SaddleBrooke Swim Club hosts first Pool Distance Invitational


Karin Bivens

On March 17-18, the SaddleBrooke Swim Club hosted the first USMS Pool Distance Invitational at the Oro Valley Aquatic Center. This was the brainchild of Doug Springer and Jack Allison. The Meet consisted of a 1650 and 1000-yard swim on Saturday and a 1500 long course meters swim on Sunday. To qualify for an age-group award one had to swim all three events. Swimmers were excited to have this unique opportunity to compete at distance swimming in a pool. In total, thirty-one swimmers, mostly from Arizona, but also from California and Colorado, competed in this event with 17 swimmers from the SaddleBrooke Swim Club. There were six age-group winners from SaddleBrooke: W60-64 Allison Lehman, W65-69 Martha Takakoshi, M65-69 Steve Truesdale, M70-74 Dave Taylor, M75-79 Rodger Bivens and M85-89 Jack Fritz. Allison Lehman said she was hoping to have a decent time for the events especially the 1500 which she swam really well in spite of having her goggles fill up with water! Dave Taylor indicated he really likes swimming longer distances as does Rodger Bivens. Both of them have competed in longer distances in open water during triathlons. Rodger commented that this was a unique competition requiring good fitness and endurance. Jack Fritz wasn’t sure if he would have the stamina for all three long distance swims but he did well and felt great afterwards. Several commented that the 1500-meter long course swim does seem harder when you are used to a 25-yard pool. The weather was windy, chilly and partly cloudy but the water was warm and enthusiasm was high. Many thanks to Doug and Jack for putting this meet together. Also, thank you to Tim Krapp who officiated on Saturday, to Lisa Ferko who was the starter on Saturday and to Judy Gillies who officiated on Sunday. In addition, SaddleBrooke Swim Club members Laurie Loose and Jeff Eighmy were officials at the meet insuring that swimmers performed their strokes and turns correctly. Many others from SaddleBrooke volunteered at this event and helped make it highly successful. Comments were made saying that the timers and lap counting volunteers were great, responsive and considerate! Many expressed that they hoped this will become an annual event.