The Swimmer's Ear

May 1999

Newsletter of the Potomac Valley Masters

Swimming Commitee


From the Chair

Kelley Lemmon Inducted into ISHOF

Jim McDonnell Memorial Lake Swim


Team Spotlight – Tri-Masters

Open Water Training

Triathlete College

Tips for a Clear Mind & Body

Swim Meet Reports

Newsletter Information

Potomac Valley Meeting Minutes

Heard on Deck…

USMS Long Distance Championships

Event Calendar

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From the Chair…

Happy Spring to you all!

Just a few items of note and possible interest:

This is the first issue of our newsletter under new editor Penny Bates. I would like to thank Sarah Mahoney for all her work over the past years and welcome and thank Penny for taking over the job.

By the time that you are reading this, the 1999 Short Course Yards Colonies Zone Meet, hosted by Terrapin Masters, will have been held at the University of Maryland, College Park, hosting about 500 swimmers.

At the meet, Potomac Valley LMSC presented a $1,000 check for the USMS Endowment Fund to representatives from the USMS Executive Committee.

As of the first week of April, there were 1,362 swimmers registered with Potomac Valley, 575 women and 787 men. Registered swimmers range in age from 19 to 88 (we have five 85-89 swimmers), with the greatest concentration (259 swimmers) in the 35-39 age group.

Open water season and long course season are on the way. Hope you get out and enjoy the water.

Happy Laps,

Debbie Morrin

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Kelley Lemmon Inducted into ISHOF

Kelley Lemmon, shown here with his wife Mary, recently was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF). He is the second Potomac Valley masters swimmer in the Hall of Fame, joining Jayne Bruner who was inducted last year. Each year, approximately 15 people are inducted into the Hall of Fame in the categories of swimming, diving, water polo, synchronized swimming, coaching, pioneer, and masters swimming. Masters swimmers first were inducted in 1995 and two Masters swimmers are honored each year.

Lemmon learned to swim in Hawaii and later swam while attending high school in four different states: Delaware, Michigan, Virginia and California. He was a member of the swim team at the U.S. Military Academy, graduating in 1937. For the next four decades, he rarely swam while his Army career took him around the world, from Europe and the Philippines to Texas, Massachusetts and Alaska. In 1944, he received a Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism. Attacking across the Seine River, he discovered the bridge across the river had been destroyed. Rather than order one of his men to cross the 350-yard wide river under intense enemy small arms fire, he swam the river, secured five civilian boats, tied them together, paddled them back to shore, and used them to establish a bridgehead.

He retired in the early 1970s as a Major General in the Army. In 1979, he began lifting weights and discovered he enjoyed an occasional dip in the pool. He saw John Flanagan swimming butterfly and asked him to teach him how to do it. Coach Flanagan encouraged him to join the masters program and he soon competed in his first meet – the 1980 short course nationals in Ft. Lauderdale.

The nomination form submitted to ISHOF for his induction listed 128 world records, 49 national records and 65 USMS National Championships. He also helped DC Masters win 7 National team titles. In three nationals -- 1982 short course, 1982 long course and 1983 long course -- he completed "clean sweeps," winning six events and exceeding records in all six. A 1983 issue of the "Wavemaker," the DC Masters newsletter, reported that at long course nationals he "climaxed his career with eight gold medals, six individual and 2 relays, thus bettering Mark Spitz’ record of seven gold medals."

He still holds the world record for 70-74 50 meter free (long course) - 29.35 set in 1984. He holds 5 USMS records in 70-74 50 free (long course), 75-79 50 yard free, 100 yard free and 50 meter free (short course) and 80-84 100 yard breaststroke. He also owns a world relay record – the 320-359 long course mixed 200 meter free relay with DC Masters teammates Nancy Clark, Anne Walker and David McAfee; and a USMS record in the 75+ 200 yard medley relay with Nancy Clark, Anne Walker and Bert Kassell.

He was a USMS All-American every year but one between 1981 and 1994. Some of his times were so fast he would have made the USMS Top Ten for several younger age groups. For example, one year his 50 meter free time in the 70-74 age group would have placed eighth in the 50-54 age group. The same year, his 100 meter time would have been second in 65-69, fourth in 60-64 and fifth in 55-59.

An age-graded formula developed by Tara Liljestrom of Finland converts his world record 50 free time of 29.35 to 20.87 – well under Tom Jager’s world record of 21.81. In 1984, SwimMaster magazine noted that only two people had swum 100 meters in times less than their ages – Kelley Lemmon and Peter Powlison. Kelley finds it interesting that his 70-74 100 meter free record of 1:12.8 is identical to Gertrude Ederle’s world record sent in the 1920s.

His last All-American times were the 80-84 200 yard free in 1994 and the 80-84 50 and 100 yard breaststroke in 1993. While shoulder problems ended his competitive career, he still swims recreationally and has not ruled out a comeback.


Kelley Lemmon, age 68, with Coach John Flanagan at 1980 Long Course Nationals in Santa Clara, California, after winning the 65-69 50 and 100 meter freestyle.

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Jim McDonnell Memorial Lake Swim

By Terry Smith

Reston Masters Swim Team has renamed its 2-Mile Lake Swim in honor of Jim McDonnell, one of the original founders of the swim, along with Lynn Hazlewood, Lou Poehlman and Fred Greenwald. Jim died of pneumonia November 28, 1998 at Fairfax Hospital. He had undergone a bone marrow transplant in the summer for treatment of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. He was 47.

Jim was involved with the Reston Masters Swim Team all the way back to the 70s. He even tried to get his kids started at an early age – 9 months. Jim was a swimmer back in high school when it wasn’t as popular as it is today. He was a member of the Quantico Devil Dolphins in his youth, and also served as a lifeguard and a pool manager at Reston’s North Shore pool in the early 70’s.

