Lynne Vieth and Terese Butler
Saturday, Feb. 8 dawned sunny and windless to the relief of those members of the SaddleBrooke Masters Swim Team who were about to participate in the Southern Arizona Masters Relay Meet. If you were riding a stationary bike or jogging on the treadmill in the DesertView Fitness Center at noon, you would have seen a parade of 57-to-89-year-old swimmers, along with one 36-year old, stream into the pool area towing folding chairs, water bottles, towels, and even one dog. Music was playing as swimmers warmed up before the festivities began at 1 p.m.
This was the first U.S. Masters Relay Meet hosted by the swim club at our own pool in SaddleBrooke, but most likely it won’t be the last. The aura of friendly competition was enhanced by the mixing of ages and abilities on each team, as well as by the lure of the hot tub where successes and DQs alike were shared with an empathetic crowd.
The swim meet included freestyle and medley events at various distances. In total, there were 50 relay teams that swam these events, which included 40 SaddleBrooke swimmers and two swimmers from another Tucson team.
Hosting an official U.S. Masters Swim Meet requires the participation of many volunteers. A special thanks to Trish Tewksbury and her team of timers, as well as Jay Selnick and Joyce Howard for officiating. Our lively music was provided by our swimming DJ, Steve Truesdale. The club’s Hospitality Committee, headed by Diane Wagner and Leslie Kurywchak, ensured that hospitality was provided for all of our volunteers. Sponsors for the meet included team members Jack and Jill Fritz, Fred Klein, Phil Simpson, Doug and Nancy Springer, and SaddleBrooke TWO.
The SaddleBrooke Swim Club offers more opportunities than competitive swimming for its members and our community. By accessing their website at www.saddlebrookeswimclub.org, you can find information about free swim programs that offer lessons for individuals that don’t know how to swim, as well as clinics for those who are just looking for stroke improvement. See you at the pool!