Brooke Natators notch sixth straight championship


Phil Simpson

On the glorious weekend of April 6–8, your faithful pool-side scribe witnessed a truly dominating performance by SaddleBrooke swimmers as they cruised the host-friendly waters of the Oro Valley Aquatic center on route to their sixth (count ‘em!) consecutive Arizona Short Course Yards Championship. The SaddleBrooke Masters Swim Team hosted this three-day marathon which kicked off on Friday evening with the 800-yard freestyle relay and the 1650-yard (mile) distance event, with competitors in the final heat plying the cool waters under the stars.

A total of 182 swimmers and 22 teams competed, with SaddleBrooke enjoying this “sleep in your own bed” meet locale, out-sizing its rivals with 58 entries. The event was highlighted by strong performances and personal bests by veterans and newcomers alike, with a most notable, scintillating swim posted by SaddleBrooke in the 75+ age group, mixed 400y freestyle relay. The quartet of Jill Fritz, Corinna Goodman, Ken McKinney and Al Worth churned to a national record time in a remarkable 5 minutes, 33 seconds and change, eclipsing the previous record by 22 seconds! Several SaddleBrooke competitors distinguished themselves in posting the high point total for their showings in their maximum eight individual events, with points awarded through eight places. Earning the highly coveted award, a High Point Winner Commemorative T-shirt, were Susan Moss Fuller, Ke Wang, Lyn Moreno, Doug Springer, Corinna Goodman, Glenn Tewksbury and Jack Fritz. And a number of our swimmers racked up State Championship Titles, with first place finishes in one or more events.

SaddleBrooke’s charges early on sprinted from the blocks, leaving in their wake scant doubt as to their capturing the large team meet championship. For the first time in a state championship, SaddleBrooke as host, initiated a three-tiered awards structure, establishing first and runner-up awards for teams in three sizes. In the Small Team category, the Flying Fish Arizona Swim Team outpointed the Sun City Grand Masters. In the Medium Team rankings, the YMCA Westside Silver Fins bested the runner-up Prescott Masters, and as a Large Team, Ford Aquatics swam by the Swim Devil Masters for the second place award, in a nip and tuck battle that raged throughout Sunday. The awards were handsome plaques in the shape of the Arizona state outline. SaddleBrooke’s prize will soon grace a new display case to be established in the DesertView Clubhouse.

Once again, the success of the meet rested on the efforts of our many volunteers. They included club members and their spouses who generously gave of their time over this three-day event, to coordinate, officiate, act as timers, staff the hospitality room and otherwise support the Swim Club. We extend our wholehearted appreciation as well to Meet Referee Judy Gillies and the other meet officials for their efforts over the long weekend.

Congratulations, SaddleBrooke, on a most successful season. There are many ways to measure success. Perhaps the best gauge is the camaraderie, esprit de corps and good fellowship forged at the pool. By that measure, SaddleBrooke appears unrivaled!