Kahncept Of the Week (KOW)

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June 29 2015

DAM LC Meet

All of the Long Course and Short Course practices will peak towards our DAM-hosted, long course meet on Saturday, August 8. It's our next biggest event of the summer.
As the date approaches, the coaches will provide starting block practices at both pools. Know that, for the mildly apprehensive of you, in-water racing starts for Masters Swimmers are perfectly acceptable.
We'll also have the entire Schaal pool (all 8 lanes) to ourselves on the evening of July 23. Mark your calendars and come swim with the team that night. Get your first taste of LC swimming.

Please note, that a team-hosted event of this magnitude doesn’t administer itself. Dave Woodruff, DAM Meet Director, will soon be asking for volunteer help. There will be portable sign-up sheets on the deck at Schaal and at SignUp Genius online. The good news is that Master’s meets are pretty easy to run, but they're not simple. Within our club we have qualified computer and timing systems operators, as well as certificated Officials who oversee the meet administration. Due to restrictions at Schaal, we’re unable to host a snack bar or afford to bring in outside sales vendors. But we will offer hospitality (light food and drinks) to all the working officials and volunteers. Our biggest responsibilities will be:

  • Friday night (Aug 7) facility set-up and preparation (10 people from 6:00-8:00pm)
  • Athlete check-in on Sat morning (2 people from 7:30-9am and 4 people from 9-noon)
  • Filling-in timers’ chairs for all 8 lanes (roughly 24 per hour, three from each of the DAM Civic practice times.)
  • Overseeing the warmup lanes and checking bathrooms during the meet (2 Marshalls per hour)
  • Manning the hospitality table and providing snacks and beverages to the officials and other volunteers (4 every two hours)
  • Providing runners to get the necessary paperwork distributed and collected around the venue before and after each race (2 per hour)
  • Staffing the Officials positions (1 back-up Starter & 4-6 Stroke & Turn Judges).

It is perfectly acceptable to step away from your volunteer duties to go race in an event, making it possible to volunteer AND swim in the meet. Check the volunteer signup times against the racing order of events to select your combination of working and racing.

ORDER OF EVENTS

# Sex Event
1 Women 200 M Free
2 Men 200 M Free
3 Women 200 M Breast
4 Men 400 M Breast
5 Women 400 M Medley Relay
6 Mixed 400 M Medley Relay
7 Men 400 M Medley Relay
9 Women 50 M Free
10 Men 50 M Free
11 Women 50 M Back
12 Men 50 M Back
13 Women 200 M Fly
14 Men 200 M Fly
15 Women 50 M Breast
16 Men 50 M Breast
17 Women 400 M Free Relay
18 Mixed 400 M Free Relay
19 Men 400 M Free Relay
21 Women 200 M Back
22 Men 200 M Back
23 Women 50 M Fly
24 Men 50 M Fly
25 Women 100 M Free
26 Men 100 M Free
27 Women 200 M IM
28 Men 200 M IM
29 Women 400 M Free
30 Men 400 M Free

We challenge every member of DAM to swim in the meet. We want everyone to make your current swim routine relevant. Take your 60 minutes of practice and elevate it to 60 seconds of effort. Gather up all the training, time and technique you’ve expended and absorbed, and roll it into one day of competition. The 'good' type of competition. It won’t be 'Us' versus 'Them'. This is not a team-scored meet. Instead, this event is sports purity at its essence. It’s an individual-effort meet. A marvelous opportunity for you, and your lane mates, and your team mates and your coaches to all share the same goal. Part of our coaching vision is to bring every DAM swimmer together to do the same thing, at the same time, at the same place. We see this as helping each other take risks, set goals and accept personal challenges. That’s what we think our DAM community is really all about.

If you're in town on August 8th, we’re inviting you to the Schaal Pool.

