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Around the NE-LMSC - February  2017
SCY Championship Early Entry Deadline is Friday!


BOSTON, MA -- There are so many ways to describe the thrill of this meet.  On the technical side, it's among the best run masters meets around; no one makes it happen quite like Rick Osterberg and the Harvard crew.

As a competitor, the excitement is at a level unto itself. Think back to the days of age group or college swimming. Imagine all of those big meets -- JOs, Conference Championships, and National meets -- and the energy, nerves, and anticipation. It's still there, but now you're with 800+ of your closest friends (including some that you've yet to meet). Every person offers a smile. Every person offers a hand. Cheering is a constant, and the enthusiasm is infectious. It is a collective outpouring of support and happiness.  Swimmers from all walks of life and levels of experience come together to make something special.

When mid March rolls around, I can't think of anyplace I'd rather be.

- Tim Lecrone, NE-LMSC Registrar
Upcoming Events

Jan & Feb -- Speedo USMS 1-Hour ePostal National Championship (Sanctioned)
Any pool --  Details --  Swim deadline Feb 28 ; Online entry deadline March 10

Feb 25 -- Westbrook Seals Toughen Up Challenge (Recognized SCY)
Westbrook, ME --  Details

Feb 26 -- Greater Holyoke Winter Warm Up (Recognized SCY)
Holyoke, MA --  Details

March 5 -- Flip Turn Clinic #2
Dover, NH --  Details

March 11 -- Adult Learn-to-Swim Certification Course
New Haven, CT -- Details

March 11 & 17-19 -- NE-LMSC SCY Championship (Sanctioned SCY)
Boston, MA -- Details -- Early entry deadline: February 24

March 25 -- 6th Annual Monumental Masters Mini Meet (Save the Date)
Bennington, VT -- Details 

April 1 -- Swim Like a Fool! / VT Senior Games Swim Meet (Recognized SCY)
Williston, VT -- Details

April 9 -- Swim Across America Boston Team Relay Challenge
Boston, MA -- Details

April 22 -- USMS Marathon Distance Open Water National Championship (Sanctioned)
Lido Key, FL -- Details

April 27-30 -- Nationwide USMS Spring National Championship (Sanctioned SCY)

Riverside, CA --  Details -- Entry deadline: March 27

April 29 -- 7th Annual LANES Tea Party Meet (Sanctioned SCY)
Boston, MA --  Details
NE-LMSC Wins USMS Early Renewal Contest & Stroke Development Clinic!

NEW ENGLAND -- Congratulations and thank you for helping us win the USMS LMSC Renewal Contest. Our 57% early renewal percentage between Nov 1 and Dec 31, 2016 was the highest among all Tier 1 LMSCs nationwide.  Our reward is an additional USMS Stroke Development Clinic in New England in 2017. Keep an eye out for details!

Special kudos to the Middlebury Muffintops for early renewal of 84.8% of its members -- 4th nationwide among USMS-registered teams (clubs & workout groups) with 30-74 members.

- Douglas Sayles, NE-LMSC Chair
Two NE-LMSC Relay Records Demolished at Exeter Meet

Rob, Jay, Dan, and Fred after a record-setting swim
EXETER, NH -- The 65+ men's relay team of Fred Schlicher, Dan Epstein, Jay Jones, and Rob Schiller shattered two long-standing New England relay records at the Exeter mini meet on February 5 in Exeter, New Hampshire. First, the quartet finished the 200 medley relay in 2:09.56, breaking the 2013 record of 2:15.87. They continued with the 200 freestyle relay, besting the 2010 record of 1:59.76 with a time of 1:53.89. The foursome train together at Charles River Masters. Way to go and congratulations Fred, Dan, Jay and Rob!

- Sue Jensen, NE-LMSC Officials Chair
Competition Etiquette... "Competiquette"
A few notes on the "lay of the land" for the racing waters we inhabit.

Just kidding! Let's help each other out!
New England does meets like no other. We have a multitude of fun mini meets, a slew of open water events, and two of the biggest championship meets in the country every year.

With so many events, it's sometimes evident that a few swimmers missed the memo on etiquette regarding some of the rules and common practices of Masters competition -- in particular,  the enigmatic meet warmup.

Here are some tips to help meet warmup go more smoothly:
  1. No diving -- except in specific, officially-designated sprint lanes and when the starter beeps at the beginning of your race.
  2. Sprint lanes are for sprinting -- if you see an empty lane, it's probably for sprinting, so don't get in and start your normal warmup.
  3. No paddles -- this one's explicitly in the rules!
  4. Pass on the left, and if you need to stop at the wall, stay to the right.
  5. Know when warmup ends -- respect your fellow swimmers and clear the pool on time.
  6. Be friendly -- if you don't know something, ASK!
- Crystie McGrail, NE-LMSC Coaches Chair

First Annual MDI YMCA Masters Meet Draws A Crowd

MOUNT DESERT ISLAND, ME -- A great time was had by all at the Mount Desert Island YMCA First Annual Masters Meet on January 29. With over 40 participants, including many new faces, the meet was a resounding success. Clearly it was difficult to resist the scenic drive on Route 1 to compete in unexplored waters. Many participants took the opportunity to make a weekend of it by staying on the island and taking advantage of the amazing, off-season rates. A huge thanks goes out to Mark Schoon, Jim Willis, and the rest of the staff for holding such an excellent, well-run meet. We look forward to next year to do it all again!

