Pacific Update

Week of June 7th, 2021
In this issue, you will find information on upcoming swimming events being held in the next couple of months. Don't forget about our June Community Talk and Social Hour on the 10th. Our monthly Pacific Masters Meeting will be on June 16th. We have an update on USMS Nationals! Entry deadline for USMS Nationals is June 21, unless capacity is reached prior to the deadline.

The next issue of the Update will appear on June 21, 2021. The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, June 14, 2021
Stay fit,
The Pacific Masters Swimming Committee
Open Water and Pool Competitions
As our country opens up, some clubs are beginning to explore the possibility of hosting events once again. As tentative dates are set, we will list them on our schedule page and announce them in our Pacific Update newsletter. Please keep in mind there are many hurdles for event hosts to overcome, and the tentative listing of an event is neither a guarantee that it will take place, nor that it will be open to all.  
Community Talk and Social: The Mid-Life Crisis at 47-52 Years of Age
Thursday, June 10, 7:00 PM

A talk by David Hoffman, Could You Be Having A Midlife Crisis? This Might Help You, reveals we can anticipate a midlife crisis between the ages of 47-52 irregardless of where one lives or what their economic situation is. Feeling downhearted, anxious, lonely, excluded and having lower self-confidence are common among people in this age group.

Suzanne Heim-Bowen was 50 when she started swimming on a college team. How did she feel? What were her challenges? Certainly, there are plenty of swimmers in Pacific Masters Swimming who have met the call of aging up and did something out of the norm. If this is you, we would love to hear from you,

Register here for our Community Talk.
Pandemic ePostal Challenge Series

The Non-Free Triple Threat is the current ePostal in the Challenge Series. For general information and current standings, check out the links below:
Mountain View Masters: Non-Free Triple Threat ePostal
June 1 - 30

The 200 fly, 200 back, and 200 breast are among the most dreaded events in competitive swimming, so that’s all we’re offering in this ePostal! Challenge yourself and use this as an opportunity to prepare for our Alan Liu Animal Pentathlon in the fall! (If we can’t host a meet, we’ll do another ePostal.)

Enter your favorite event or two… or, if you want to be a triple threat at non-free, enter all three. Information and Registration
USMS: June Summer Fitness Challenge
June 1 - 15

June already? Time for a new challenge! You have a choice of a 2K swim or dryland workout in the USMS Summer Fitness Challenge. What a great way to check your fitness level as well as benefit a worthy cause, Adult Learn-to Swim.
USMS: 5K/10K ePostal National Championships
May 15 - Sept 15
Go looooong with a 5K or 10K swim this summer in a long course pool of your choice.

This event, hosted by Swim Kentucky Masters, is underway and runs through Sept. 15.

USMS Short Course National Championship
July 21-25, Greensboro, North Carolina
The 2021 USMS Short Course National Championship is planned for July 21-25 at the Greensboro Aquatic Center in Greensboro, North Carolina.

This meet, renamed from Spring Nationals just for this year, was postponed from April 29 - May 2 due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Precautions will be in place with the meet split into sessions and a cap on the number of participants. See here for COVID Protocols

Entries are now open and will close June 21 at 11:59 PM Pacific time unless capacity is reached prior to the deadline. Don't delay!

Pacific Masters Monthly Meeting
June 16, Doors Open at 6:45, Meeting at 7:00 PM
The meeting will begin promptly at 7 PM via the Zoom platform. If this is your first time Zooming, we suggest you sign on a little early to ask questions and address technical issues. Even if you are familiar with Zoom, sign on early to say "hi" to your fellow swimmers. All members are encouraged to participate. Our monthly meeting reminder email will provide the Zoom link. If you are not on that list and would like to attend, please contact Chris Ottati Administrator, for details.
Open Water National Championship Bids
Open through August 1
Want to host an Open Water National Championship in 2023? The bidding process is now open through Aug. 1. Hosting a national championship provides a lot of national exposure which can help your event grow significantly. Bidding information and detailed instructions are available on the Open Water National Championships page.

Selection will be based on the overall suitability of the bid received, area in which the event is to be held, safety, and the annual event schedule as a whole. Applications can be completed online. Download the Bid Instructions and FAQs document for more information.
Try Masters Swimming Month
USMS has designated July as Try Masters Swimming Month. Pacific Masters recognizes that this time frame may not work for many of our member clubs due to COVID restrictions still in place in your county or at your facility. We will support a Try Masters Swimming Month later in the year when we anticipate conditions will be more favorable. If you wish to participate in July, please do. If you wish to wait until the to-be-designated later month, please do. If you wish to participate in both, please do! More information about Try Masters Swimming, with resources for clubs, can be found here.
Coaching Open Water Swimmers Video
At last week's Coaches Clinic, Coaching Open Water Swimmers, Joel Wilson (head coach of Santa Cruz Masters) and Sylvia Lacock Marino (founder and owner of Pacific Open Water Swim Co. and shared valuable tips for both coaches and swimmers.