Here is the Club Assistant link to register for the meet online - DAM End-of-Summer Splash

Here are some compelling arguments as to why you should enter:

TOP 10 REASONS TO SWIM IN THE AUGUST LONG COURSE MEET
10. TO PRACTICE AT A MEET EVERYTHING YOU PRACTICE AT PRACTICE
9. SWIM IN AN OLYMPIC-SIZED POOL
8. CHECK OFF ANOTHER ITEM FROM YOUR BUCKET LIST
7. SPEND HALF A DAY WITH TEAMMATES YOU HAVEN’T MET YET
6. DO YOUR PART TO HELP WITH A TEAM FUNDRAISER
5. RACE A 50 WITHOUT A FLIP TURN
4. YOU CAN SWIM ON A RELAY W/PRETTY GIRLS/GOOD-LOOKING GUYS
3. SET A TEAM RECORD/EARN A TOP TEN USMS RELAY RANKING
2. TO REWARD YOURSELF AFTERWARDS WITH A TALL, COOL ONE
And the number 1 reason to swim in the August long course meet...
1. IT'S FUN, FUN, FUN!!

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June 22 2015

Your First Swim Meet

As much as your DAM coaches enjoy the camaraderie and uplifting environment of daily practices, we know that swim meets are really the best thing our sport has to offer. If you’ve never swum in a meet before, you might be missing out on a huge part of the sport.

Whether you’re nervous about swimming in front of people or are worried that you’ll finish last in your race, you also might be misinformed about what Masters meets are all about. Meets are surprisingly friendly and laid back, full of people just like you. Chances are many of them are about your speed, too, but if you never go, you’ll never know. Here are a few reasons why you should consider checking out a Masters meet.

Competition doesn’t have to be intense but it can be
When you do go to your first meet and swim your first race, you’ll find it incredibly exhilarating. Especially the 50's. Sprinting as fast as possible for a short burst is a real, full-body rush. If you haven't flooded your body with adrenaline and endorphins in a while then, just like a car's carburetor, you're probably are in need of a systems flush. And after the race; after the meet, remember those experiences and feelings by depositing them into your confidence bank. You can withdraw later whenever needed.

Use competition to test yourself against yourself and against your age group
A lot of people are not aware that Masters meets are swum by entered times but scored by age groups. That means you'll be racing next to someone of similar speed though not necessarily the same age. The race results are then parsed into five-year age brackets, so chances are good that at our August 8 LC meet very few of the events will more than 10 people in an individual age group. This gives you a pretty good chance of doing well in at least one of your races. However,other than: 1) comparing yourself with your cohorts, 2) achieving personal satisfaction or 3) receiving a hug or handshake from your coach, there are no other awards at the 8/8 meet.

Use meets to help you set goals at practices and future meets
We all need goals or else we run the risk of the activity getting old and stale. Someone who only goes to swim practices may not be getting everything they can out of the sport. Going to meets and seeing what other people your age are doing can help direct you on how you want to swim. That direction, coupled with coaching support and guidance, is both inspiring and invigorating.

Benefit from the social aspect
Come and find out what it really means to be part of a team. Meets are such a good place for you to get to know your teammates and build lifelong friendships. This helps when you might have a hard time finding the motivation to go to practice. It’s a lot easier to go if you know your friends will be there.

Remember the first KOW of the year was Competition, which in the original Latin meant to 'strive together towards a common goal'. If you keep that in mind, swimming in a meet isn’t such a scary idea anymore. Be bold; give it a go! You won't regret it.

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June 15 2015

Summer Swimming

Though not a huge schedule change for the club (we still offer nine practices a day), the next eight weeks bring modifications and variations to our DAM program. Here are the TOP TEN clarifications about Summer Swimming.