- Tim Lecrone, NE-LMSC Registrar
Need Motivation? Try USMS "Go The Distance"

As we inch our way toward spring, many of us turn our thoughts to the wonderful New England open water swimming awaiting us during summer. Many events have already opened their registration. Now is the time to declare a specific goal for 2017, such as entering an event.

McLaughlin (black suit) competing at the Concord-Carlisle mini meet in 2015.
Declaring a specific, measurable goal gives you purpose --  a reason to get up in the morning and give it your all. Instead of just going through the motions of a workout, working towards a specific goal gives you increased focus and satisfaction.
Our February feature swimmer is  Brian McLaughlin. Brain is an avid swimmer in both the pool and open water. He is also one of the nation's leading "Go The Distance" swimmers. Go The Distance is an annual USMS event. It is a fitness log that allows you to set a goal, log your workouts, and track your progress throughout the year. Brian is New England's leading GTD swimmer, logging a whopping 1400+ miles last year. He is also an accomplished open water swimmer, completing the 10-mile Kingdom swim for 6 consecutive years.

Brian gets all the physical and meditational benefits of distance swimming; it helps clear the mind and reduce the distractions that bombard us in our digital, device-driven lives. I asked Brian why he enjoys going the distance, and what keeps him coming back for more.  Reading his answers makes you want to keep your cap and goggles on for a little longer and keep on swimming!  Way to go Brian!
- Charlotte Brynn, NE-LMSC Open Water Chair
Open Water Swimmer Spotlight: Brian McLaughlin

Brian McLaughlin has been swimming at the Atkinson Pool in Sudbury, MA for over 20 years. He swims with teammates for structured workouts Monday, Wednesday, and Friday before work, plus Saturday mornings. On Tuesday and Thursday he swims alone, then rounds out the week with a cool 16,000 yards on Sunday.  When it comes time for meets, Brian races with the ABC Gray Sharks workout group of NEM. Thanks for sharing your experience with GTD, Brian!

Brian McLaughlin finishing the 10-mile Kingdom swim in Newport, VT.
1. How long have you been participating in the USMS Go The Distance program?

I've participated in the GTD event since 2009. My annual mileage during that timeframe is as follows:
2009 -- 1,011.91 miles

2010 -- 1,070.55 miles

2011 -- 1,122.50 miles

2012 -- 1,201.43 miles

2013 -- 1,238.37 miles

2014 -- 1,265.52 miles

2015 -- 1,357.93 miles

2016 -- 1,427.16 miles

2. What
 benefits you have enjoyed participating in GTD, and what keeps you coming back for more?
For a middle of the pack swimmer like me who isn't going to be setting any records at the Harvard or WPI Masters meets, GTD presents an opportunity to achieve something special, and to do so on my own terms. Don't get me wrong, training with my workout group is the highlight of my day and competing at the meets is a blast, but when you've set a goal to crank out a thousand plus miles per year, you've got to approach things differently. Daily, my workout session changes from something I do that enables me to race my best into something that I do simply for the enjoyment received. Essentially, once the group practice ends, it becomes GTD "me time". There's still the competitive aspect to it: I'm keeping score of my mileage, checking where I am relative to everyone else across the country and then maybe going a little bit longer the next day, but the difference is that instead of focusing on speed and time, I get to focus on the experience of swimming itself: the feel of the water as I move through it and the solitude and elimination of distractions as the distance goes by. Ultimately, going long and slow allows me to enjoy swimming more.
My plan is to compete in events such as GTD for as long as I'm physically able to do so. I know that eventually I won't be able to log the big miles, but for as long as I can "Go the Distance," I'm going to do so.

3. What was your favorite Open Water swim in 2016?
Since I only got to compete in one actual event last year, that's an easy one: the 10-mile Kingdom Swim at Lake Memphremagog in Newport, VT. I've completed the 10-miler six consecutive years (2011 to 2016). I did it the first year to prove I could do that distance, but because the conditions were so tough that year I wasn't happy with my time, so I went back the next year and did better. The following couple of years it was, "Oh what the heck, I'll do it again." In 2015, I "had" to go back following the logic of, "You've turned 60 years old and this will be your 5th time doing it. Do it once more and you can look around for something new." Then, of course, USMS made it the 2016 10-Mile National Championship, so back I went. This year I'm going to enter the lottery for the Boston Light Swim. I grew up in the neighborhoods of Boston and am not getting any younger, so I better try for it now while I still have a chance of finishing. I'm also thinking of doing the Lac Massawippi swim in Quebec. That looks to be a really nice venue.
4. Can you recommend 3 events to enter in 2017 to our readers?

As you know, in addition to the Kingdom Swim on Memphremagog, Phil White and his crew run eight swims up in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. The beauty of those events is that they're in our backyard so you don't have to spend a lot of time and money traveling. Also, the courses range from 3 to 9 miles so there's a distance for everyone. Ultimately, I don't think you can go wrong with any of them. Also, for the first time there is a swim scheduled for Newfound Lake in Bristol, NH. I've swum in Newfound many times and can say that it's a beautiful piece of water: incredibly clean and surrounded by some very pretty terrain.

- Charlotte Brynn, NE-LMSC Open Water Chair
Send your news, events, and results to:
Alana Aubin
Communications Chair, New England LMSC
New England LMSC |