If you missed the clinic, you can watch the video here.
Kerry O'Brien Inducted Into Masters International Swimming Hall of Fame
By Jenn Hwang
Long-time swim coach Kerry O'Brien of Walnut Creek Masters has been inducted into the International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame. Kerry recently retired from coaching after coaching the Walnut Creek Masters for over 40 years. He was voted USMS Coach of the Year in 1987. In 2008, he was awarded the Grassroots Coaching Award. That award is now known as "The Kerry O'Brien Coaches Award".

Kerry had a huge impact on his team. He helped swimmers learn to swim, break records, and win awards. He even babysat some of the babies for the parents who brought their kids to swim practice.

As a swimmer, I kept jumping around teams because I was moving and switching jobs. In the end, I always found myself coming back to Walnut Creek. I would commute from Alameda to Walnut Creek to Fremont because I knew the benefit of Kerry's coaching. He created a great culture on the team. Walnut Creek Masters is a large team, but it has a small team feel.

Kerry balanced being a performance-oriented coach and coaxing the best out of his swimmers without pushing them too hard. I tended to focus too much on race results and forgot about having fun or worrying only about what was in my control. Kerry reminded me that having fun can positively impact performance. He helped me mature not just as a swimmer, but also as a person. A great coach is able to help you beyond your swimming life, and Kerry has done that for countless athletes on his squad. Congratulations Coach Kerry!

"One more hundred!"- Kerry, during the last minute of warm-up during practice

Read the article on Swimming World Magazine here
Passing of Verne Scott
By Nancy Ridout
We were saddened to learn of the death of Verne Scott in December. Verne was a pivotal figure in the development of Pacific Masters. Through his strong leadership, Verne increased the contributions of Pacific Masters to United States Masters Swimming. I was fortunate to have worked with Verne and am honored to have been asked to share a little about him.

Verne was a professor at Davis. His whole family swam. His wife made the first t-shirt quilts, his son Dave coached the Aquadarts and is an Ironman champion, and his daughters swam and still coach. Eventually Verne swam too.

I remember running a LC Championships at Indian Valley College in Novato, to which Verne (in his 70s) rode his bike from Davis, swam the 1500, and rode back home. Verne organized the very first Pacific Masters Championships and several more until its popularity outgrew the available facility and was relocated to various larger venues.

Verne was the Chairman of Pacific Masters in the early 80s. He was the most long-range thinker I have ever known. He could envision the results of decisions made today and always steered the choices made by Pacific Masters towards achieving success down the road.He hired the first Registrar for Pacific when our membership grew to over 2,000 during his tenure. He encouraged Pacific’s leaders and volunteers to fill every available USMS delegate spot and made it possible by budgeting the funds needed to attend. He was a staunch advocate of our Open Water program and made sure that rules and safety plans were created and followed. He became Vice-President of USMS and then left USMS to become the CEO of USA Triathlon which he administered for many years.

Verne was foresighted, personable, and knew how to delegate. He was an inspiring leader and lots of fun! In 2015, he was awarded the Nancy Ridout Distinguished Service Award for his years of service and support. He was in his 90s then and still swimming, walking, and very fit!

Pacific Masters owes a debt of thanks and gratitude to Verne Scott, whose vision of what Pacific Masters could be and achieve led him to inspire others to carry on with their own visions to accomplish the potential he saw in Pacific Masters Swimming.
PRIDE In Swimming
Athletes in all sports, especially in swimming, have felt a huge stigma being LGBTQ+. People are afraid to come out to their team to get the support they need. In honor of Pride Month, Pacific Masters would like to honor those swimmers who have broken the silence, making it possible for others to do the same. Here are some swimmers and teams in the LGBTQ+ community that have made a huge impact.

Schuyler Bailar was a member of the Harvard Men's swim team and became the first transgender athlete to compete on a Division 1 men's team in any sport. Originally recruited for the women's team, Schuyler was given a choice to swim either on the women's or men's team. It was a tough choice since Schuyler would be a potential record breaker on the women's team. Once returning to campus after his gap year, Schulyer made the difficult choice to join the men's team where he had to work a lot harder to achieve his previous success in the pool.
"You don't have to have all this pain to be successful or be who you are"- Schuyler Bailar

Ian Thorpe is one of the best swimmers in history and one of the most decorated Australian Olympians. He came out as gay after he finished competing. Coming out is tough, especially for a swimmer of his status. Ian was hounded for years about his sexuality by journalists and kept denying he was gay until 2014. He was afraid of the stigma of how people would react.
"A part of me didn’t know if Australia wanted its champion to be gay. I am telling not only Australia, I’m telling the world that I am and I hope this makes it easier for others now." -Ian Thorpe

San Francisco Tsunami, a Pacific Masters swim club celebrates inclusion and promotes a safe place for all to swim. Founded in 1986, this team is both a masters and an artistic swimming (formerly known as synchronized swimming) team and is part of the International Gay and Lesbian Aquatics Organization. Learn more about the team here

Pacific Masters Swimming strives for more diversity and inclusion, and we will keep trying our best to be allies for the LGBTQ+ communities.
5 University of Virginia swimmers who support 2 of their gay teammates. They do not point out who is who. It's not your sexuality that matters, it's how fast you swim and being a great teammate that actually matters.