  1. Long Course is at the UCD Schaal pool on T/TH mornings (6-7) and evenings (6-8). Please be prepared to help put lane lines in and take them out at the start and end of each session.
  2. The Aquadarts have the Civic pool reserved M-F from 8-10am. Plan your 7am cool-down to end by 8am, and avoid coming too early at 10am.
  3. If you're taking an extended vacation of a month or more, contact Finance Director, Allan Crow at admin@damfast.org to place a hold on your dues payment.
  4. When ending a vacation where your dues were paused, please notify Allan upon your return.
  5. If inviting a friend/visitor/family member to a DAM practice, please insure they are a USMS member before coming to the pool.
  6. All drop-ins at practices or open swim pay a $10 fee and must be USMS members.
  7. Visitors will be asked to wait through the warmup to see if space is available before paying the drop-in fee.
  8. Prospective members are allowed three free swims during a two-week period, and must bring a completed USMS Tryout Form (available at damfast.org) with them to their first practice. Successful tryouts begin with four continuous lengths of freestyle swimming with sideways breathing.
  9. DAM hosts a long course meet at Schaal on Sat, August 8. Everyone who trains LC this summer is encouraged to attend.
  10. This year the meet offers 400 meter relays. DAM will be putting relays together to set team records and finish in the National Top Ten rankings.

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June 8 2015

Finis Tempo Trainer
One of the biggest, most immediate benefits of our recent and highly successful Big Day of Giving has been the purchase of new DAM training equipment. Fins, paddles and buoys have already made their way into the team inventory at Civic and Arroyo. One other item that we're excited about using are Tempo Trainers from Finis. Currently, we have 30 of the Tempo Trainer Pro (TTP) models at Civic and expect to buy 30 more this week for Arroyo. We've experimented with them at two recent practices and are very pleased with the swimmer feedback and product potential.

Here is some basic information about the features, operation and benefits. It will be very helpful if everyone can familiarize themselves with the button sequencing in advance of their first trial swim this Friday, June 12.

The TTP is a simple waterproof metronome that emits a beep corresponding to designated increments of time. When used correctly, swimmers learn a consistent, rhythmic, evenly paced swimming style that carries over phenomenally to racing. Swimmers who combine distance per stroke (DPS) with appropriate tempos swim smarter and faster. 

WEARING THE TTP 

• The Tempo Trainer Pro must be worn underneath a swim cap, in front or behind the ear, with the buttons facing out. DAM will provide caps at practices for those who don't normally wear swim caps.


OPERATION 

• To turn the unit ON, press and hold button [B] button for 1 (one) second. The button, if in mode 1, will begin beeping immediately
• To turn the unit OFF, hold down both buttons [B] and [C] at the same time 
• To scroll the setting UP and increase the duration between beeps (slower cadence), press button [B]. Hold down button [B] to make the time scroll faster
• To scroll the time DOWN and decrease the duration between beeps (faster cadence), press button [C]. Hold down button [C] to make the time scroll faster
• Hold down button [A] to switch modes.

MODES 

• The device has three modes. Mode 1 is for Stroke Rate or Tempo in cycles per second; Mode 2 is for using the beeps for sendoffs like a Pace Clock and Mode 3 is for Stroke Rate or Tempo in cycles per minute. For the time being we will be using only Mode 1. 

GETTING STARTED 

• The purpose of the Tempo Trainer Pro is to help you find the optimum combination of Distance-per-Stroke (DPS) and stroke rate (SR). We will use it first to individualize sprinting speeds but the device is equally valuable in quantifying cruising or distance paces.

**IMPORTANT NOTE** - For freestyle and backstroke, we'll set the beep to synchronize with TWO ARM PULLS PER BEEP. Your goal is to have the same hand in the same position in time with the audible sound. That position can either be the entry of the hand in front OR the exit of the hand at your thigh.

For Sprinting on Friday 6/12/2015, we started with the outer parameters of DPS and SR and work our way in.

1. 2 x 25 Freestyle, with the Tempo Trainer Pro set at 1.00 seconds in Mode 1. For most people this will be a very high turn-over, very difficult to accomplish
2. 2 x 25 Freestyle, set at 2.00 seconds. You will be amazed at how much slower and longer another 1.00 seconds will feel. Reach, pull and push with good DPS. 

Now that you have established both ends of the spectrum, you will want to find that ideal setting somewhere in between where you are most efficient.

