|After the last relay event of the meet, From L-R: Mere Johnson, Jerry Meyer, Shar Hollingsworth, Rebecca Rice, Justin Anderson, James Martin, Jan Burton, Abby Gernert, and Robert Hein|
United States Masters swimming has come to Western Maryland and the Potomac Highlands. If you are not familiar with U.S. Masters Swimming (USMS) it was founded in 1970 and supports more than 1,000 adult swim programs across the United States with more 50,000 individual members ranging in age from 18 to over 100. On the local level, most USMS swim programs offer structured practices and training assistance from trained swim coaches. Pool and open-water races provide opportunities to compete and measure individual progress at the local, state, national and international levels. USMS programs also offer stroke and technique clinics, workshops, instruction, and social functions, USMS programs draw people from all walks of life and provide their members with a community that offers active support for a healthy lifestyle through aquatic fitness, friendship and camaraderie.
What is exciting about USMS swimming is that there is a great program being run right here in Western Maryland. The Frostburg State University Masters (FSUM) was founded Fall 2014 and they already have a strong and committed team of 6 athletes of varying ability levels. The FSUM team practices at the Frostburg State University pool 5 days a week, but participants are welcome to attend as many or few of the 5 weekly practices as they’d like. The team swims early in the morning on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 5:45-6:45am and in the evenings on Tuesday and Thursday from 8:30-9:30pm.
On Saturday, December 13, 2014 the FSUM team competed and hosted their first masters event at Frostburg State University’s Pool. The team competed in the 1st Annual Frostburg State University Masters Sprint Classic and the team had great results across the board competing in 25s, 50’s and 100’s of each stroke, the 200 free, 100 and 200 IM, and a mixed sprint relay.
Five of the six athletes currently training with FSUM competed in the Sprint Classic and had phenomenal meets. Frostburg State University Swimming Assistant Coach, James Martin (Bristol, CT) broke four Maryland LMSC short course meters records in the 18-24 age group establishing new standards in the 50 and 100 Free and the 50 and 100 Fly. Martin also took the meet title as Western Maryland’s fastest man. Frostburg State University Swimming Head Coach Justin Anderson (Frostburg, MD) broke a Maryland LMSC short course meters record for the 25-29 age group in the 100 Individual Medley and took top honors in his age group in 3 events. Frostburg Professor of Photography, Robert Hein (Frostburg, MD) also had an impressive meet winning his age group in the 50 and 100 free and the 100 back and 200IM. Jan Burton (Frostburg, MD) also won her age group in three events taking 1st in the 100 IM and 100 and 200 Free and swam personal best times in each event. Shar Hollingsworth (Cumberland, MD) took 1st place honors in her age group in the 50, 100 and 200 free as well as in the 50 backstroke and swam personal bests in all four events.
Athletes representing other clubs also performed very well. Ronald Gregor of Germantown Masters took 1st place in both the 50 and 100 breaststroke events and established a new Maryland LMSC record in the 70-74 age group in the 100 breaststroke with his time 1:39.28 improving upon the previous record by 4 seconds. Jerry Meyer of Central Maryland Y Masters beat the oldest Maryland Masters record for the 65-69 age group in the 100 back with a time of 1:34.53 bettering the mark set by William Melville in 1987. Meredith Johnson who swims unattached in the Maryland LMSC took top honors in her age group in the 100 free and was runner up in the 50 free and 100 back and took 3rd place honors in the 50 back in her age group. Abby Gernert who swims for Peters Township Masters Swimming of the Allegheny Mountain LMSC took top honors in both backstroke events winning the 50 and 100 backstroke and took second place honors in the 50 fly and 100 IM. She was also runner up in the competition for Western Maryland’s fastest woman. Rebecca Rice who swims unattached in the Potomac Valley LMSC took top honors in her age group in 4 of the 5 events she swam winning the 50 fly, 200 IM, 50 free, and 100 IM while placing second in her age group in the 50 back. She also won three of the four 25-meter sprint events enroute to claiming the title of the Western Maryland’s fastest woman.
FSUM will be on break through the holidays and the start of the new year but will begin practice and competitions starting Monday, January 26, 2015. If you would like more information or are interested in joining, please contact Coach and Club Director, Justin Anderson at email@example.com.