This probably accounts for the fact that no one, and I mean no one, looked as relaxed as Jim in the water. It was as if he was born there. We swam in the same lane although he was much faster – we all decided that he just liked putting us to shame or he liked our social group (we had one of the best on the swim team). He would start off doing the backstroke – it looked like he was going slow... couldn’t catch him no matter how hard we tried. Meanwhile, he looked totally relaxed! It was absolutely maddening.

Jim also was a good runner. At least during the summer months – I never knew anyone that could "pork-up" like Jim during the winter. He kind of slowed down then and made us feel better. But then, come spring, he was putting us to shame again, leaving us in the dust. We found out later that he was a cross-country runner in high school. We started doing triathlons as a group. Jim was one of the founders of the Reston Triathlon, working like many of us on setting it up. It was a lot of work, but also a lot of fun. What a tremendous accomplishment – it’s been 15 years now. We all did a lot of other triathlons – none of us were spectacular, but we did have a lot of fun, mostly in the talking about it before and after the event.

He picked up biking by riding to work at Woodson High School at least twice a week. He carried his suit and clothes in a bag over the rear fender and showered and changed at work – although he got a lot of teasing, he was clearly one of the leaders of our community in getting prepared for triathlons – many of us now bike to work in order to get some biking in during the work-week.

As if the above were not enough, Jim enjoyed weight lifting, fly fishing (we think he may have exaggerated his prowess in this area just a bit), hiking (backpacking) and occasionally golf. How he got it all in is still a mystery to us.

When you looked at Jim, you did not see a triathlete or fun and fitness addict – but he was. And we sure miss him!

Jim was a native of New York and lived in Reston since 1970. He held both his Bachelor’s and Masters Degrees from George Mason University. Most recently he was Coordinator of Field Services for the Department of Information Technology of the Fairfax County Public Schools. Jim is survived by his wife Sandra and children Cassandra Jo and James Bell. He also is survived by his parents, June and James A. McDonnell, Jr.; his grandmother, Mildred McDonnell; a sister Cheryl McDonnell; and two brothers, Michael and Kevin, all of Reston. Both Michael and Kevin have been involved with the Reston Masters Swim Team.

During his illness, Jim kept up his fitness activities. His fight against cancer was compared to competing in a triathlon or marathon. His demonstrated physical endurance helped him to be accepted for a bone marrow transplant. Throughout his earlier recovery he continued to exercise – he even came back to swimming for awhile. As you can imagine, Jim’s physical therapists were more important to him than any doctor.

It was important to Jim that his belongings, especially his triathlete stuff, go to good use. Of particular note, he had one request that his racing bike go to Alan Webb, a tenth grader at South Lakes High School. Although he didn’t know Alan well, he knew his Dad through church and knew Alan was an accomplished swimmer and runner and that he wanted to do a triathlon. The only thing that Alan didn’t have was a good bike; now he does.

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Potomac Valley 1998 SCM Awards

The winners of the Potomac Valley Swimmer of the Year awards for the 1998 Short Course Meters season are Barb Zaremski (DCM) and Neill Williams (DCAC).

Completing a D.C. Masters sweep for the women were: Anne Walker, Jayne Bruner, Hedy Pullman and Mary Lathram. For the men, Wally Dicks (ANCM), Roque Santos (UNAT), Michael Fell (ANCM), and Mark Pugliese (DCRP) rounded out the top five. Awards are based on USMS top ten rankings for the season.

Upper Montgomery County Swimming News

By Mark Walters

Two items that might be of interest to swimmers living or working in upper Montgomery County:

First, County Council Member Nancy Dacek is supporting expedited construction of an indoor pool in the Germantown area. It could be ready as early as 2001. An issue that may delay the pool if approved is the precise location. There may be a debate over whether it should be built at the proposed soccerplex location, or in the new Germantown Town Center.

Second, Germantown Masters (GERM) is expanding the number and locations of its outdoor coached workouts this summer. It is anticipated that morning workouts will be added for the first time, and that there will be outdoor workouts in Gaithersburg as well as German-town. Any USMS-registered swimmer is welcome to register for these workouts. If you have children who swim in the Montgomery County Swim League, it may be convenient to enroll them in the First Stroke Swim Club's summer program (same coaches, some of the same pools) if you're swimming with GERM.

To have your name placed on the mailing list for the masters registration forms when they come out, or for more masters information, call (301) 540-1591. To receive information about the First Stroke summer program for your kids, email or call (301) 916-7905.

Terrapin Masters

Check out what's new on the Terrapin Masters web site:


By Joe Kaufman

DC Aquatics Club is on its way to Atlanta for the 1999 International Gay and Lesbian Aquatics Championships! As the 3-time and defending world champions, we will be trying for an unprecedented fourth consecutive title in the 1996 Olympic Pool at the Georgia Tech Aquatics Center. The championships will take place from June 18th through the 20th. Watch out Atlanta, here we come.

Over Columbus Day weekend, we will once again be hosting our annual DCAC-ACDC meet. We are looking forward to running a short course meters meet on Saturday, October 9, 1999. There will be lots of great activities as well as lots of quality swimming, and we encourage all of the PVMSC teams to join us this year. Mark your calendars now. 

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Team Spotlight

Tri-Masters Swim Team

By Anne Sumser

The Tri-Masters Swim Team, formerly the Oak Marr Masters, originated in 1991 with only eight members. The team has practiced every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at Oak Marr Recreation Center in Fairfax, Virginia since that time. The team moves outside in the summer to Westwood Country Club, a 50 meter facility in Vienna, Virginia.

The team is composed of approximately 40 members. There are competitive swimmers, triathletes and recreational/fitness athletes in the group. Practices are designed around the competitive athlete with modifications made for the fitness swimmer. Each week there is a distance, middle distance and sprint workout. Wednesday practices are designed for optional fin use, in other words -- lots of kicking.