3. Continue the pattern of adding and subtracting 2 one-hundredths of a second per pair of 25 repeats
4. 2 x 25 Freestyle, set at 1.20 seconds 
5. 2 x 25 Freestyle, set at 1.80 seconds
6. 2 x 25 Freestyle, set at 1.40 seconds 
7. 2 x 25 Freestyle, set at 1.60 seconds 
8. At some setting you will find the perfect combination of stroke rate and DPS that will elevate the quality of your swimming. This setting should also be your fastest 25. Remember this setting for future sprinting sessions with the TTP.
 

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June 1 2015

Open Water Reminders

Patterns

  • Race Effort Sprint (1-2%)- Steady (97%) – Sprint (1-2%)
  • Sighting Every 10 strokes at first, then 20-30
  • Breathing  Bilateral and often

Strategies

  • Draft Stay in bubbles of or at hips of faster swimmers
  • Observe Wear clear goggles, look around under water
  • Landmarks Pre-sight large, stationary objects beyond buoys

(After rounding the second & final turn buoy on the 1 and 2 mile races, look on the ridge bluff back on shore, behind the finish arch. The bright, yellow All-Star Rents truck should be positioned directly in line with the course and the finish line. Sight for the truck on the bluff.)

Techniques

  • Recovery Straighter arms in choppy water
  • Tempo Slightly quicker with less kick
  • Sighting Two to three, consecutive, forward alligator lifts 

Cautions

  • Contact Prepare for ‘bumping’ at the start and at the buoy turns
  • Objects Things floating only seem like scary creatures
  • Wierdos Sometimes people do strange things

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May 18 2015

Open Water

There are just three weeks remaining to enter the DAM-hosted Lake Berryessa 1 and 2 mile OW races on Sat., June 6. During those three weeks, all of the Distance Day sessions be focused on drafting, sighting and race strategies. Any and all DAM swimmers have the conditioning and strength to complete the 1 mile swim, and by attending the upcoming Distance Day practices they will gain the confidence. Yes, the first OW swim is a little unnerving but we guarantee that feeling doesn't last forever.

(Full disclosure from Stu and Mary - our swim coaching specialty is definitely pool swimming but we have a lot of coach-friends who are experts in open water. We've turned to them for expert advice.)

Here is some general OW info and a few links to specific topics and websites.

Most local OW events are either .5, 1 or 2 mile races, and they all begin with a safety meeting for all participants before the first event. The actual race starts are from a beach or in the water and that is where the conditions are most crowded. If you're anxious about being jostled at the start, stay away from the middle of the pack and move out towards the edges, though many good swimmers now place themselves on the fringes of line to get a calmer start. After the race begins, the line of swimmers quickly changes from horizontal to vertical as the competitors jockey for placement ahead or behind each other. Other than thinking of keeping up your technique as fatigue breaks it down, the only other two items on your mental checklist should be sighting and drafting. And, of the two, sighting is more important. Swimming in non-linear directions can add as much as 20-25% to the total race distance. That's upwards of 600 yards in a 2 mile swim. Watch this video to see swimmers finishing an ocean race as they head to the beach. This video makes it clear that you can add a lot of distance to your swim by not swimming straight.

Ten Steps to Open Water Improvement

Nine Secrets to Proper Open Water Sighting

Key Principles of Open Water Drafting

And here is a YouTube video on Sighting and Navigating (See if you can recognize the voice of the narrator. Hint - a former DAM Head Coach.)

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May 11 2015

Hand Paddles

Compared to fins, the science behind hand paddles is still relatively unknown despite their common use and the extensive research and design in their creation. According to the manufacturers, hand paddles can help: 1) increase efficiency, 2) create a more consistent feel for the water, 3) help build better swim mechanics, and 4) improve overall strength and technique.

However, in the case of technically inefficient, beginning swimmers or experienced swimmers with compromised neck, shoulder or elbow problems we DAM coaches recommend the use of paddles be minimized or eliminated entirely.

