Dixie Zone Newsletter

July-September 2001

Zone Representative: June Krauser, Ft. Lauderdale FL

Dixie Zone LCM Championships | Editorial

Somebody Call Security | Maverick of the Month | Frank Clark SCY Meet | NC SCY Championships

My Years as SPM Coach by George E. Bole | 2001 USMS National Elections


With great expectations, 154 swimmers from three LMSC's in the Dixie Zone (GA, FL, FGC) converged at the Arlington Aquatic Center Complex in Sarasota, Florida, on June 23. Warm up's were great and the water temperature was perfect.

However, storm clouds were gathering but we all were hoping the rain would stay away. Before the meet could get started, there was plenty of thunder and lightening and everyone was cleared from the decks. The first event was to be the 1500 freestyle. After an hour or so, it was decided that the first event would have to be canceled. Never mind, there were plenty of events left for the rest of the day.

But by noon, the rain had not let up and there was still plenty of lightening. It was decided that the meet would be canceled for Saturday. What a disappointment! Some of us spent the afternoon at the movies and then had a nice dinner.

We all came back on Sunday with the threat of rain again. The meet got started at 10 AM and the officials did a great job of racing through the events. There was a lightening break from 12 to 12:30 but the meet did finish. A link to the meet results is on the zone meets page (http://www.dixiezone.org/dp_meets.htm).

Chris Gilligan was a great meet director as were the rest of the officials. The heat sheet was extremely well done. It had all of the Dixie Zone clubs listed and had all of the records for FL LMSC, Dixie Zone, USMS, and World in an easy to read chart form. The beautiful high point team awards were hand-crafted ceramics made by Dick Brewer. Record setters, final team scores, and awards are on the first page of the results at the link above.


I wonder how many of you have been getting and reading the huge amount of e-mails concerning where USMS is going in the future.

At last year's convention, the House of Delegates voted to spend $25,000 on a PR program. But how to, where to, and when to is still being debated. As I have been interested in this subject, I have read the responses from the many people that have had something to say.

When the subject was first brought up, my initial response was that after being in the program for almost 30 years, the only place to spend monies to benefit USMS is at the local level. It is interesting to note that most others feel the same way. Too many want to conduct surveys to see what the members want.

Competitive swimmers developed the Masters Swimming Program. Ransom Arthur was the coach of his Navy team and they wished to swim against men their same age. When we first started with the AAU, there were very few coaches that thought the program was a good idea. Many thought more swimmers would encroach on the kids' pool time. And so in the beginning, groups of Masters Swimmers would get together and work out together. Most of the time there were just a few that worked out together and went to meets. Various reasons for joining the program included swimming so you could eat a little more, it was a sport in which you could excel, it was a good exercise program, and you enjoyed the company of those you worked out with.

Then came the breakup of the AAU and each AAU sport became an individual National Governing Body. United States Masters swimming was formed. When United States Aquatic Sports was formed, USMS became a member along with the other water disciplines.

Age 25 was agreed upon in the beginning, as there were only a couple of elite swimmers over the age of 25. If we had started the program at the present time, we would probably have chosen 30 or 35 to start the age groups. If nothing else, Masters Swimming has taught the world of swimming that you can compete well at an older age!

As triathlons became popular, the athletes found that their weakest link was swimming. Many joined Masters Swimming programs to improve their swimming technique and endurance.

After the AAU breakup, more coaches became interested in coaching Masters Swimmers. In fact, it was the middle 80's before those that swam at the ISHOF pool had a coach and were given a time to swim.

Then came the fitness swimmer. The Masters time to swim was better for the fitness swimmer than the public time. I believe that these three groups join USMS because of the time they can get into the pool, because of the competitive workout, because of the stroke work, and just because they like the whole group. And now we have the insurance. So, if you want to swim at the coached time in the pool, you must join USMS. The swimmers still have the choice of swimming during public hours or paying the USMS fee and swimming during the coached hours. No one has to join USMS unless they want to compete. It is an individual choice. In some areas the coached workouts have to pay a pool fee for the use of the pool. Yes, the swimmers usually have to pay a fee to the coach.

There are still many pool that do not have a Masters Program. This is where USMS could help out locally. An LMSC could list the pools that don't have a Masters program and USMS could contact them and explain the benefits of the above three groups -- fitness, triathletes, and competitors. Also, these programs must have a leader.

If any of you have suggestions as to how USMS can help at the local level, please present your ideas to the USMS Executive Committee or read some of the e-mails and respond. How can your LMSC benefit from USMS?


How secure is your social security number (SSN)? Well, you decide.

First of all you should know that there are no secret formulas comprising your SSN. There are no codes in your number that mark you by religion, race, gender, or whether you are a dog person or a cat person. There are, however, a few interesting pieces of information.

The first three numbers show the state in which the card was issued. Similar to zip codes, SSNs sweep from New England, where numbers start with 001, to the 500s in the West. New Yorkers get 050 to 134, and Alaskans get 574. If someone gives you a number that starts above 728, it's a fake. Those numbers haven't been assigned yet. If someone's number has 666 in it, you know he doesn't take the Book of Revelation literally. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will actually let people trade in a number containing 666 if they object to it. Louisiana has numbers 659-665 ... 666 is skipped ... Georgia has 667-675.

