Swimmer's Ear
Newsletter of the Potomac Valley Masters Committee
March 2014

    Newsletter Schedule printed 3 times a year
  • January (deadline: December 15)
  • June (deadline: May 15)
  • September (deadline: August 15)

  Note from the Chair

I hope 2013 was a great year for you and you find 2014 as successful.

For those of you new to Potomac Valley or USMS, welcome! We have had quite a winter and I’m sure all of you are excited about the prospect of spring and summer coming along.

This is my first term as Potomac Valley Chair, and as I step into Jeff Strahota’s big shoes I find myself learning every day. I encourage everyone to ask questions and make requests of us as your Board. We are here to improve swimming lives within our local LMSC. If you are interested in volunteering, we have many opportunities in all sorts of capacities. Feel free to reach out and ask not what your LMSC can do for you, but what can you do for the sport that has brought you here.

This will be an exciting competitive year for all of us as Long Course Nationals is being hosted locally at University of Maryland this summer. I hope everyone will be able to participate in some capacity, whether as a swimmer in the meet or volunteering for the event.

As you ponder your goals for the year and have ideas about our master’s teams or events, feel free to reach out to me or any of us on the Board so that we can make Potomac Valley even better. -- John Carlson

PV logo

  Articles & Interviews

Emad & Sabrina
Interview with Emad & Sabrina Elshafei, Bay Swim Winners
by Cheryl Wagner

1984 Olympian and former Terrapin Masters coach, Emad Elshafei, was the top Masters swimmer in the Chesapeake Bay 1 Mile Swim finishing in 18:19. And his daughter, Sabrina, was the top female finisher in 18:20. Emad met his wife, Donna, a former member of Terrapin Masters, at a Bay Swim and they were married 6 months later in January 1996. Donna swam on the University of Maryland College Park varsity team. Their children, Sabrina and Adam are both accomplished swimmers. Here is a brief interview with Emad and Sabrina.

What is your swimming background?
Emad: I swam competitively in Egypt at a high level until age 25 and then I started to swim masters with the Terps when I came to MD in 1992. I began competing in Masters in 1993.

Sabrina: Sabrina started to swim competitively at age 11, and has been in the top 10 in MD for 5 years in a row in the breaststroke events. She made state finals every year since she was 12 and won silver at the LC State Championship at age 14. She also made Sectional cut every year since she was 14.

How do you train?
Emad: Since 1996 I have been swimming on my own for 30 minutes two or three times a week. I even took off a few years when our kids were born in 1996 and 1999. I have 82 top ten individual events.

In 2006 and 2012, I was ranked in the FINA LC top ten in the world (in 2012, I was 9th in 400 IM and 10th in 200 back). Two years ago, I started to swim in Columbia with their masters swim team. I swim for an hour 3 days a week, about 3200-3500 yards, and this was my training for the bay.

Sabrina: She currently swims in Columbia with the Columbia Association Aquatics (CAA) and they train in two facilities in Columbia. Sabrina swims for two hours 6 days a week.

What are your current and future swimming plans?
Emad: I mainly swam the 1-mile Chesapeake Bay Swim to have an experience with my daughter who wanted to experience an open water swim. It is interesting because it was at the 4.4 mile bay swim, in 1995, that I met my wife, Donna.

Sabrina: She is currently finishing her senior year in High School, and excited about making a choice for college. She has been accepted at UM College Park, Catholic University, and Loyola University of MD, among others. If she goes to UMCP (to follow in her parents footsteps), she will join the swim club and possibly the Terrrapin Masters. Otherwise, she will be swimming with the varsity team. A final decision will be made by May 1st.

Sabrina just competed in the MD State Championship and had two best times in the 200 breast and 1650 free, and will be competing at Sectionals at VA Tech. in late March.

This year, Sabrina will do the Chesapeake Bay 4.4 mile event, and Emad will be there to support her.

Lisa Wolf
Notes from the Fitness Chair
by Lisa Wolf

Greetings and Happy New Year to all Potomac Valley USMS Members. I hope that 2014 will be a great year for everyone!

As Fitness Chair, swimmer and coach, I have the pleasure of meeting many swimmers who typically are not the “old” Masters swimmer stereotype. USMS started out (in a nutshell) by a group of former swimmers who still felt they had some “competitive fire” and desire to continue the benefits of swimming in their life AFTER high school and college. Today, many USMS members still fit this mold but a growing population of USMS consists of swimmers who did not grow up in a competitive swimming environment.