When used properly and over the right distance, hand paddles have been shown to create substantial improvement in power and feel. It’s clear from research and anecdotal observation that swimming speed may improve when using paddles, but it's unclear whether paddles improve long term aerobic outcomes via transfer to non-paddle swimming.

Selecting the correct paddles is a little more involved than choosing the right swim fins. As a starting point, the surface area of the paddles shouldn't be larger than about 10% of the hand. Once the large upper body muscles strengthen and adapt to hand paddle use, then the size of the paddle can increase. Second, begin hand paddle use by selecting styles that are perforated over solid plastic shapes. The holes reduce water resistance by allowing fluid to pass through the openings, thus increasing hand sensitivity.

In our KISD training plan, we offer at least one Pulling day per week, if not two. Even though we value the advantages of paddles, we still remain sensitive to the DAM member population by offering paddles in three basic sizes (small, medium and large) from seven different manufacturers.

Use the following descriptions as a guide when choosing your paddles. 

Small sizes

HAN'S PADDLES  - These black paddles feature well-designed holes balanced throughout each paddle. This increased hand-sensitivity to the water leads to technical stroke efficiency. Han's Paddles are designed to minimize joint stress. The adjustable finger holes - 3 parallel positions with smaller holes near the center for the size of each swimmer's hand. The middle finger should reach the end of the paddle in the normal position.

FINIS AGILITY PADDLES - The ergonomically advanced design of the Agility Paddles helps teach swimmers the correct palm positive hand position. Due to the paddles' strapless design, incorrect technique will cause the paddle to fall off the swimmer’s hand. The Agility Paddles’ convex design also promotes an early catch and reminds swimmers to maintain an early vertical forearm position. The Agility Paddles are versatile, they work for all four strokes and accommodate most hand sizes.

Small and Medium Sizes

FINIS FULCRUM PADDLES - (Yellow/small, white/medium) Known as the SHOULDER-SAFE PADDLES, this new paddle reduces if not eliminates shoulder stress allowing you to use larger paddles safely during sessions. The new improved design allows for a very fast catch and develops high speed neuromuscular coordination. Providing swimmers with greater feel of the water while swimming. The paddles build muscle size, strength, quickness and increases propulsion, while allowing for a higher arm turn over rate.

SPEEDO I.M. TECH PADDLES - (Blue/small, Red/medium) Now you can maximize all your training needs with the first multi-stroke paddle. The I.M Tech Paddle from Speedo was specifically designed to benefit the catch, pull and feel for all four swimming techniques. Paddles may be interchanged between right and left hands for specific stroke practice. The pronounced edge promotes better feel for "catch" phase of each stroke.

Medium and Large

RECREONICS PADDLES - (Red/medium, Yellow/large) These swim paddles are for aquatic exercise and competitive swimming training.

STROKEMAKER PADDLES - These are the original stroke technique paddles. Designed to improve technique and increase strength in the swimming specific muscles while reducing the pressure on the shoulders, these are the paddles used by the majority of the top swimmers in the world. Flexible, buoyant and now more resilient.

TYR CATALYST PADDLES - These paddles help improve stroke technique while building strength. Showcasing a patented keyhole design, the LVC Training Paddles help distribute pressure more evenly while improving water feel and reducing shoulder stress. 

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May 4 2015

Long Fins

Shortly after taking the reins in 2008, I added a long fin kicking day to the weekly exercise routine. It was to become the linchpin of our KISD training acronym. Growing up as a swimmer in the late 60's and early 70's, kicking was a term I hardly ever heard mentioned or even saw utilized. In fact, one reputable coach during that era advised his swimmers not to kick on any race over a 200 for fear that the blood vessels in their legs could burst. 
Today, the kick has become so important in short course swimming that it's termed 'The Fifth Stroke'. All sprinters now use a continuous (6-kicks per 2 pulls) motion and most of the top middle- and distance swimmers do, as well. 
Here are the four biggest reasons DAM uses long fins.

