What is the SaddleBrooke Swim Club All About? Part VI: USMS Competition

High point winners (Five of Nine) at an Arizona short course yards meet. (Photo by Jeff Eighmy)

High point winners (Five of Nine) at an Arizona short course yards meet. (Photo by Jeff Eighmy)

Elizabeth Henley

Part VI is about competition sanctioned by the United States Master Swimming organization (USMS). Events sanctioned by USMS are standardized, and USMS keeps records of times during the year for each of its events.

The club entered a new phase of competition in 2011 when we entered the state short course yards meet. Since then, this club has won so many meets and set so many records that we have received national USMS recognition. How did we do this?

* We are well-coached and prepared for the meets.

* We participate in large numbers and make the most of our opportunities.

* Our coaches are masters at putting together relays, and few other teams emphasize relays or have the personnel to do so. Winners of relays get double the points of individual events.

Beginning in 2013, the club has won 12 state championships, seven short course yard meets, four short course meter meets, and one long course meet. Often, our first-place points are double those of the second-place team.

Many club members enjoy participating in the Polar Bear Meet held every January on the U of A campus.

Perhaps the most memorable meet that we sponsored was the Centenarian Meet in April 2016. Both Fred Klein, 100, and Mary Anne Cooper, 101, both set national backstroke records!

Every USMS meet awards a high point towel to the individual who wins the most points for his/her team by age bracket and gender. We have several really fast swimmers who consistently win high points for their age bracket, and others for whom winning is a major unexpected surprise. Sometimes, it’s a real fluke. The award is the same; the way you got it is never mentioned.

Making All-American is another huge honor. The person or relay team that has the fastest time for that event in the nation is an All-American. This award comes with a certificate and a badge that you can sew onto a jacket or swim parka—or frame! Coach Doug has been determined to help as many people win All-American as possible. As of this date, 29 individual SaddleBrooke swimmers have at least one All-American to his/her name; many have more than one.

In addition to state meets for all three competitive distances, USMS has national meets. We have a number of swimmers who have competed successfully at nationals. With numerous All-Americans and high point winners at meets, SaddleBrooke swimmers hold any number of state and national records—about a dozen national alone—for one or more events.

The club has created a special showcase just inside the front door of DesertView Clubhouse to display its team awards. Please enjoy this with a new appreciation of what it takes to get those awards.

Club Details:

Dues for club membership are $20/year, which includes a club shirt. You can learn more about the club and find a link for workout sign-ups at our website, SaddleBrookeSwimClub.org. We welcome new members.