USMS has created several “events” that may fit the bill for a swimmer who wants to get back into shape in a non competitive atmosphere but still allow you to feel a sense of accomplishment. Here are a few ideas that may add some spice to your current training plan:
  • Try to learn a new stroke- if you can’t swim breast stroke, ask your coach for a few pointers in learning how to kick properly.
  • Flip turns aren’t for everyone but what about asking your coach to review your open turn and provide some tips on making it more efficient?
  • Set a new interval for your 50’s or 100’s. It doesn’t have to be a big drop in interval or even one that you keep each practice. Challenge yourself once in awhile to “speed it up”.
  • FLOG- USMS has a great training log you can use to track workouts. Check out the link: http://www.usms.org/fitness/content/fitnesslogs?utm_campaign=top_nav&utm_medium=swim_for_fitness
  • Even if you don’t have any interest in entering a swim meet, what about volunteering to be a timer or assist in another way? (seeing the meet from deck level may hook you into giving it a try!)
I dare you to try something new- challenge yourself to do something a bit outside your comfort zone. I’m sure you will surprise yourself! Happy swimming,

Lisa Wolf

Benjamin Franklin, Swimmer
by Theraquatics.com

Benjamin Franklin Benjamin Franklin was an avid swimmer from a very young age. Throughout his life he consistently promoted its healthful benefits. At the ripe old age of 11 he invented a pair of swim fins. However, unlike today's foot flippers, these were attached to one's hands. His advocacy for swimming was recognized by his induction into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1968.



USMS Appoints PV members to National Committee & Colonies Zone Chairs

  • Jeff Roddin - Championship Chair
  • Lynn Hazlewood - Open Water Chair
  • Ray Novitske - Recognition & Awards Chair
  • Jeffrey Strahota - Colonies Zone Chair

Jeff Roddin Wins Ted Haartz U.S.M.S. Staff Appreciation Award
Source: http://www.usms.org/admin/awards/award.php?a=13

Jeff Roddin
One of the best things about working for USMS is the opportunity to work with a passionate group of people who love swimming as much as we do. Each year, the staff has the difficult task of choosing only one volunteer to receive the Ted Haartz Staff Appreciation Award. The person we selected this year is a longtime volunteer. He’s served at the local, LMSC, and national levels. His approach to any project is organized, thoughtful, deliberate, and detailed. As an LMSC registrar who’s more technologically proficient than the average bear, he’s a formidable beta tester for programs and services designed for registrars.

Whatever project he’s working on is better for his input. He’s also keenly aware of deadlines and the inner workings of the organization. He’s a gifted mediator, who wields both carrot and stick with equal precision. He’s honest and straightforward when communicating with members, volunteers, and staff. He has the ability to quickly assess a situation and formulate an appropriate response. And when the excretory material hits the turbine, and everyone else is frustrated, he uses his deliciously wicked sense of humor to distract us. Contrary to what we’ve always heard, apparently it really does take a rocket scientist to figure all this out. So it is my honor to stand up here, represent the staff, and give a big stick to a guy who really knows how to use one, along with carrots, whine, and cheese, Mr. Jeffrey Roddin.


Arlington Masters Thanks Coaches
by Alison Mathey

T he Arlington Masters celebrated at their annual holiday party. We'd like to thank our Coaches, Dan Summers and Mike Stevenson" for sticking with us and providing great workouts.


USMS Convention Photos
by Deb Morrin-Nordlund

House of Delegates (Ray Novitske)

House of Delegates

Jeff Roddin



  Meet News


Diana Corbin finished Catalina Channel Solo Swim - August 27/28, 2013

Here are photos of my Catalina Channel swim: one at sunrise with my kayaker Don Rasky, one taken just after I got back on the boat to return to the dock - I FINISHED!, and another one back at the dock with my awesome crew.

And here is a link to an article that ran in my hometown newspaper in California, the Whittier Daily News (and affiliates). They had a few errors (the swim was August 27/28), but still it was fun to be recognized for this effort by my hometown paper. http://www.whittierdailynews.com/general-news/20130906/whittier-native-completes-catalina-channel-swim

Again, thank you everyone for your support and encouragement. Best wishes and fishes, - Diana



at dock

Germantown Solstice Meet 12/7/13

From Scott Golden: This following is a true story -- just ask some of Germantown's finest.

The first time I swam the 200 free was in a 4x200 free relay. We were short of swimmers, so I did the team a favor. Everyone said it would be easy: long and strong for the first 100, bring it home in the next 100. Sounds easy.....just like the instructions to assemble Trophzilla. Guess what? Not so friggin easy.