Increase fitness and Cardiovascular Conditioning - Although swimming is considered one of the best aerobic or cardiovascular-conditioning exercises, many people forget to use their legs where the largest muscles are located. Since the greatest cardiovascular benefits come from including the highest percentage of the body's muscles - that's why cross-country skiing and rowing are considered two of the most demanding sports - it makes sense that swimmers who activate the large muscle mass of the legs by kicking will benefit from a more demanding workout that burns more calories and increases fitness levels. Add fins to the equation and the increased load they add to the legs means that as long as exertion levels remain high, the cardiovascular system gets an even more intense workout with even greater fitness benefits.

Increase Ankle Flexibility - Have you ever noticed that runners, cyclists or triathletes new to swimming who start a serious swim program have a hard time just kicking and going anywhere? In fact, they sometimes go backward! One reason is that their ankles are so inflexible that when they kick, their feet act like hooks, catching the water and pulling the frustrated swimmer in the wrong direction. Good swimmers, on the other hand, can hyperextend (plantar flex) their ankles, pointing their toes so that the top of the foot forms a straight line with the shin. Because of the extra load from the increased surface area that fins provide, swimming or kicking with fins forces ankle extension during the power phase (pushing down when swimming freestyle) of the kick. Repeated fin use eventually stretches the ankles, increasing their flexibility for moving in all directions and helping the kick become more propulsive and efficient. The extra load from the increased surface area that fins provide, swimming or kicking with fins forces ankle extension during the power phase (pushing down when swimming freestyle) of the kick.

Develop Leg Strength - Kicking with fins is like lifting weights: the added resistance of the water on the blade of the fin increases the workload on your leg muscles. Your body adapts by increasing the strength and endurance of the muscles involved. Stronger muscles move more water making you swim faster, all other things being equal. Another note about specificity: Remember that muscular strength for swimming needs to be "specific." Good runners, cyclists, roller bladers, etc. can have very strong leg muscles, but the muscles have developed for running, cycling or roller blading, not for swimming. Fins develop leg strength specifically for swimming, and in a way that few other activities can.

Improve Body Position and Technique - Fins add extra propulsion to the stroke, which increases a swimmer's speed through the water. Good swimmers tend to plane on top of the water while poor swimmers tend to drag their legs and swim in a more vertical position slowing them down. One of the goals of swimming faster with fins is to swim faster when the fins are taken off! By transferring the feeling of swimming faster and higher with fins to swimming without them, a swimmer makes use of a phenomenon know as neuromuscular patterning. The muscles and the nerves can actually remember the feeling of swimming faster and will try to duplicate the pattern the next time out. The more times the pattern is repeated (swimming faster and higher in the water with fins), the easier it is to duplicate it. The end result: the swimmer's technique and neuromuscular coordination improves.

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April 27 2015
Fun

As a noun, Webster defines fun as something or someone that is amusing or enjoyable. For Mary and I, our time over the past five days at a swim meet in San Antonio was both. The USMS Nationals meet, held at the brand new Northside Aquatics Center (see photo), a facility similar to the one we envision for Davis, was one of the best Masters' meets we've ever attended. The whole event dripped with Southern hospitality and humidity. Despite back-to-back nights of the biggest, baddest lightening storms we've ever seen, the days were warm and perfect for fast racing. Meets like this start with nervous energy and anticipation, and end with hugs and pats on the back. Everyone representing the DAM team (see photo) had their moment(s) in the sun...and had fun doing it. Though we had different goals, we all represented the best DAM team at the meet. You could tell who we were from the the same shirt the ten of us wore for four straight days.

Some of the fun of being with 1,880 other swimmers, was seeing old friends and making new ones; being awed by a 98 year old woman's 1:07 50 free; watching USA Olympians competing and enjoying their USMS experiences; and mainly cheering on our DAM teammates. There was a lot to celebrate, especially on Sunday, the fourth day of the meet. Nine DAM swimmers turned in at least one personal best time, but all ten had fun.