Tri- Masters competes annually as a team in the Upper Montgomery County Turkey meet held in November. Several team members swim at the Zone meet and in Nationals. A majority of the team competes in open water swims including the Reston 2-miler, the Bay Swim and the 7-mile Potomac swim. The triathletes of the group train hard for another local event, the Reston Triathlon.

As with any Masters team, the Tri-Masters have a diversity of swimmers in level and experience. The difference in athletes tends to enhance the group's swimming experience. The team has been fortunate to be able to train with a former Olympian, a few ironman triathletes, collegiate athletes, and beginner swimmers. Masters swimming provides all of us with an opportunity to improve our current skills, and helps us to prepare for a variety of swimming events. Not only has the team seen National record swimmers, a Hawaii Ironman finisher, and a former Olympian; the team has provided an opportunity for people to meet...there has been one marriage in the group, one current engagement and the team has shared in the joy of many new arrivals! Masters swimming is a unique experience because there is a place for everyone.

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Open Water Training

By Mike Collins, UCLA Bruin Masters

So, you’re set to swim this year. You’ve worked-out hard for months to get ready for this race, gone religiously to Masters workouts and put in countless yards in preparation. You feel good in the water - like you could swim five miles without getting tired.

Suddenly, you are at the race and everything feels different. At 6am, as you climb out of your toasty car into the brisk morning air, you forget all the hard training you’ve put in. You have only negative thoughts. You contemplate how cold and miserable the water will be. You remember your last race. Boy what a fiasco that turned out to be. You tripped and fell on your face running into the water at the start. Then, as you rounded the first buoy, it felt like you were in a washing machine full of piranhas. Your goggles got knocked off and 50 people swam right over you - and that happened in the irst 100 meters! It didn’t get much better because you got off course, swimming an extra 200 to 500 meters, and you swallowed half the ocean, or at least half a gallon, due to the choppy conditions. Finally, trying to run out of the water, you fell on your face again. Open-water swimming is hell!

Does any of this scene sound familiar? I think everyone has had at least one unfortunate experience in an open-water swim. The following suggestions for training and racing may help you avoid some bad situations.


First, remember that open-water swimming is very different from pool swimming. My first open-water swim several years ago illustrates this. I was really psyched up. I consider myself an accomplished distance swimmer, and I could swim 1500 meters - no problem. When I got to the race, I saw all these guys I knew who had done very well at the previous years’ swim meets, and I knew I wouldn’t have any problem beating them, since I usually could in the pool. I went down to the start, the gun went off, and I got my butt kicked. Much of the scenario I mentioned earlier happened to me. I knew how to pool swim, but I knew little about sight breathing, drafting or swimming without a line on the bottom or lane lines. Before my next open-water, I adapted my pool workouts and had much more success with my next race. The following are tips on preparing for an open water swim without swimming in open water.

Get in two or three long, straight swims (1000 to 3000 meters) leading up to the race. Building swimming endurance is essential. If you come out of the water totally exhausted, it’s going to be a long day on the bike and run. However, long, straight swims can become very boring and somewhat useless if certain goals aren’t met. Keep track of your time, so you’ll have a figure for comparison in the future. Calculate your goal pace per 100 and try to stick closely to it. If your goal workout time for a 1000 is 15:00 (1:30 average per 100), you shouldn’t go out in 1:18 and then be swimming 1:38’s at the end. Count your strokes every fourth length or so to check the consistency and efficiency of your technique as you fatigue. In a 25 yard pool, a good stroke count is 17 per length, 18 to 20 is pretty good, 20-22 is average, and over 23 is inefficient (count each time the hand enters the water).

Stroke work, interval training and sprinting are also important. Good technique will prevent you from fatiguing too early and a strong sprint is helpful for race starts. Perfect form cannot be practiced for long periods of time. Cut distances down to a point where you can hold excellent form the entire way (maybe 25’s or 50’s), rest and repeat. Eventually, you will be able to maintain proper technique longer.

Practice sight-breathing (lifting your head for bearings and air without losing rhythm or speed). From May through September, triathlete and open-water swimmers complete most distance sets sight breathing twice each length. The goal is to swim as fast sight-breathing as without. At first, these workouts may slow your times considerably and tire your neck and shoulders - but it’s better to learn this in a workout than in a race.

Occasionally practice drafting close behind others of a similar ability. Learning how to draft right behind someone else’s feet can be a valuable skill, but it takes practice to be perfect. We make this a game in workouts, switching the lead every 100 to 300 yards.

Swim with your eyes closed (25’s) to see how straight you swim. You will learn whether you tend to veer off to one side and make adjustments accordingly.


The more time you spend in open water, the more comfortable and consistent racer you will become. Practice open-water swimming if possible. Get used to cold water, murky water, waves, currents and all the variables you will experience.

Once at a race, there are several steps you can take to increase the probability of a successful swim: If possible, look at a map of the swim course before the race. Know how many buoys there are and on which side of them you should be swimming. A mental picture of the course will help you keep on track. Look for landmarks around the swim start to help guide you. Turn wide around the buoys if the swim is crowded. The distance saved by turning tight against a buoy is usually lost in combat with others.

Check the bottom conditions at points where you enter and exit the water. Knowing of holes, rocks, seaweed and slippery boat docks can prevent an embarrassing and time-losing fall. Also, swim as close to the finish as possible, until your hands are scraping the bottom, so you won’t have to run barefoot across hazardous conditions.

Draft behind someone slightly faster if possible. Drafting can save as much as 5 to 10% effort. Don’t sprint the swim finish (unless it’s for a swim preem). It’s more important to keep your heart rate low. Save the hard effort for later in the race.

Don’t freak! Try to stay calm and relaxed, regardless of the conditions or competition. In most circumstances, your biggest enemy isn’t the weather or other racers: it’s your own insecurity. A mind clear of anxiety will think much better and allow your body to perform better as well. Good luck at the races, and watch out for the men in the gray suits.