Back to the swim: I went out fast....like "best time fast" in the first 100. Felt pretty good. Did I forget to tell you I ate a bag of peanut M&M's 20 minutes before this race as I thought my day was over....it was not!

Back to the race. On lap 5, I am reminded of the M&M's, but this time, the taste was not great. My relay watched in horror as I approached the wall. To my teammates, it looked like my head may have hit the wall. I did not hit the wall, but the joy of the M&M's reversing their course made me swallow hard and continue. I wanted to quit, but could not let my team down.

In the end, I finished....just like I will with Trophzilla. The winner of The Cup will have won a piece of history that has logged more man hours than an overworked, first year legal associate at a giant New York City law firm.

I had to eat a lot of M&M's to get this trophy over the finish line, but it's a price I was willing to pay.

Trophyzilla lives! - Scott Golden, Captain, M&M's taste testing team, 2005


GERM at the Solstice meet

GERM at Manassas

Lisa, Lisa, Brenna - GERM

Ellen & Deb









Tropical Splash
by Ray Novitske

185 swimmers opted for a little tropical atmosphere and hot tub action to shake off winter's cold at the January 26 Tropical Splash meet in Alexandria. Once again, we reached the entry limit for the annual meet before the sign-up deadline. Several participants from as far away as Pittsburgh joined in the fun this year, and 24 swimmers called this their first Masters swim meet.

Many notable swims should qualify for national top times in 2014. These included a sizzling swim by distance guru Katie McWilliams in the 500 Free as well as the 200 Free and 400 IM, and Lisa Groves in 50 and 100 Breast. We watched as Michelle DeFreese flew in the 50 Fly, and Mollie Grover aced the 100 IM. Also note Traci Pellegrini in the 200 Breast, and ageless Shirley Loftus-Charley in 100 Free, 200 Fly, 400 IM.

For the men, standouts included Nathan Destree in 50 Fly, MIchael Lee 50 & 100 Free, and all-around Neil Williams in the 100 Individual Medley.

We look forward to seeing everyone again at next year's meet on January 25, 2015.
Aloha, Ray Novitske

Ohio & Germantown

Awards table


UNAT & Lane 4


Norfolk State

Riptide Masters

Alex & Arlington

DC Leviathan

Maryland Masters

VA (Chinn)




VA & DC Masters











ALEX check-in



2014 Colonies Zone SCY Championships
by Cheryl Ward

2014 Colonies Zone SCY Championships
Friday April 4 - Sunday April 6, 2014
George Mason University, Fairfax, VA

2014 Long Course Nationals - College Park Maryland
by Jeff Roddin

The University of Maryland will be hosting the 2014 Marriott USMS Summer (Long Course) Nationals Aug 13-17, 2014 at their premier facility in College Park. This will be the first time in USMS history for a pool USMS National Championship to be hosted within Potomac Valley. If you are a 2014 USMS registered swimmer, YOU QUALIFY TO SWIM IN THIS MEET! All swimmers may swim up to three individual events without meeting a qualifying time (exception: you must meet the qualifying time to swim the 1500 free). To swim more than three events you must meet the qualifying times for the additional events. Furthermore all swimmers may swim up to 4 relays (relays do not have qualifying times). Potomac Valley swimmers should take advantage of this unique opportunity to participate in USMS Nationals held so close to home. More information is available on the USMS website under National Championships. Official meet information will be in the May/June issue of SWIMMER magazine and on the USMS website in April. www.usms.org - Jeff

IF YOU NEED TO QUALIFY FOR AN EVENT, contact Frank Marcinkowski frank@l4swimming.org since his team will be having a timed event on a Sunday from 7-11PM.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! 2014 Long Course Nationals - College Park Maryland
by Natalie Ferdinand

Hello Masters,
I hope you have started your New Year with a bang and are keeping to those resolutions.

If one of your resolutions was to give more of yourself, then you are in luck. As many of you know, we are hosting Masters Summer Nationals in August (13-17) and we need several volunteers to make this event happen. Specifically, I am looking for some volunteers to assist with our registration, hospitality and awards areas at this time. The registration area will entail helping swimmers check in for the meet and directing them to various areas of our facility. As several of you already swim at our facility and live in the area, you would be the perfect people for this job because you could also share information about the little know eateries and fun things to do in and around DC. The hospitality area will entail, making sure all food for each meal is set up and ready to go for the swimmers, officials and VIPs. You will also be tasked with managing the area to ensure access is granted only to those who are entitled to the service. Finally, in the awards area, we will need volunteers to help swimmers collect their medals and championship patches to celebrate a job well done.