The team set 13 individual team records and one relay. Sarah Hernandez (30) led the way with six 1st place finishes and seven team records. Mary Kahn (55) set new team standards in four individual events and one relay. Andy McPherson (67) and Cecily Sprouse (58) each broke one individual record and combined with Mary and Stu to set a new record in the 55+ 200 Free Relay.
Our club finished in 40th place with 141 points. (Last year in Santa Clara, the DAM team of 89 swimmers was third with 1,027 points, a score that would have been third again this year.)

Here are the DAM point scorers and a list of new team records and placings.
Sarah Hernandez – 64 points
Leslie Westergaard (72) – 27 points
Matt Roper (34) – 19 pts
Andy McPherson (67) – 16 pts
Mel Belluomni (37) – 5 pts
Mary Kahn (55) -3pts
Kris Hornoff (67) – 1pt
200 F.R. – 6pts

Records
Sarah Hernandez - 50 free 23.43 (leadoff split); 100 free 51.13 (1); 50 back 26.49 (1); 100 back 57.31 (1), 50 fly 25.78 (2), 100 fly 56.75 (1), 100 IM 58.66 (1).
Mary Kahn – 200 free 2:25.87 (11); 50 back 34.15 (8), 100 back 1:14.91 (13); 200 back 2:45.62 (12).
Cecily Sprouse – 50 brst 41.04 (14).
Andy McPherson – 100 free 56.51 (4)
Kahn, Kahn, Sprouse, McPherson – 55+ 200 F.R. 1:54.02 (8)

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April 6, 2015

Pacific Masters Swimming

The short course yards championships for Pacific Masters Swimming are being held this weekend at Campolindo HS in Moraga. DAM is sending a squad of 36 swimmers and will compete in the medium-size team division. The next local pool meet is the long course championships taking place July 24-26 in San Jose. With these two big meets on the horizon, we wanted to introduce and highlight the role that Pacific Masters Swimming plays in our sport.

Pacific Masters, a subordinate organization of the United States Masters Swimming (USMS) corporation, is, along with the other forty-nine Local Masters Swim Committees (LMSC's), charged with supervisory responsibilities within a specific geographical territory. That territory, ranging from the Oregon border to mid-Nevada and south to Fresno, encompasses nearly one-fifth of all registered swimmers in the country. Last year, our LMSC was home to 11,887 USMS members, and DAM was again the largest club in Pacific Swimming with 710 swimmers.

USMS originated at a single swimming meet of 46 swimmers in 1970 and has now grown to nearly 60,000 registered swimmers. Taking his cue from that first meet, Mike Milliman from Walnut Creek (and coincidentally Stu's age group coach at the time) hosted the second-ever masters meet three months later, that drew 60 swimmers. Stu's dad, Steve Kahn, swam in that meet.

Also at that meet were Ray and Zada Taft who, in 1971, founded the San Mateo Master Marlins, the first officially recognized club in the LMSC. In 1972, the Tafts brought the National AAU Short Course Championships to Northern California and 325 swimmers attended in San Mateo. More local teams were formed and in 1974, Dave Scott established the Davis Aquatic Masters, team number seven. Just three years later, at the Community Park Pool in Davis, and under the direction of Dave's father, Verne Scott (Chairman of Pacific Masters Swimming), DAM hosted the first Pacific Masters Championships with over 300 swimmers participating. Verne's tenure also coincided with Pacific Masters inaugural open water competition, when DAM introduced the Lake Berryessa swim on June 6, 1982. 

Verne was recognized as Pacific Masters Male Swimmer of the year in 1982, along with fellow DAM swimmers Mike Collins (1990), Andy McPherson (1992) and Brad Winsor (1995). Collins was also Pacific Masters Coach of the year in 1992, as was Stu Kahn in 2012.

Pacific Masters Swimming administers its competitive swimming program through the Pacific Masters Swimming Committee, which consists of representatives from each club registered with Pacific Masters Swimming. Each club will have at least one representative and an additional representative for every 100 members. Stu and Mary Kahn are currently Co-Chairs of the LMSC Coaches Committee, and, as such, are members of the Pacific Masters Executive Committee.

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