Mike Collins coaches the Bruin Masters at UCLA. He is an accomplished open-water swimmer and coach. In 1991, he was the USMS Coach of the Year. He will be conducting Open Water Camps on the West Coast May 29-31 & August 13-15. For further information, e-mail him at or check out the website at

(Reprinted with permission from the author.)

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Triathlete College

By Cheryl Wagner

I recently acquired a new role as "Lois Lane," roving reporter (and assistant editor) of the Potomac Valley newsletter. For my first story, I investigated the MetroSports/Total Training Triathlon Clinic on March 20.

It was a perfect, cloudless day when I pulled into the Howard Community College parking lot. I knew I must be in the right place because most of the cars had expensive bikes and racks mounted on their roofs. As I entered the building I viewed what appeared to be "Triathlete college" with athletes changing "classes" every 45 minutes. There was significant star-power at the clinic including famous Ironman athletes: Mike Pigg, Troy Jacobson, and Joanna Zeiger. Also conducting sessions were Phil Maffetone known for his 40-30-30 nutrition and LSD (long slow distance) training theories, and Steve Tarpinian of Total Training, Inc. (clinic sponsor, coach and event consultant). I decided to drop in on Troy’s session, first. Troy and Phil Maffetone were advocating very different training theories and produced an interesting contrast.

Troy Jacobson advocates a fairly traditional approach to training. I’ll quote from his article, "Talking about Triathlon" from the March 1999 MetroSports Magazine. "There’s nothing more important for a triathlete than to know when to work and when to take some time off. Take my advice. Don’t do what I did a couple of years ago when I fell behind in my running and tried to overcompensate by piling on my mileage. It cost me six weeks of training, because there’s no remedy for a stress fracture other than rest." Troy talked about how to modify and play around with the frequency, intensity and duration of your workout. He also discussed how to use weekends for longer runs and the weekdays for high-intensity intervals. However he did caution that "spinning" (high-intensity bike work) should be done only once a week. He recommended doing a "brick" (back-to-back workouts of two triathlon sports) at least once and possibly twice a week. He believes that in order to go fast in a race, you have to train fast. (This is where he differs from Maffetone.) Troy says that elite athletes will do an entire race at 90% of max heart rate. He said that a beginning athlete will realize significant gains for the first six or seven years. However, as they approach their potential as an athlete those gains will be much smaller. In order to continue improving he recommends periodization with 15 weeks per year spent doing shorter, lower-intensity workouts. He said not to worry about the weight gain and temporary loss of conditioning – that it’s absolutely necessary for the body to recover.

Next I visited Phil Maffetone’s lecture room. Mike Pigg gave the introduction. He talked about how he had stopped realizing gains and was experiencing frequent injuries. He was searching for a remedy and contacted Phil Maffetone. Phil told Mike to train for five months at no more than 155 max heart rate. He also changed Mike’s diet to include more fats ("good" fats called essential fatty acids) and protein, and less carbohydrates. As he continued to train "aerobically" Mike noticed that his times were improving even though his heart rate was still no more than 155. He began to make gains and is now racing professionally again. Maffetone then began to talk about his theories of nutrition and training. He began by cautioning that there is no 40-30-30 magic and no perfect schedule for the fastest race. It’s a matter of trial and error on every athlete’s part. Maffetone’s recommendation in nutrition, in training, and in life is to remember that you’re in it for the long haul. You can’t consistently produce well by doing all-out efforts followed by crashing.

Maffetone is concerned about stress in the athlete. This stress can be mental, emotional, or physical. When an athlete trains anaerobically he produces stress and burns glucose. When he drinks coffee he produces a chemical stress. When he eats carbohydrates, he stimulates insulin, burns the sugar quickly and then is left depleted. Maffetone believes triathletes need to get 99.9% of their energy from the aerobic system that is primarily fat-burning. A trained aerobic system results in better circulation, better immunity to disease and better joint support. He says that when the athlete burns more fat (through aerobic training), he has less body fat and burns less glucose.

Maffetone says that if you’re eating primarily carbohydrates you’re burning 90% sugar and 10% fat. You’re tired, not sleeping well, possibly becoming insulin-resistant, hungry for sweets, craving caffeine, and depressed after meals. He said when your insulin level rises, your blood pressure also goes up. In the later stages of prolonged high blood insulin, heart disease, stroke, and chronic high blood pressure may develop. He recommends drastically reducing your carbohydrates for 2 weeks (eating primarily protein, good fats – from linseed, soybean, or fish oils, and vegetables) and noticing how you feel. If it’s noticeably better you may be insulin resistant and should consider restricting your intake of carbohydrates.

If you feel that your athletic performance is "stuck" and that you’re experiencing frequent injuries, Maffetone recommends training almost exclusively aerobically until you begin to realize gains again. He is fairly radical in his approach initially restricting the athlete even from weight lifting and situps or pushups.

Finally I attended Steve Tarpinian’s Swim session. Steve Tarpinian has completed the Hawaii Ironman, conducts swim and triathlon clinics, and is founder of Total Training, Inc. Steve has a background in engineering and likes to illustrate swimming principles with demonstrations of the laws of physics. He has an extensive background in coaching techniques and said that when he was in high school and college he read everything he could find on swimming in order to swim like his idol, Mark Spitz.

Steve simplifies swimming into two areas of emphasis: streamlining and efficient stroking (when you have to break the streamline). He says that the most perfect streamline in the world would not result in significant swimming speed unless you also have a powerful, efficient stroke. He talks about swimming on your side (when rotating) and how the body is more streamlined and also longer. He illustrated this by standing in front of a wall with his arm extended above his head. He then turned his body sideways and the extended arm was at least three inches higher on the wall. Although he took a cerebral approach to swimming principles it was not overwhelming such as one would experience when reading Ernest Maglischo about the Bernoulli principle!

