SaddleBrooke Swimmers Set Two National Records!

First-place finishers Doug Springer (left), Jill Fritz (center), and Jack Fritz (right) at the Spring National Championship meet in Irvine, Calif. Combined, these three National Champions earned a whopping nine gold medals in their individual events! (Photo by Nancy Springer)

Lyn Moreno

Four SaddleBrooke residents brought home individual and/or relay gold medals from the U.S. Masters Swimming (USMS) National Championship meet held April 27-30 in Irvine, Calif.

Swimming together must be good for married couple Jack and Jill Fritz, as they each won one or more individual events, while Doug Springer built on his long string of championships with another five individual gold medals. Doug also teamed up with former Swim Club President Lyn Moreno and other Arizona Masters swimmers Craig Shaffer and Mary Ann Case to set two national records for the 75+ age group in both the 200-yard mixed freestyle and mixed medley relays. These records were previously set in 2018 and 2009, respectively, and were broken by a whopping 4 and 3 seconds each!

The competition at this USMS National Championships meet included close to 2,500 elite swimmers from across the nation. Most competitive swimmers in the country cannot swim fast enough to make the challenging qualifying times for each age group, but the SaddleBrooke Swim Club had more than a dozen of its members qualify. Not everyone who qualified was able to attend this meet, but those who did performed extremely well!

The following are individual finishes by SaddleBrooke swimmers:

Jack Fritz, at 90 years young, came home with three first places: 100 free, 50 back, and 50 free; second place in 50 breast; and third place in 200 free.

Jill Fritz, swimming in the 80-84 age group, took first in 1650 free (yes, 66 lengths), third in 200 free, fourth in 500 free, sixth in 100 free, and ninth in 50 back.

Theresa Ashton, also swimming in the 80-84 age group, came home with four second place medals! She earned them in 50 fly, 100 IM, 50 back, and 100 back, and a third in 50 free.

Craig Shaffer, swimming in the 75-79 age group, took fourth in 400 IM and 200 fly, fifth in 200 back and 100 fly, and eighth in 1650 free.

Doug Springer dominated the 75-79 age group, taking first in all five of his events: 100 breast, 200 IM, 200 breast, 400 IM, and 50 breast.

Lyn Moreno (75-79) took fourth in 200 breast, fifth in 200 back, sixth in 100 back, and seventh in both 50 back and 50 free.

Samantha Martoni (60-64) placed fifth in 50 and 100 breast, sixth in 200 breast and 200 fly, and 12th in 200 IM.

Noelle Minck (60-64), competing in her first-ever national meet, bettered all of her times and took 13th in 50 fly, 16th in 50 back, 22nd in 50 free, and 32nd in 100 IM.

Congratulations to all who participated!