Since 1936, the SSA has issued 383 million numbers. At the current rate of six million a year, it won't run out of numbers until 2101. When that happens, the SSA hasn't decided what it will do, but it has plenty of time to figure it out.

SSNs have become the most common record-keeping number in the United States. They have become such a convenient identifier, you probably don't think twice about giving it out, even though it's the key to a huge amount of private and sensitive information about you.

When SSNs were first issued, the federal government told us that they would only be used for Social Security programs -- to number personal accounts, to collect taxes, and to pay benefits.

Today we see widespread use of SSNs for identification purposes. They are ideally suited for retrieval of computer files. More than one person can share the same name, making file retrieval burdensome. Retrieval works best when files are assigned a unique number -- voila! -- the SSN.

The best protection is to keep your SSN to yourself, but Congress is making that more and more difficult. FOR SAFEKEEPING...


Jean Troy, 73, was born in Tarbaro, NC. She was fortunate that a WPA swimming pool was built in her small hometown of 5,000 in 1935. As a 9-11 year old, she swam every summer. This established her skill in swimming and her love of the water.

Troy matriculated at UNC in 1948. The next three years she was the field director of the Girl Scouts in Charlotte, which included the waterfront at summer camp. In 1951, she married Ed, who worked for DuPont Construction. With a family of three, they moved to Wilmington, DE, in 1960. Troy was the Aquatic Director at the YMCA for 13 years. With a staff of 25, she found time to set up a mini-team of four and five year olds.

Roger Franks, an Olympian from England, introduced her to Masters swimming when she was 45. As a member of the colonial 1776 team, she made Top Ten. Gradually, she improved her times, and moved up to All-American, with wins in the 50, 100, and 200 frees.

In 1983, Ed retired and they started a tradition of taking an annual six month vacation in the Bahamas, on their boat. In 2000, with only seven months of training and competing, she had 40 Top Ten times and swam on three National record relay teams. Troy received the Coaches Award for the Outstanding Performance--Female.

Troy says, "I loved the water since I was a child and always found a way to be near the water." She and Ed live in Sun City Center, FL.

--Florida Maverick Masters, Inc.


One "fun highlight" that was something new for us was two drawings for T-shirts were held ("NCMS" embroidered on front and a humorous cartoon with two swimmers on back surrounded by the statement, "The Older We Get, the Faster We Were"). We had the highest number of TMS participants for the Frank Clark Meet in several years (this includes a great number of novices and "first timers" which TMS is especially proud of!). We had more teams participating than last year. Unfortunately, we had fewer individual swimmers participating this year (50 participants as opposed to 66 last year). Considering the timing of the Frank Clark Meet (usually in-between Charlotte's and Raleigh's) and its central location, it's be nice to see more support as far as number of individual participants.

--by Patty Tiska-Rivers -- meet was March 3, 2001


Seven national USMS records fell during the NC SC Championships at the Pullen Aquatic Center in Raleigh. Almost 200 swimmers -- most from up and down the Eastern Seaboard -- were on deck for the annual meet.

John Kortheuer of Charlotte Swim Masters led the record setters by breaking three national records in the men's 70-74 age group. Kortheuer, 70, established his dominance in his new age group. Clay Britt of Maryland's Montgomery Ancient Mariners added his name to the men's 40-44 record book in the 50 and 100 backstrokes. Finally, Beth Baker of Virginia Masters Swim has been swimming at a record-setting pace since she moved into the women's 4-44 age group. Baker, 40, added two more national records during her weekend in Raleigh.

by Kim Stott -- meet was April 21-22, 2001


by George E. Bole

After 17 years -- it doesn't seem that long since Beverley Tucker, Mary Barker, and the late Enie Briscoe met me at the Tampa Airport to show me around St. Petersburg.

It was a beautiful place, undoubtedly, although I reckoned to be aware of Florida and the sunshine from my geography lessons.

I was not committed to stay nor did I believe I would. I had retired from my position as Head Coach of the Kirklees Swim Team in England and was helping the new coach out by taking the youngsters.

However, my time was my own, and with the Olympic Experiences from the L.A. Games still fresh in my mind, I was easily persuaded to have a try at coaching St. Pete Masters -- never did I intend to stay.

But there was a lot of conniving and scheming going on (nice people) and I agreed to give it a try for a month or so. But this city of St. Petersburg has seemingly got tentacles that, once they grasp you, never let you go. And, these tentacles grabbed me.

I remember the first Long Course Nationals at Raleigh in 1984. SPM was well represented and I got a view of what I might have to do if I ever was to stay and develop the team.