Tarpinian recommends interval training because the frequent rests enable the swimmer to maintain technique. He talked about swimming toys and his clinic features some of the latest including the monofin, a tube with balls that when strapped to the waist "clicks" when rotated from side to side (Tech-Tocks), "hip-wings" which are strapped to the hips to improve rotation, and fraid-knots which come with an excellent beginning stretch program. He recommends against pull-buoys, kick boards, and paddles. He said they can become crutches and exacerbate injuries. He does advocate using zoomers since they can help you maintain good body position and speed when doing drills. Steve has developed 11 drills that he combines into an individualized program for each swimmer to correct any swimming flaws. His clinic includes above- and below-water videotaping.

To find out about future MetroSports/Total Training Triathlon Clinics visit their web sites at: or

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Five Tips for a Clear Mind and Body

By CJ Lockman Hall, MA

Flow with what is happening and let your mind be free.

Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing.

This is the ultimate. - Chuang Tzu

Every winter, we are advised to turn off the water supply to outdoor spigots because cold temperatures can freeze water in spigot pipes, causing them to burst. Interesting thought: a spigot pipe will best perform in the stress of winter if it is clear of water.

The same principle applies to athletics: we perform best in stressful situations when our "pipes" (mind and body) are clear of "water" (information overload). Information overload can consist of fear, too much emphasis on the outcome, too much analysis, etc. These thoughts and feelings can contribute to negative thinking, an inability to focus, muscle tension, and a lack of rhythm.

Try these tips for a clear, confident mind and body:

Whether a swim meet, or an open-water race, or a triathlon, enjoy your summer competitions with a clear mind and body!

CJ Lockman Hall swims with the Montgomery Ancient Mariners. e-mail

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Swim Meet Reports

Maryland Masters Winter Meet

Many Potomac Valley masters swimmers traveled to the University of Maryland - Baltimore County in Catonsville, Maryland for the Maryland Masters 22nd Annual Winter Meet February 20-21. Over 250 swimmers from all over the East Coast attended the meet.

Joann Leilich (DC Masters) set a USMS national record in the 60-64 200 yard breaststroke with a time of 3:01.35, surpassing the 3:03.44 set by teammate Jayne Bruner in 1996.

Meet participants may participate in a pentathlon consisting of a 50 of each stroke and a 100 IM. Potomac Valley Pentathlon winners included: Barbara Frid (55-59); Robert Pinson (19-24); Stanford Young (30-34); John Feinstein (40-44) and Mark Pugliese (45-49).

Age group high point winners included: Denise Kirwan (45-49); Barbara Frid (55-59); Anne Walker (80-84); Marcus Chung (19-24); Marc LeGoff (35-39); John Feinstein (40-44); Mark Pugliese (45-49); and Wayne Hartke (50-54).

Maryland Masters will host the 2000 USMS Long Course Nationals at UMBC. Check out the pool this summer at the Maryland Masters’ Long Course meet July 26.

Go to Maryland Masters Meet Results

Albatross Open Report

By Tom Denes

The last Albatross Open of the Second Millennium! What an awesome responsibility to fall on the shoulders of co-meet directors, Nate Gordon and Kathy Kirmayer. Would history judge our society kindly if they messed up the meet. Would Western capitalism survive if they lost money?

To kick the meet off in a style that would make this last Albatross suitable to the Second Millennium, they invited little known baritone, Linda Tripp, to sing the National Anthem. Once the shocked participants were herded back into the pool area, we began the meet.

The first event was the 100 meter fly. Ancient Mariner speedster Jeff Roddin provided an awesome start by swimming his lifetime best--a stunning 57.9. The meet was off with a flourish. Perhaps this would be a worthy Albatross after all.

DC Masters world record 200 medley relay: Betty Brey, Beth Schreiner, Barbara Frid and Joann Leilich.

And so it went. DC Master Joann Leilich lit up the pool by setting a world record of 3:18.34 in the 60-64 200 breaststroke. The much anticipated 200 free challenge between Ancient Mariners Jason Krucoff, Dan Rudolph, Steve Roethke and me, was greeted with much enthusiasm as Dan came from behind to touch out Steve, 2:15.00 to 2:15.04. Ancient Mariner, Clay Britt, came from behind to win the 100 individual medley by 0.12 seconds over DCAC standout, Neill Williams. The 2 x 50 mixed relay was contested for the first time in a USMS meet. The race was won by married Terrapins, Emad and Donna Elshafei.

In the Fastest Women in the Water competition, Ancient Mariner Antje Flamich held off Fairfax County Master Dori Kaufman in the lane next to her to win with a time of 28.45. Unknown to both, Virginia Master Beth Baker, sprinting in an outside lane almost beat them. Beth, at age 38, is twice as old as Antje who has yet to turn 20. Beth swam a sizzling 28.59. Dori finished at 28.86.

Jeff Roddin won the men's version of the Fastest Person in the Water competition by touching out Neill Williams. Jeff's time was 24.72 while Neill was an eyelash behind in 24.78.

For the first time in several years, relays were once again contested at the Albatross Open. DC Masters quartet Barbara Frid, Joann Leilich, Betty Brey, and Beth Schreiner, provided a fitting ending to the Albatross Open by shattering the existing world record in the 240+ age group 200 medley relay. They swam a 2:43.47 to best the record by 6 seconds.

After the meet we convened at Clay Britt's nearby party room to eat Hard Times chili, talk with friends and reflect on the meet. Kathy and Nate both pronounced the meet a success. In a moment of uncharacteristic weakness, Kathy even offered to co-direct the meet next year. Unfortunately for her, she did it within earshot of me. In any case, it will be hard to top this Last Albatross Open of the Second Millennium.