If you are able to help for a day or the entire meet, any assistance you can provide will be greatly appreciated. The best part about helping is that you will have access to see all the fast swims and receive direct praise from all of the swimmers for being there and making the meet an enjoyable experience for them.

Please let me know in which area or areas I can put you down to be a rock star volunteer.
Thanks, Natalie nferdina@umd.edu

p.s we will also need timers for the meet so if you are able to assist there, or know friends or family who want to come out and help. please let me know that as well.

2014 Fantasy Camps

Participants at the USA Swimming Foundation’s Fantasy Camps will spend a weekend on the campus of the iconic Fantasy Camp U.S. Olympic Training Center, where they’ll have the opportunity to live, eat and train like a National Team Athlete. While on campus, participants will train in the world-renowned Olympic Training Complex Aquatic Center—a state-of-the-art facility containing a 50m by 25m pool that is equipped with every conceivable training aid. The Aquatic Center is arguably the finest training facility in the world, and has been the training site for nearly every U.S. Olympic swimmer. Both camps are led by two of the top coaches in the world, and feature special guest Olympic gold medalists. Click here to learn more about our Fantasy Camp coaches and special guests.

2014 fantasy camp - adult
Coaches and Special Guests: Nathan Adrian, Bruce Gemmell and Rowdy Gaines
When: October 17-19th
Where: Olympic Training Center, Colorado Springs
Ages: Open to adults ages 18+
Cost: $2,500*
Registration: Email Mariah Cunnick mariah cunnick or call 719.866.3614

Open Water Swim Team

Winter training at Severna Park Community Center
Location: 623 Baltimore Annapolis Rd, Severna Park, MD 21146
Time: Sunday 6pm-8pm
Date: Nov 3 - Mid April

Crossing Currents Aquatics is home for athletes to train together for open water swim improvement and success.

Weekly coached practices will utilize tempo training and video analysis to refine stroke mechanics and imprint the movements that improve performance and win races. www.crossingcurrentsaquatics.com

Kayakers & Swimmers Needed for 9 Mile Ocean City Swim on July 19, 2014
by Corey Davis

Kayak supporters are needed for the 9 mile Ocean Swim, Swim OC 2014. The swim is limited this year to about 50 participants, for the 9 mile swimmers. If you can provide any help or can recruit kayakers it would be greatly appreciated.

The date is going to be July 19, 2014. Please let me know if there any interested kayakers.

Swim registration is at: https://www.lin-mark.com/RaceDetails.aspx?RaceID=6d611be1-fd5a-48c0-9728-d93684fa5505

Corey Davis orey197@gmail.com

EPA Launches How’s My Waterway

In October 2012 EPA launched How’s My Waterway?, a platform-independent website and mobile application that works with PCs, tablets and smartphones, offering plain-English reports on whether a body of water has been assessed, if it’s polluted, and if it is, what’s causing the pollution and what’s being done to clean it up. http://watersgeo.epa.gov/mywaterway/

Raising Funds for Swim Around Key West for Swim Across USA
by Katie Scott

My name is Katie Scott I am a graduate of Marymount University. I have recently been approved to swim 2 laps (25miles) around the island of Key west in June on Saturday the 14th. I have received free entry to the race and would still like to raise money to give to the Swim Across America Charity.

If you have a moment please take a look at my fundraising site, I am looking for any help as little and as much as possible! Everything Counts!
Respectfully, Katie Scott http://www.gofundme.com/341ly0

PVLMSC Meeting Minutes - October 27, 2013


Arlington Masters Sunday Night Practice
by Alison Mathey

Arlington Masters is starting a new program of Sunday night practices for open water swimmers and triathletes, and wanted to extend the invitation to other Potomac Valley members. This program is geared toward anyone interested in fine tuning their distance swimming in triathlon and open water. We look forward to drawing in more members of the community. All speeds are welcome. This program is open to anyone with a USMS membership. You just have to purchase one of our club punch pass cards. It will commence the first week of January. Workouts are at 6-7PM in the Washington & Lee Pool in Arlington, VA. Please email if you have questions!
Alison Mathey alison.mathey@gmail.com

TriColumbia Launches Registration for 2014 Iron Girl Columbia

by Courtney Gaddi

I want to share some exciting news regarding the opening of registration for two of our Iron Girl endurance events, the Iron Girl Columbia Triathlon and the Iron Girl Rocky Gap Triathlon, on Tuesday, January 2, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. More than 5,000 women of all ages and endurance abilities will participate in the events aimed to empower, inspire and celebrate women.

