who isn’t afraid to compete in pool competitions, a great competitor, serious competition, a friendly face, and sometimes- the man behind the camera.  The Hartford Courant and Valley Life have recently written articles, with great pictures, honoring our teammate Paul.  Please click these links: Hartford Courant Article and Valley Life Article to read the articles.

Galen thanks Cornerstone Meet attendees.

Galen would like to thank all who attended the meet this Sunday in West Hartford.  She says,  “It was a great turnout and exciting to have so many first time master swimmers compete.  It was great to have a lot of New England Masters attend.”  It was a great turnout: 93 swimmers entered from 10 different teams.  There were 21 relays in age groups ranging from 25+ up to 65+ up.  Thank you to Galen, the staff at Cornerstone Pool, and the Conard/Hall swim teams for putting together a great meet.

Who’s up for lunch after the Cornerstone Meet

For those going to the Cornerstone Meet this Sunday, please fill out this form:, especially if you are interested in going to lunch after the meet.  We would like to make reservations well in advance of the meet so that all who are interested might be included.

Wilton Wahoo Meet

Thanks to all those who participated in the Wilton Wahoo SCM Meter meet on Sunday, November 2, 2014.  There were very new to very experienced swimmers who all swam fabulously.  Most impressive was Jim Dragon’s 50 fly, setting a new world record.  Congradulations to everyone who participated and thank you to all the officials, timers, and staff who helped coordinate the meet.  Click here for results.

Two meet links added.

First added is a local Connecticut meet to be held at Cornerstone pool in West Hartford.  While this is the first USMS sanctioned meet to be held at Cornerstone, it will probably be quite popular due to it’s convenient location of of Rt 84.  Please register early Cornerstone meet.

The second meet added is the SCM Champs at Boston University.  This meet generally serves as the New England SCM championships, but this year it will also be half of the Colonies Zone SCM Championships. The other half of the Colonies championships is being held at George Mason University in Manassas, VA.  The two meets will be held the same weekend, with results being combined, and is unofficially being called the “North versus South” meet.  This meet might also be quite popular as there may be a big push from both sides to see who will win.  Registration starts November 1st SCM champs.


Results from the Fairfield Y Open Water Mile Swim

The inaugural Fairfield Y Open Water Mile Swim saw 61 swimmers attempt to “conquer mother nature’s lap pool,” under clear blue skies in near-seventy degree water. State Representative Kim Fawcett, who is now running for a seat in the State Senate, was joined by Kevin Conyer, himself a candidate for State Representative, in counting down to the start of the September 20th race held at Penfield Beach.

“It was incredible to see so much support from the local community,” said Karen Backus, Executive Director of the Fairfield YMCA. “An event like this is important for us because proceeds benefit the YMCA Annual Campaign, which provides financial assistance for children, families and individuals in our community to participate in Fairfield Y programs.”

As participants and spectators celebrated after the race with fruit, water, pizza and other treats supplied by many local businesses, many of them were talking about the blistering pace set by the top finishers. Jeremy Virgil finished first with a time of 16:24, just beating out Greg Sargent (17:23). Staples swimmer Willow Woods was the top overall female finisher at 19:24, which also helped Willow and her dad, Chris, win the award for top family finishers.

Despite the tremendous performances, Race Director and Fairfield Y Board Member Andy Davis (who is also a legendary open water swimmer himself) knows this race is not about record-setting times. “We wanted this event focus on three things: Fun, Fitness, and Family,” said Davis after his duties as awards presenter was complete. “A one mile swim is a perfect introduction into open water swimming so we didn’t want this to feel like an ultra-competitive race. We worried that might scare off the first-timer. At the same time, you have to be in good shape to complete this race. It’s a reminder of the importance of being fit, so you can participate in fun events like this – and hopefully inspire someone in your family to swim with you. We had seven family teams competing this year and we hope to increase the dramatically next year.”

Trophies were handed out to the top two overall male and female finishers, the top two finishers from every age category (as well as the wetsuit division), and the top two family teams.

Located on Old Post Road in the heart of the Fairfield, the Y offers an array of health and human services to all including their summer camp and swim programs, to teen leadership and senior wellness, In 2013 Fairfield YMCA gave away $65,000 in scholarship money to help families in need. This year the Y needs to raise $100,000 for the Annual Campaign. Since the Y is a non-for-profit organization, it depends on their community to help with scholarship funds.

If you were unable to swim in the race, you haven’t missed your chance to support the Fairfield Y Open Water Mile Swim and the YMCA Annual Campaign. There are several raffle prizes showcased at the Fairfield Y branch – winners will be selected on October 5. An NFW watch, a free year of membership at the YMCA and a ride in a Fairfield Police care are just some of the prizes that will appeal to boys, girls and families.

Click here for complete results.