Go To Albatross Open Results

Lox and Bagel Report

Nearly 100 swimmers participated in the Lox and Bagel meet hosted by the Jewish Community Center in Fairfax on April 18.

DC Masters won the large team trophy with Alexandria Masters winning the small team category.

Go To Lox and Bagel Results

Potomac Valley Senior Championships

Five local masters swimmers participated in the United States Swimming Potomac Valley Senior Championships March 4-7, competing against swimmers often less than half their age. The team of Mike Fell, Wally Dicks, Jeff Roddin and Chip McElhattan won the 200 yard medley relay and despite placing sixth in the 400 free relay, broke the existing USMS 25+ record with a time of 3:13.88. They also finished third in the 200 free relay and fourth in the 400 medley relay. Erik Osborn finished third in the 50 free and Roddin and Fell placed sixth in the 100 fly and 100 free, respectively.

Go To PV Senior Champs Results

Complete results of area masters meets can be found on the Potomac Valley web site:

Albatross Open Co-Meet Director Kathy Kirmayer swims too!

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Newsletter Information

By Penny Bates

Over 1360 registered masters swimmers receive the Potomac Valley newsletter. We realize that not all of you compete in swim meets and that many of you do only triathlons. While we want to cover as many activities as possible, that means we will report on non-swimming exclusive events; it does not mean we are going to cover the Marine Corps Marathon! This newsletter focuses on masters swimming and other events that include swimming.

In order to cover everything all 1360 of you are doing, we need your help. You need to let us know what you are doing. We welcome articles about your teams (see the article on Tri-Masters on page 4) and your races. The deadline for the September edition is August 15. You can send your stories to me at You may also add me to your team newsletter mailing list.

This issue contains a calendar of pool meets, open water swims and triathlons in this area and neighboring states. There are several swim meets this summer – a distance meet at the new University of Maryland pool that will host the US Open and a World Cup meet this November; an outdoor meet at Hains Point in Washington and a meet at the new George Mason pool in Fairfax. If you have never done an open water swim, there are plenty of freshwater and ocean swims this summer. Both the Reston 2-Mile Lake Swim and the Charlottesville 2-Mile Cable Swim are ideal swims for first-timers. And there are plenty of triathlons, some geared toward novices. Try something new; you may discover something you like when you least expect it!

Cheryl Wagner is assisting me with writing and finding articles for this newsletter. Cheryl began her masters swimming career in 1991. She hadn't swum in 22 years but after a friend challenged her to do the one mile Greenwich Point Swim, she drove to Connecticut and did the entire swim breaststroke in a dense fog. She was absolutely terrified since everything was gray and she is very nearsighted. Cheryl thinks she finished almost dead last behind a man in his late 70s, but after that was hooked on open water swimming.

In February 1993, she went to her first Terrapin Masters practice and mistakenly thought she had stumbled upon the Junior Olympics since they were running practice time-trials. On her first dive start she lost her goggles. As many of us remember, goggles didn’t exist in the 1960s!

Later that year Cheryl finished her first Bay Swim at age 40. Since then she’s done a number of open water swims including the Trans-Tahoe Relay in 1994, the Potomac Swim in 1996 (7.5 miles), the Snake River Swim (9 miles) in 1997, the Tilghman Island Swim in 1997 (9 very *!@?'" cold miles), the Chester River Swim in 1998 (9 miles), the Boston Light Swim (10 miles as the winning 2-person relay with Bob Lazzaro) in 1998, and the Bay Swim 5 times. She’s done just about every shore swim (ranging from 1 - 3 miles) between here and New York and professes great affection for the beach patrols. Although she doesn’t do many pool meets, she did attend 1995 short course nationals in Ft. Lauderdale, and participates in some local meets.

I started swimming competitively in Wisconsin when I was 8 years old. Since I couldn’t swim freestyle, I caused a fuss by swimming backstroke on the free relay ("freestyle" means you can do any stroke you want). I continued swimming for the Beloit Aquatic Team (BAT) through high school (today I am an old BAT), and swam for Grinnell College, a tiny school in the middle of the Iowa cornfields.

In late 1994, I joined USMS with clear intentions of never competing in a meet. I didn’t want to find out how slow I really was. That February, I was convinced to attend short course nationals in Ft. Lauderdale, so I entered the Maryland Masters Meet. For an entire week I had nightmares, mostly based on entering 400 IM. However, I made it through that 400 IM – my goggles leaked, I nearly drowned, and I discovered that I was 35 seconds slower than the last time I swam it 12 years earlier. Surprisingly, those extra 35 seconds didn’t bother me a bit! I was happy to survive.

 In 1995, open water swimming, particularly in an ocean or any body of water connected directly with an ocean, was another thing I never intended to do. However, in 1996 I told a co-worker that if she did the Chesapeake Bay Swim, I would do it with her. I never thought I’d hear any more about it but she fooled me and I was trapped. More nightmares! I was convinced I was going to be the first shark-attack victim in Chesapeake Bay history. During the pre-race briefing, I nearly cried. But I got in, started swimming and immediately collided head-on with a log. After that, I thought every wave coming toward me was a dorsal fin. (Mike Collins’ phrase "swimming with piranhas in a washing machine" describes it well – see his article on page 5.) After zig-zagging back and forth between the bridges, I finally finished, decided it was fun and wanted to swim back immediately.

Today I am not as afraid of potential shark attacks and hope to complete my fourth Bay swim next month. I even swam a race in the Pacific Ocean last year, although I can thank the nearby seals for my unbelievable time. Jaws was out there looking for lunch – a seal or me!

In the four years since my first meet, I have lost 25 of those extra 35 seconds from the 400 IM (and am still working on the other 10), swum my first long course 200 fly and didn’t drown, talked a cousin into paddling a canoe five miles across a lake in Minnesota while I swam, done a couple of triathlons without too much bodily injury, made many new friends and run into old friends (and a log). Many of those are things I swore never to do – so perhaps this summer some of you can try things you’ve never considered doing. Have fun and remember to send us your results and stories!