The Iron Girl Columbia Triathlon will take place on Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Centennial Park in Columbia, Md., followed by the Iron Girl Rocky Gap Triathlon on Sunday, September 7, 2014 at Rocky Gap State Park in Flintstone, Md.

Please let us know if you have any questions or would like to receive additional information. If you could please share this information with your clubs and teams, that would be much appreciated!

Thanks, and happy holidays! Courtney www.tricolumbia.org

Change in UNAT Naming Convention

by Mollie Grover

In 2013 there was a switch in the naming convention for folks who register for USMS as unattached swimmers. Gone is the Unattached/UNAT designation- the new convention is UC##, where the ## is the two digit LMSC code (PV unattached swimmers would therefore be UC10). However, when running an event with Meet Manager, there is the ability to use both the club abbreviation (so my team would be TERR) and the long-form team name (Terrapin Masters for my team). For people registered with a team, there is no change going forward. For the UC folks, there is a slight change with the new naming convention. For UC swimmers, the abbreviation *and* the long-form name are identical. So that means any unattached swimmer in PV would have UC10 in the field for both the club abbreviation and for the full long-form club name.

If anyone has questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to reach out!
Mollie K. Grover

University of Tennessee Swimming Clinic

Dear Masters Swimming Enthusiast,

I’m writing to announce a really exciting opportunity for the masters swimming community this summer! From June 19-22, The University of Tennessee Swimming Staff will share their aquatic philosophy, training and technical practices with you in a unique and exciting training environment. You will have access to some of the world’s best facilities (Home of the 2012 US Olympic Team Training Trip) and equipment.

The camp is a four day, three night experience that will expose masters swimmers to some of the best information in the areas of: technique (dryland & Swimming), exercise physiology and sports psychology. In addition, each athlete will receive 4 annotated videos from the UT coaching staff diagnosing each of your strokes and providing helpful tips.

The UT Staff will do their best to appropriately challenge athletes based on their current skill level, primary events and goals for themselves.

Please forward this to your athletes and coaches who may be interested.

For more information please visit our 2014 Summer Camp Website:

We can’t wait to see you in Knoxville this summer!

Matt Kredich mkredich@utk.edu
Head Swimming Coach
University of Tennessee | Allan Jones Aquatic Center
2200 Andy Holt Ave. | Knoxville, TN 37996

Choptank Bridge Swim May 10, 2014

Tricolumbia is announging its inaugural Choptank Bridge Swim, a two-distance endurance open water swim on Saturday, May 10, 2014, in the Choptank River, the largest river on the Delmarva Peninsula. This open water swim event in Cambridge, Md. consists of a 1.6 mile swim and a 3.6 mile swim along the scenic banks of the Choptank River, and between the Choptank River Bridge and the Choptank River Fishing Pier that sits next to it.

For more information, see www.tricolumbia.org

USMS History and Archives Needs Your Help

The volunteers with the USMS History and Archives Committee work hard to preserve our history, and they need your help! If you're a longtime Masters swimmer, you may have documents that can help fill in the gaps in our records. Currently, the Committee needs help: • Locating missing Long Distance National Championship results www.usms.org/hist/missing_ld-ow_results_1974_1991.pdf • Identifying missing swimmers and their ID#s in the 1970-1992 Top 10 files www.usms.org/hist/tt_swimmers_no_id.pdf • Uncovering old registration files • Preserving any historical swimming documents-please ask the Committee before throwing anything away! • Identifying swimmers in Top 10 relays prior to 1998 If you think you can help, please contact Committee Chair Meegan Wilson.

N. Capitol YMCA Masters Conducting Swimathon

N. Capitol YMCA Masters are conducting a swimathon on April 6 from 8AM-12PM. Benefits will help send inner city children to summer camp. For more information, contact N. Cap. YMCA Masters P Lee . For online fundraising, please see http://bit.ly/NCYSwim2014



Lifeguard, CPR & Aquatics Certification

PVLMSC Masters,
My YMCA offers Life Guard, CPR, and other aquatics certifications on a fairly regularly basis. (I know other YMCAs in the National Capital region do as well.) Please share with any of your swimmers who might be interested. Many thanks. Best,
Peter Lee Peter.Lee@treasury.gov
Head Coach, NCYM

Active Gear Scout: Heart Rate Monitors and GPS Watches Review


  Photo Credits


  • Photo of Emad & Sabrina Elshafei - Emad Elshafei
  • Convention photos - Deb Morrin-Nordlun.
  • 1st 3 photos of Solstice Meet - Dave Robinson
  • All other photos by Cheryl Wagner unless noted.

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