Those of you who enjoy all the fine facilities (better than many nations' Olympic facilities) might be taken aback a bit if you were to know that it has not always been so. Morning practice started at 7:00 AM and if the SPA team was in the pool, SPM had the use of a couple of lanes. Naturally, the numbers then were sparse. I used to come to the pool then and at noon (yes, Jack Pyhel was conducting lunch time groups even then), and in the evening. My space in the evening was the diving well -- no lanes. No way I was staying there. I felt a little antipathy from some quarters, which, instead of driving me away, had the opposite effect. The morning seemed to be the best chance for building a training set. I knew that more people would attend if they could get to work in time after training. So, I wrote to the Recreation Department explaining what I'd like to do.

Lo and behold, I was granted a 6:30 AM practice provided I could attract more than ten swimmers each day, and for several months, the members were checked on that basis. I had three sessions per day: 6:30 AM, noon, and 4:30 PM.

Gradually the coach of SPA came to respect my ability and so he gave me more lanes and support and the program evolved from that time onwards.

Clearwater Masters was a big team then and our biggest local rival. We had many great battles, but SPM gained the advantage and have maintained it. Indeed, there are few if any clubs in our LMSC which have better records or numbers.

I do not want to boast of our prominence, although I know how much our people put in to help to procure this situation.

It is difficult for me to ever begin to say thanks for all the joy and pleasure being coach to SPM has bestowed upon me -- too many to try to enumerate. So many more highs than lows, and this coming to me at age 68, when I was already retired.

Seventeen of the best years of my life have been spent here, and I'd had a great coaching career in England before this.

I feel that I grew with the program and for most of those years, no one demurred at what SPM was doing. But nothing is ever 100% perfect. It will become right again.

I just want to say that I hope the team gets someone in soon. And please give him or her the same support you gave me. Comparisons are odious and unfair. Remember the club and team are more important than any individual and, more often than not, change brings new success.

The SPM team is much younger and many more than when I came and it is with these younger people that the club will grow -- and it will grow. Lessons have been learned and change for the good must be embraced. Machiavelli said, "There is no more delicate matter to take in hand, nor more dangerous to conduct, nor more doubtful of success, than to step up as a leader in the introduction of changes. For he who innovates will have for his enemies all those who are well off under the existing order of things, and only lukewarm supporters in those who might be better off under the new."

I forecast that the next few years will see a great advance in the standards of Masters swimming. More and more college swimmers will join and swim and improve the standards. I'm a firm believer that there will be Masters swimmers training in a Masters program entirely who will make Olympic teams. My conception is that when this happens, there will be a new and great respect for this so called "geriatric aerobics program."

What do you do with your medals? Gary Bastie has several ideas, but in a nutshell, we all love 'em, we all need 'em, but we don't know what to do with 'em after we get 'em, so my advice is: IF THEY AIN'T GOLD, THROW 'EM BACK!


Candidates for USMS Executive Committee

President: Betsy Durrant, Jim Miller, Sandi Rousseau

Vice President: Hugh Moore, Scott Rabalais

Secretary: Joan Alexander, Sally Dillon, Julie Paque Heather, Frank 'Skip' Thompson

Treasurer: Doug Church

USMS Executive Committee

The Executive Committee of United States Masters Swimming consists of five elected officers (president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, and zone chair), the immediate past president, and the legal counsel.*

At the 2001 USMS National Convention in Dearborn MI (September 12-16), the House of Delegates will choose a new president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. The fifth elected officer, zone chair, was elected at the 2000 convention. The election web site is intended to keep convention delegates and candidates informed of the progress and procedures for the election.

Each officer holds office for 2 years and may be elected to a second consecutive 2-year term. No officer may concurrently hold more than one office. The duties of the officers are defined in the relevant legislation. In addition, each executive committee determines its own style and responsibilities. Two of the current officers have provided insight into the workings of the committee's operations.

Nominating Committee

The Zone Committee acts as the Nominating Committee and, by tradition, has run the election. The committee closed nominations on February 28, 2001. Anyone who would still like to run for office may be nominated from the floor at convention. Please check the election schedule, which was defined by the Committee at the 2000 Convention, so you can follow this process from beginning to end.

Candidate Qualifications

The nominating committee has finished defining the qualification criteria and evaluation process which will be used in choosing the slate. As soon as the slate is chosen, you will be able to meet the candidates on this site. For your information, the candidate questionnaire and evaluation forms have been posted. Please do not fill out these forms and send them in.

Convention Process

The committee is currently working on the Convention Process which will be followed during next September. As soon as that is ready, it will be posted here. The elements in the process will include Convention Packet information, Nomination process, Candidates' Forum, and Voting procedures. Thanks for your patience.

Election Operating Guidelines

The Committee will be working on a draft of Election Operating Guidelines through the month of June. After the draft is ready, it will be posted here for public comment. Suggested changes will be taken and processed and the entire proposal will be placed in the committee report in the convention packet. We hope interested delegates will attend the committee meeting at convention where the proposal will be made ready for the HOD to vote on. The meeting is scheduled for Friday, 9-10:20 AM.

To all delegates going to the USMS Convention in Detroit, MI, September 12-16, 2001 -- please note that Scott Rabalais, our own Dixie Zone candidate has been nominated for vice president of USMS -- every vote counts!