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Potomac Valley Meeting Minutes March 14, 1999

by Cheryl Wagner, PV Secretary

Report from the Chair:

Treasurer’s Report:

Registrar’s Report:

Top Ten Report:

Officials Report:

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Heard on Deck…

At an NCAA meet, I was mad to see a man sitting in my assigned seat, but when I saw it was famed coach Doc Counsilman, I was afraid to say anything. So I took a vacant seat a few rows away. An older woman next to me said it was OK for me to sit there for now, but I'd have to move when her husband arrived.

I apologized, but told her someone was sitting in MY seat. "Oh, don't you just HATE that," she said. I said "yes, but I was afraid to say anything since the man in my seat is the famous Doc Counsilman."

"Oh, THAT'S my husband," she exclaimed!

--Jim Nealis

(From the Terrapin Masters Newsletter)

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USMS Long Distance Championships

Each year, USMS holds 8 long distance national championships. Seven events remain this year. Entry forms for the 2-mile Cable Championship in Charlottesville, Virginia; the 5 and 10K postal championships; and the 3000-yard and 6000-yard postal championships are in this newsletter.

You may obtain entry forms for other national championship events by contacting the race directors:

7/17/99 1-Mile Open Water, Seal Beach, CA, Patricia McKane, 562-596-8021,

8/1/99 2-Mile Open Water, Cleveland, OH, Maureen Koss, 440-333-7521,

9/25/99 8.5 Mile Open Water, Catalina Island, CA, Bonnie Adair, 310-451-6666 (w), 310-399-8293 (h),

9/26/99 5 K Open Water, Catalina Island, CA, Tom Katsouleas, 801-456-3657,

The results for the one-hour postal championships conducted in January are at:

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Event Calendar

A complete list of USMS events is maintained at


5/14/99-5/16/99 Steve Tarpinian Triathlon Camp, Southampton, NY; 1-800-469-2538;,

Continuing The Potomac Marlins Stroke Workshop; Potomac, MD; Barry & Bill Marlin, 703-549-8820

Continuing Premier Stroke Clinic; Rockville, MD; Clay Britt, 301-231-9740

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5/29/99 Ocean City's Annual Seashore SCM; Ocean City, NJ, Cecilia McCloskey, 609-822-0455.

6/27/99 800/1500 LCM Meet; College Park, MD; Dave Diehl, 301-946-0649(h), 301-314-5372(w), 301-314-9094(fax),, Sanctioned by PV LMSC.

7/17/99 Virginia Commonwealth LC Champs; Roanoke, VA, Howard Butts, 540-992-1736,; William Pharis, 540-890-2867,

7/18/99 Long Course Meet; Washington, DC, Ted Hallinam, 202-364-5985; Sanctioned by PV LMSC.

7/26/99 Long Course Meet; Baltimore, MD, Barbara Protzman, 410-992-3772,, Sanctioned by MD LMSC.

8/1/99 Long Course Meet; Fairfax, VA, Jeanne Grillo, 301-983-1064; Sanctioned by PV LMSC.

8/19/99-8/23/99 1999 USMS LC Nationals; Minneapolis, MN; Paul Windrath, 612-388-8524,; Sanctioned by Minnesota LMSC; Entry deadline 7/15/99

10/9/99 Columbus Day Meet; Washington, DC, SCM, Neill Williams, 202-588-0958, Sanctioned by PV LMSC

10/16/99-10/24/99 1999 Pan Pacific Championships; Australia, Malcolm Stokes, Administrator, AUSSI Masters Swimming, WA, PO Box 564, Claremont, WA 6010, Australia,

10/19/99-10/29/99 National Senior Games, Orlando, FL, National Senior Games Association; 225-925-5678, fax 225-216-7552,

11/99 Turkey Classic; Gaithersburg, MD, SCY; Bob & Linda Eckrich,, Sanctioned by PV LMSC.

12/99 1000/1650 Meet; College Park, MD, SCY; Dave Diehl, 301-946-0649(h), 301-314-5372(w), 301-314-9094(fax),, Sanctioned by PV LMSC.

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6/5/99 7.5-Mi Potomac River Swim for Environment, Joe Stewart, 410-243-4418.

6/6/99 Jim McDonnell 2-Mile Swim; Lake Audubon, Reston, VA, Phyllis Sickenberger,; Lynn Hazlewood, 703-845-SWIM,;; Sanctioned by PV LMSC #109-004; Entry deadline 6/1/99.

6/13/99 4.4 Mile Great Chesapeake Bay Bridge Swim, ***RACE CLOSED

6/13/99 1-Mile Chesapeake Challenge, (609) 468-0010,

6/19/99 1.5 & 3 Mile Swims, Bellevue, MD, Joe Stewart, 410-243-4418.

6/20/99 Jack King 1-Mile Ocean Swim; Virginia Beach, VA; Betsy Durrant, 804-422-6811,; Sanctioned by VIRGINIA LMSC.

6/26/99 1 Mile & 3 Mile Ocean Swims; Wildwood, NJ; Viki Altomonte, 410-502-5395,;

7/10/99 1999 USMS 2-Mile Cable Championship; Charlottesville, VA; Joyce Mullins, 804-323-0483, 804-323-9020(fax),; Sanctioned by Virginia LMSC.

7/10/99 1, 2, & 4 Mile swims; Chester River, Chestertown, MD; Joe Stewart, 410-243-4418.

7/10/99 1 Mile Capt. Craig Swim; Ocean City, MD, Harvey Evans, 410-749-7467.

7/11/99 1 Mile Ocean Swim; Seaside Heights, NJ; 732-830-7260; Lin-Mark Computer Sports; 609-468-0010; Deck entries only.

7/17/99 Swim for the Dolphins; Wildwood Crest, NJ; Les Marella, 609-767-1337,; Deck entries only.

7/31/99 Ocean City Beach Patrol 1-mile Swim; Ocean City, NJ; Darren J. Hickman. (609) 926-9191,

8/7/99 22.5 Mile Swim Around Absecon Island; Atlantic City, NJ; Sid Cassidy, 609-343-3794, 609-347-5211(fax),

 8/15/99 1 Mile Ocean Swim; Seaside Heights, NJ; 732-830-7260; Lin-Mark Computer Sports, 609-468-0010;, deck entries only.

8/29/99 2.5 Mile Bay Swim; Ocean City, NJ; Polly Caffery, 609-404-1591.

9/5/99 1.5 Mile Pageant Ocean Swim; Atlantic City, NJ; Bill Brooks, 609-344-0809,

9/26/99 1K, 3K, & 5K Sunfest Open Water Swims - Ocean City, MD; Ken Zuiderhof,; Sanctioned by MD LMSC.

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Triathlon Calendar

5/23/99 Columbia Triathlon, Columbia, MD; 1.5km S/41km B/10km R. Robert Vigorito, 410/964-1246 or fax 964-2274.,

5/29/99 Community Tri-YMCA Triathlon, Hollidaysburg, PA, swim 200 yards, bike 10 miles, run 2 miles 814/695-4467 or fax 695-5748.

6/5/99 Hamot Sports Medicine Triathlon, Edinboro, PA, swim .6 mile, bike 23.6miles, run 6miles, Pat Davis, 814/455-2091 or fax 476-1806.

6/6/99 Blackwater EagleMan Triathlon-Ironman Qualifier; Cambridge, MD; 1.2mi Swim/56mi Bike/13.1mi Run; Robert Vigorito,410/964-1246 or fax 964-2274.

6/6/99 Breezy Point Triathlon, Virginia Beach, VA; Swim 1K, Bike 20K, Run 5K, 757-670-6463.

6/6/99 Third Annual Cape May Triathlon; Cape May, NJ; Swim .5 mile, bike 15 miles, run 2.7 miles; 410-882-6103;

6/12/99 ThunderGust Triathlon, Pittsgrove, NJ; 0.5mi Swim/16mi Bike/4mi Run; Lin-Mark,609/468-0010 or fax 468-4018.

6/13/99 Marathon Sports Sprint Triathlon, Middletown, DE, Swim .25mile, bike 16miles, run 3miles, Marathon Sports, Box 24, Montchanin, DE 19710;,

6/13/99 F.A.S.T. Fundraiser Triathlon – Frederick, Maryland, 400M swim, 13 mile bike, 3.1 K run, Bob Bofinger (301) 898-9037, ,

6/27/99 6th Annual Spud Triathlon; Indian Head, MD; 0.9 Mile Swim, 24 Mile Bike, 6.2 Mile Run; 410-882-6103;

6/27/99 Tysons Triathlon; McLean, VA, 1/4 mile swim,10 mile bike, 3 mile run, Tysons Club, 703 442-9150.

7/11/99 14th Annual Mason-Dixon Triathlon; Lewisberry, PA; Triathlon 0.5 Mile Swim - 15 Mile Bike - 3 Mile Run, 410-882-6103;

7/18/99 XTERRA-XT, Richmond, VA, 1500m S/30km B/11km R or 750m S/15km Mtn B/5.5km R, 808/521-4322,

7/24/99 Odyssey Off-Road Triathlon, Charlottesville, VA, 1-mile swim, 8 mile run, and 25 mile mountain bike, Don Mann, (757) 425-2445,

7/25/99 7TH Annual Riverwatch Triathlon, North East, MD; Triathlon 0.75 Mile Swim - 16 Mile Bike - 3 Mile Run, 410-882-6103;

7/25/99 National Sprint Championship-Sunset Sprint Triathlon, Bridgeton, NJ, 0.5mile Swim, 16mile Bike, 3.1mi Run, Bruce Wilson, 609/696-3924 or fax 696-0726.

8/14/99 Nissan Colonial Beach Triathlon, Falmouth, VA; swim 1K, Bike 40K, Run 10K, 540-371-9622.

8/15/99 3rd Annual Chesapeake Triathlon; Betterton Beach, MD; 1.5K Swim - 40K Bike - 10K Run; 410-882-6103;

8/22/99 8th Annual Make-A-Wish Triathlon; Richmond, VA, 1.2 mile swim, 18 mile bike, and 5k run, 804-747-5400, 609-468-0010.

8/28/99 2nd Annual Gateway to the Mountains Fat Tire Triathlon; Thurmont, MD; 0.5 Mile Swim - 12 Mile Bike - 2.5 Mile Run; 410-882-6103; .

8/28/99 Odyssey Half Iron Triathlon; Colonial Beach, VA, 1.2 mile swim or 4 mile paddle, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run, Don Mann, (757) 425-2445,

9/11/99 Odyssey Off-Road Triathlon, Charlottesville, VA, 1-mile swim, 8 mile run, and 25 mile mountain bike, Don Mann, (757) 425-2445,

9/12/99 16th Annual Reston Triathlon, Reston, VA, Swim 1 Mile, Bike 22.5 Miles, Run 6.2 Miles, 703-476-RTRI(7874);; .

9/18/99 Sea Colony Triathlon, Bethany Beach, DE, swim .9 mile, bike 25 miles, run 6 miles, 301-962-9474.

9/19/99 Sandman Triathlon, Richmond, VA, 2k swim, 20 mile bike, 10K run, (757) 428-7011.

9/25/99 Dewey Beach Triathlon, Dewey Beach, DE, swim .5 mile, bike, 15 miles, run 3 miles, 302-226-0510.

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